Tawny Kitaen, the 1980s icon whose appearance in Whitesnake music videos led to fame, is dead, passing away at her California home. She was only 59 years old.
What’s Tawny Kitaen’s cause of death? According to TMZ, Kitaen died in Newport Beach, California, on Friday, May 7, 2021, but the coroner has not yet determined her cause of death.
Daily Variety reported that the coroner lists her as Tawny Finley and said she died at her home in the morning.
Kitaen was known for her model’s looks, her relationships with prominent men, and her legal and substance abuse problems. She dealt with a variety of troubles throughout her life. But many people who were alive in the 1980s remember her best for her breakthrough moment in the Whitesnake videos. You can watch some of Tawny Kitaen’s music videos below.
According to TMZ, she had well-publicized issues with drugs and alcohol, but it’s not clear whether this played any role in her death.
Here’s what you need to know:
Kitaen Was Best Known for Her Appearances in Heavy Metal Music Videos
Kitaen was a California girl who was born in San Diego. Her first breakthrough wasn’t with Whitesnake, but rather with the heavy metal band RATT, according to Daily Variety.
She appeared on the cover of their two albums in the 1980s. She was dating RATT’s guitarist Robbin Crosby, and she also appeared in a RATT music video as MTV and music videos became the rage. She was still in high school when they started dating and followed the band to Los Angeles, according to TMZ.
It was after this point that she starred in Whitesnake videos, writhing on a car and doing gymnastics in “Here I Go Again” in 1987. She married David Coverdale, the lead singer of Whitesnake, but the marriage only lasted two years, according to Daily Variety.
Kitaen Had Two Daughters With a Major League Baseball Player & Parts in Movies
According to Page Six, after Coverdale, Kitaen married baseball star Chuck Finley and had two daughters with him before the marriage ruptured and he accused her of domestic violence. The charges – TMZ said he accused her of kicking him in the face with high heel shoes – were dismissed, but Finley filed for divorce.
In addition to the Whitesnake music videos, she was known for starring in the movie “Bachelor Party” with Tom Hanks in 1984. She also starred in the movies “The Perils of Gwendoline” and “After Midnight.”
Kitaen also appeared on a game show “To Tell the Truth” in 1976.
But it’s probably her troubled personal life and music videos that most people remember her for.
According to TMZ, she became entranced with the music world when, at 14, she saw a Peter Frampton concert and ended up with a backstage pass. That started her to desire to be part of the heavy metal music scene in Los Angeles, and she became one of the people most closely associated with it in fans’ minds.
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