Tawny Kitaen, the actress and television star best known for her role in the 1984 comedy Bachelor Party, has passed away. TMZ reports that Kitaen died in Newport Beach, California on Friday, but the coroner has not yet determined a cause of death. Very little else has yet been revealed about the circumstances surrounding her passing. Tawny Kitaen was 59 years old.
Born Julie E. Kitaen on Aug. 5, 1961, Kitaen chose the nickname Tawny for herself at the age of 12. When she was 14, she went to her first rock concert to see Peter Frampton and was able to procure backstage passes. After seeing the VIP treatment Frampton’s girlfriend was receiving, Kitaen dreamed of one day having this for herself, inspiring her to pursue a career in show business.
In 1983, Kitaen was dating Ratt guitarist Robbin Crosby and modeled on the cover of the band’s debut EP Ratt. That same year, she made her acting debut with a small role in the TV movie Malibu. More roles were quick to follow, as she picked up the titular role in the 1984 action comedy The Perils of Gwendoline in the Land of the Yik-Yak along with another starring role in the 1986 horror Witchboard.
In the 80s, Kitaen was also briefly married to Whitesnake lead singer David Coverdale and appeared in many of their music videos. That includes the hits “Here I Go Again,” “Still of the Night,” “Is This Love,” and “The Deeper the Love.” Kitaen was also featured in the Ratt music video for “Back for More.”
One of Kitaen’s best known roles came in 1984 when she appeared in Bachelor Party. In the classic party comedy, directed by Neal Israel, Kitaen starred as the girlfriend of Tom Hanks’ character whose friends throw him a bachelor party before their wedding. She’d go on to appear in movies like Three of Hearts, Dead Tides, and Playback. In 2014, Kitaen co-starred with Richard Grieco in the erotic mystery thriller After Midnight.
Kitaen is also known for her role in Hercules: The Legendary Journeys and the Hercules TV movies as Deianeira. She also voiced Annabelle on the 1990s cartoon series Eek! The Cat and co-hosted America’s Funniest People with Dave Coulier between 1992-94. Kitaen also appeared in the 1991 episode of Seinfeld called “The Nose Job” in a small role as Jerry’s girlfriend.
Her other TV credits include Married… with Children, The New WKRP in Cincinnati, and CSI: Crime Scene Investigation. Kitaen also appeared as herself on the VH1 reality TV series The Surreal Life as well as Celebrity Rehab with Dr. Drew. Tawny most recently appeared in a lead role in the mockumentary comedy series Moms Anonymous.
After a two-year marriage to David Coverdale of Whitesnake, Kitaen married baseball star Chuck Finley. The couple was married from 1997 to 2002 and had two daughters. Our thoughts go out to Kitaen’s family and friends feeling the pain of her loss at this difficult time. May she rest in peace as her memory lives on forever. This news comes to us from TMZ.