’80s video rock star and actress Tawny Kitaen dies at 59 – fr

’80s video rock star and actress Tawny Kitaen dies at 59 – fr

It was the late 1980s, and “Bachelor Party” actress Tawny Kitaen wasn’t necessarily looking for small screen stardom. But British hard-rock band Whitesnake was running a promo and their manager decided they needed a star. Kitaen, who would later marry frontman David Coverdale, has agreed to lend his fierce looks, fiery mane and sultry charisma to a now classic series of rock music videos – and the rest is MTV history.
Electrifying videos starring Kitaen for “Still of the Night”, “Is This Love”, “The Deeper the Love” and “Here I Go Again” sealed her iconic status in the hearts and fantasies of a woman. generation of rock fans and have propelled Whitesnake to the top of the graphics. His music video moves – including an impromptu cartwheel atop two parked Jaguars at the start of “Here We Go Again” – made Kitaen an instant MTV star at the height of the network’s cultural influence and have ushered in a new era in rock iconography.

Those who knew her weren’t surprised when the San Diego native landed movie roles and found himself in a heavy TV rotation. The excitement of show business had always challenged her.

“She had no patience for the drudgery of life,” her brother Jordan Kitaen told The Times. “Something had to happen. She wanted life to be exciting, and when it wasn’t, she was bored.

Kitaen – who would go on to appear in movies and TV shows such as “Seinfeld”, “The New WKRP in Cincinnati” and “Hercules: The Legendary Journeys”, as well as in the reality series “Celebrity Rehab with Dr. Drew – addressing her battles with drug addiction – died Friday morning at her home in Newport Beach, according to the Orange County coroner’s office. She was 59 years old.

The cause of death has not yet been determined. Kitaen’s daughters, Wynter and Raine Finley, confirmed his death on social media on Saturday.

“We are heartbroken and saddened to announce the passing of our mother,” they wrote. “We just want to say thank you to all of you, his fans and his friends, for always showing him such support and love. You gave it life every day. We miss her and love her and we know her legacy will live on forever.

In a 2010 interview with The Times’ Daily Pilot, Kitaen spoke openly about her difficult past. “I walked around the block a few times,” she says. “There is still a lot to learn, but I have learned a lot in my life by mistake.”

The eldest of three children, Kitaen was born Julie Kitaen in 1961 in San Diego.

“She was a precocious and special child,” her brother said. “Wherever she was in a room, that’s where everyone was laughing.”

In high school, she began dating Robbin Crosby, guitarist for the glam-metal band Ratt, which led to her appearance on the covers of the 1983 EP “Ratt” and the 1984 album “Out of the Cellar. “. Around the same time, she began her acting career with a small role in the 1983 ABC TV movie “Malibu”, starring James Coburn and Kim Novak.

In 1984, she starred in the French action comedy “Gwendoline” and appeared alongside Tom Hanks in the comedy “Bachelor Party”. In 1986, she starred in the cult horror film “Witchboard” as a young woman who learns the hard way not to play with a Ouija board. Kitaen would later put her comedic sensibilities to good use on ABC’s America’s Funniest People, which she hosted from 1992 to 1994.

Kitaen’s high profile connections have often overshadowed his professional life in the media. Her marriage to Coverdale ended in 1991 and in 1997 she married Angels pitcher Chuck Finley. After Kitaen was charged with domestic violence for allegedly hitting Finley in 2002, the couple divorced and she vowed to seek treatment for substance addiction.

In 2006, she entered the world of reality TV, joining the cast of “The Surreal Life”, and in 2008 she shed light on her personal struggles in the reality TV series “Celebrity Rehab with Dr. . Drew ”.

“Tawny has had an incredible journey since I first met her,” Finley told the Daily Pilot in 2010. “And while there have been bumps in the road, which we all experience, I Could not be more proud of the place and who it is today.

Meanwhile, fans who had adored her since the ’80s always flocked to meet her at conventions. And over the years, industry figures have increasingly recognized his contributions to rock history – celebrating, to begin with, his famous video “Here I Go Again”.

“I don’t know anyone in the universe who didn’t melt when Tawny got on this car,” Lady Gaga told Craig Marks and Rob Tannenbaum in “I Want My MTV: The Uncensored Story of the Music Video Revolution” in 2011 . “It was one of the greatest moments in video history. I mean, I wish I could steal this moment every day.

In recent years, Kitaen has connected with fans on social media, sharing heartfelt thoughts. At the time of her death, she was working on wellness and spiritual growth, said Jordan Kitaen, “which doesn’t always happen by living the life she lived when she was younger.

“I think people can relate to people who have been broken sometimes,” said Jordan, who has followed Tawny in the entertainment industry, co-founder of Los Angeles-based Quixote Studios. “She was a warrior. She had her demons, but she fought. It was sometimes not easy to get by every day, but she continued to fight. We are really proud of her.

Kitaen is survived by her daughters Wynter and Raine Findley.


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