Tawny Kitaen died in her home in Newport Beach, California on Friday, according to authorities

By Ally Mauch
May 08, 2021 11:30 AM
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Tawny Kitaen
Credit: Bobby Bank/Getty Images

Tawny Kitaen, Bachelor Party actress and 1980s music video icon, has died at the age of 59. 

Kitaen died in her Newport Beach, California home on Friday morning, according to a press release from the Orange County Coroner's Office, which listed her as Tawny Finley. Her cause of death has not yet been released, and representatives for the star did not immediately respond to PEOPLE's request for comment. 

"We are heartbroken and saddened to announce the death of our mom," her daughters Wynter and Raine wrote in a statement on their mom's social media pages. "We just want to say thank you for all of you, her fans and her 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."

Model and actress Carrie Stevens also confirmed the news on Twitter. 

"It's true. I don't [blame] people for not wanting to believe it.... but it is fact," she wrote on Twitter. "Let let her family give the official statement. They deserve that respect. RIP to a legend." 

Kitaen's last social media post was made on Thursday, thanking a fan for their artwork. News of her death was first reported by TMZ.

Kitaen was born as Julie Kitaen in 1961 to parents Terry and Linda, later taking on the nickname "Tawny" around the age of 12, according to Rocks Off Magazine.

After taking on a minor role in the TV movie, Malibu, she got her break in the entertainment industry with the 1984 comedy Bachelor Party. Kitaen played Debbie in the film, the fiancée to Tom Hanks' character Rick. 

Though she had roles in several other movies throughout the 1980s —  Witchboard, White Hot, and Dead Tides among them — Kitaen was perhaps best known as the original music video vixen. 

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She famously appeared in several music videos for Whitesnake, including "Here I Go Again," "Still of the Night," "Is This Love," and "The Deeper the Love." She also appeared on the covers of two albums from the heavy metal band Ratt and starred in their "Back for More" music video. 

More recently, she made appearances on reality shows The Surreal Life, Botched and a season of VH1's Celebrity Rehab with Dr. Drew.

Tawny Kitaen
Tawny Kitaen
| Credit: Aaron Rapoport/Corbis/Getty Images

Kitaen had a tumultuous personal life, with several run-ins with the law. After dating Ratt guitarist Robbin Crosby for several years, she went on to marry Whitesnake singer David Coverdale in 1989, though the pair divorced just two years later.

She later married MLB pitcher Chuck Finley in 1997 and had two daughters with him. Their relationship ended in 2002 with Finley filing for divorce after Kitaen was arrested for spousal abuse, PEOPLE previously reported. The charges were later dismissed after Kitaen agreed to attend counseling at the time, according to Reuters.

She was also charged with possessing 15 grams of cocaine in 2006, entering a rehab program to resolve the charges, according to Today. She was arrested for driving under the influence three years later, reported Variety.