Julie E. “Tawny” Kitaen, former actress and muse of the ’80s hard rock band Whitesnake, died at age 59.
The San Diego native died Friday (May 7) at his home in Newport Beach, California, according to different. A cause of death has not yet been disclosed.
Kitaen portrayed the bride character of Tom Hanks in the 1984 film Bachelor Party. He also had a reoccurring role in the early ’90s sits The New WKRP in Cincinnati, and played Jerry’s girlfriend Seinfeld‘Classic 1991 episode,“ The Nose Job ”.
But Kitaen is undoubtedly the most similar definition of Whitesnake, appearing in several videos of the band in the 1980s, including “Here I Go Again”, “Still of the Night”, and “Is This Love ”. She also quickly married Whitesnake frontman David Coverdale from 1989 to 1991.
In a 2019 talk with Serious consequences, Coverdale recalls launching Kitaen in the video for “Here I Go Again”.
“Claudia Schiffer was supposed to be the ‘Whitesnake girl,’ that Guess Jeans girl. But that collapsed place in the real shooting. And I brought Tawny for dinner, when [director] Marty Callner called me, and said, ‘You have to get close, we have problems.’ We went to her house towards dinner, she opened the door, her jaw hit the floor – as you know, Tawny is a perfect beauty – and she said, ‘That’s her! She’s the Whitesnake girl! And I said, ‘Marty, this is my friend. He is an actor. ‘And he said,’ No David, I’m glad I did it! ‘ So, sorry Claudia – you did so well afterwards. ”
As for Kitaen’s memorable choreography in the video, which included his cartwheeling on top of two Jaguar XJs, Coverdale said most of it was improvised right away: a white Jag. It was fascinating, ”Coverdale said. “Nobody has that. It’s amazing. ”
In 2000, Kitaen appeared on several reality TV shows, including The Surreal Life, Botched, and VH1’s Known Rehab. During his time at Celebrity Rehab, Kitaen revealed that he had long struggled with drug abuse, ending his cocaine arrest in 2006.