An iconic 80’s star who most young men who grew up in that era know has passed away at the age of 59. Julie E. “Tawny” Kitaen, who was famous for appearing in multiple videos by the group Whitesnake in the 1980s had died according to the Orange County, California coroner’s office.
The coroner’s office stated that she had died at her Newport Beach home on Friday morning, but the cause of death has not yet been revealed.
Kitaen, born in San Diego, California was first introduced to the rock world in 1983 when she appeared on the cover of back-to-back albums by the heavy metal band RATT, including the band’s self-titled 1983 debut and the triple-platinum “Out of the Cellar”, in 1984. Kitaen was dating RATT guitarist Robbin Crosby at that time.
Kitaen appeared in RATT’s “Back for More” music video and later became the video vixen best known for her appearance in Whitesnake’s 1987 smash “Here I Go Again,” where she displayed her talent for auto acrobatics. “Still of the Night,” “Is This Love” and “The Deeper the Love” also featured Kitaen, who was briefly married to Whitesnake’s lead singer, David Coverdale, from 1989 to 1991.
Acting roles followed, most notably portraying Tom Hanks’ girlfriend in the 1984 comedy romp “Bachelor Party.” She had additional roles in and “Witchboard,” “White Hot” and “Dead Tides” and also appeared in a Seinfeld episode, “The One With The Nose Job.”
In more recent years, Kitaen participated in several reality shows, including “The Surreal Life,” “Botched” and a season of VH1’s “Celebrity Rehab with Dr. Drew,” the latter of which filmed in 2008.
Kitaen had long struggled with substance abuse, as she revealed on “Celebrity Rehab,” and had several run-ins with the law, including a charge for cocaine possession in 2006 and driving under the influence in 2009.
Kitaen was married to baseball player Chuck Finley from 1997 to 2002. They had two daughters together.
Kitaen last tweeted on May 6, thanking a fan for a drawing.
You can read more on Kitaen HERE.