Tawny Kitaen, '80s Music Video Vixen and Actress, Dead at 59
By Liz Calvario
Albert L. Ortega/Getty Images
Rest in peace, Tawny Kitaen.
The actress and '80s music video vixen has died. She was 59. Her children -- Wynter and Raine Finley, whom she shared with ex-husband baseball player Chuck Finley -- posted the heartbreaking news on her Instagram on Saturday. Kitaen, whose legal name was Tawny Finley, died in her home in Newport Beach, California, on Friday, per the Orange County coroner's office. The cause has not been determined.
"We are heartbroken and saddened to announce the death of our mom. We just want to say thank you for all of you, her fans and friends, for always showing her such support and love. You gave her life everyday. We miss her and love her and we know her legacy will live on forever," they wrote.
Born August 5, 1961 in San Diego, Kitaen made waves after appearing on the album cover of Ratt's debut 1983 EP and 1984 debut studio album Out of the Cellar, after dating the band's guitarist Robbin Crosby. Kitaen is also seen in Ratt's "Back for More" video.
Over the '80s she appeared in music videos for the band Whitesnake, including "Here I Go Again," "Still of the Night," "Is This Love," and "The Deeper the Love." At the time, she was dating Whitesnake frontman David Coverdale. The two got married in 1989 and divorced in 1991.
She also had roles in Bachelor Party, appearing as Tom Hanks' bride-to-be, Witchboard, White Hot, Dead Tides, Seinfeld, Married...With Children and Hercules: The Legendary Journeys and more.
By 2006, she was on the reality show The Surreal Life. That same year she was charged with cocaine possession and went to rehab. In 2008, she was on the second season of Celebrity Rehab With Dr. Drew.
Upon hearing the news of her death, friends and fans took to social media to express their condolences.
Her ex-husband Coverdale tweeted, "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…"
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
So sad...Rest In Peace #TawnyKitaen In the early days when we did in person auditions, I would frequently run into her and share a nice conversation. I thought she was incredibly beautiful and had the biggest and brightest smile
— They’re Coming To Get You Barbara (@barbaracrampton) May 8, 2021
I am just...so sad. I met @Tawny_Kitaen when I was 18 during this interview and we’ve stayed in touch ever since. I didn’t want to post anything until it was confirmed, but I called her last night and when she didn’t answer I knew. I seriously love you forever pic.twitter.com/jIPTHhwapP