Tawny Kitaen, Hair Metal Video Vixen, Dead at 59

Sad news for the show business world today, as Julie E. “Tawny” Kitaen, the actress and model best known for her work in Whitesnake’s “Here I Go Again” video, has died. She was 59 years old.

According to Variety, the Orange County, California, coroner’s office has stated that Kitaen died at her home in Newport Beach on the morning of Friday, May 7th. A cause of death has not been revealed.

Tawny’s death was announced by her children Wynter and Raine, who posted the following statement to her Instagram: “We are heartbroken and saddened to announce the death of our mom. We just want to say thank you for all of you, her fans and her friends, for always showing her such love and support. You gave her life everyday. We miss her and love her and we know her legacy will live on forever.”

Kitaen’s first major break in the rock world was her appearance on two album covers by hair metal legends Ratt, first their 1983 debut and then 1984’s breakthrough hit Out of the Cellar, featuring the band’s smash single “Round and Round.”

However, it was Kitaen’s appearance in Whitesnake’s “Here I Go Again” video, in which she danced on the hoods of sports cars and hung out of a car window while frontman (and her later husband) David Coverdale was driving. Though Tawny also appearance in Whitesnake videos like “In The Still of the Night” and “Is This Love,” it was her appearance in “Here I Go Again” that made her an iconic figure of the 1980s, and coined the idea of the heavy metal video vixen.

Kitaen also portrayed Tom Hanks’ fiancé in the comedy Bachelor Party and Jerry Seinfeld’s girlfriend in the Seinfeld episode “The Nose Job.”

Everyone at The Pit sends their heart out to Kitaen’s friends, family, fans and collaborators during this difficult time.

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Words by Chris Krovatin