Tawny Kitaen, Actor and Music Video Star, Dead at 59

Fans may remember her from Whitesnake videos and the film "Bachelor Party."

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Tawny Kitaen
Image via Ron Galella, Ltd/Ron Galella Collection via Getty Images

On May 8, 2021, rumors spread on the internet about the death of actor Tawny Kitaen, who was known for her work in rock music videos of the 1980s. 

Kitaen, 59, had a role in the Tom Hanks film “Bachelor Party,” appeared in a music video and on album covers for the band RATT, and featured in numerous videos for Whitesnake, including the 1987 smash “Here I Go Again,” among others. 

For a few hours the rumors of her death remained unconfirmed after the publication Latest New South Africa claimed she had died:

But on May 8, 2021, TMZ reported that she had died in Newport Beach, California, on May 7, 2021. Variety reported that the Orange County coroner’s office, which listed her as Tawny Kitaen Finley, stated that she died at her home on Friday morning, but a cause of death was still not publicized. 

According to NBC, Kitaen had long struggled with substance abuse and had run-ins with the law, including charges of cocaine possession. In 2002 she was charged with spousal abuse and battery after authorities said she attacked her then-husband. The domestic violence case was dropped in 2003. 

Her family confirmed her death in a statement posted to Tawny Kitaen’s Instagram account: