Tawny Kitaen, who was best known for starring in the 1980s movie Bachelor Party and in several White Snake music videos, died on Friday morning. She was 59 years-old.
Variety reported that the Orange County, Calif. coroner’s office confirmed Kitaen’s death, listing her as Tawny Finley and saying that she died at her home in Newport Beach, California.
Born in San Diego in 1961, she rose to fame in 1983, when she appeared on the cover of back-to-back albums by heavy metal band RATT, including the band’s self-titled 1983 debut and the triple-platinum “Out of the Cellar” the next year. At the time, Kitaen was dating RATT guitarist Robbin Crosby.
Kitzen was ultimately best known for appearing in the music video for Whitesnake’s 1987 smash “Here I Go Again,” where she famously danced on top of a car. Kitaen was briefly married to Whitesnake’s lead singer, David Coverdale, from 1989 to 1991.
Kitaen also acted in films, most notably portraying the girlfriend of Tom Hanks in the 1984 movie Bachelor Party.
In her later years, Kitaen appeared on various reality shows, like “The Surreal Life,” “Botched” and a season of VH1’s “Celebrity Rehab with Dr. Drew,” the latter of which filmed in 2008. She struggled with substance abuse for years, which is something she was open about on “Celebrity Rehab,” and she had arrests that included a charge for cocaine possession in 2006 and driving under the influence in 2009.
Kitaen was the mother of two daughters with her ex-husband, baseball player Chuck Finley, who she was married to from 1997 to 2002.
Coverdale, the lead singer of White Snake, has already taken to social media to pay tribute to Kitaen.
“Just woke up to some very sad, unexpected news…” he wrote. “Waiting on confirmation… but, if it is true, my sincere condolences to her children, her family, friends & fans.”
Just woke up to some very sad, unexpected news…Waiting on confirmation…but, if it is true, my sincere condolences to her children, her family, friends & fans…🙏🙏🙏 pic.twitter.com/ioerp3ZRPa
— David Coverdale (@davidcoverdale) May 8, 2021
In an interview with the podcast Ouch, You’re on My Hair last year, Kitaen talked about the frenzy that the “Here I Go Again” video caused among fans. She specifically remembered a drive that she took with Coverdale and her father after the video came out.
“David was driving the white Jag, because that was our car. We got up toward the Rainbow on the Sunset Strip and there was a red light. People saw us in the car, and they jumped on the hood!” Kitaen said. “My dad was like, ‘What’s going on!’ I said, ‘That’s just how the world works.’ We had to shoo these people off our car and drive off.”