Actress and reality TV star Tawny Kitaen, who became an icon of the 1980s hairstylist era for her appearances in the Whitesnake music videos, has died at the age of 59, according to her family. In a post to Kitaen’s verified Instagram account on May 8, her daughters Wynter and Raine wrote: “We are heartbroken and saddened to report our mother’s death. We just want to say thank you to all of you, his fans and 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.
Born Julie Kitaen in 1961, Kitaen’s modeling and acting career took off in the early 1980s after appearing on the album covers of her boyfriend Robbin Crosby’s Ratt group. From there, she embarked on an acting career, starring Tom Hanks in the 1984 sex comedy. Bachelor Party and in the cult horror film of 1986 Witchboard. Kitaen achieved MTV icon status when she danced on the hood of Whitesnake’s car in the video “Here I Go Again” in 1987, which was followed by appearances in the music videos for “Still of the Whitesnake’s Night ”,“ Is This Love, ”and“ The Deeper the Love ”music videos. In 1989, she married the group’s lead singer, David Coverdale, from whom she divorced in 1991. In the 1990s, she continued to star in sitcoms like Seinfeld and The New WKRP in Cincinnati, and played a co-host role on The funniest people in America. In the 2000s, after divorcing her second husband, Chuck Finley, Kitaen had a brief career in reality TV, appearing on VH1 series like Surreal life and Celebrity Rehab with Dr Drew. According to Variety, Kitaen died at her home in Newport Beach on the morning of Friday, May 7.