Child star and Bachelor Party actor Tawny Kitaen dies aged 59 in California 


Former child star and Bachelor Party actor Tawny Kitaen has died aged 59 in California. 

Kitaen, who has battled substance abuse in the past and spent her later years in reality shows including Celebrity Rehab, died in her home in Newport Beach Friday morning.  

The Orange County coroner’s office, which identified her as Tawny Finley, has not yet revealed a cause of death.

Kitaen is best known for her appearances in rock music videos and for her role in the 1984 hit movie Bachelor Party where she starred alongside Tom Hanks.  

Aside from her work, Kitaen’s personal life often hit headlines with rumors of an affair with OJ Simpson, a history of cocaine addiction, allegations of domestic abuse and brushes with the law. 

Child star and Bachelor Party actor Tawny Kitaen has died aged 59 in California (pictured in October 2017 at The Hollywood Show held at Westin LAX Hotel)

Child star and Bachelor Party actor Tawny Kitaen has died aged 59 in California (pictured in October 2017 at The Hollywood Show held at Westin LAX Hotel)

Tawny Kitaen in the 1984 hit movie Bachelor Party where she starred alongside Tom Hanks

Tawny Kitaen in the 1984 hit movie Bachelor Party where she starred alongside Tom Hanks

In recent years she has had stints on several reality shows including The Ex-Wives Club (pictured with Angie Everhart, Marla Maples and Shar Jackson on the show)

In recent years she has had stints on several reality shows including The Ex-Wives Club (pictured with Angie Everhart, Marla Maples and Shar Jackson on the show)

Pictured in 1986. Kitaen, who has battled substance abuse in the past and spent her later years in reality shows including Celebrity Rehab, died in her home in Newport Beach Friday morning

Pictured in 1986. Kitaen, who has battled substance abuse in the past and spent her later years in reality shows including Celebrity Rehab, died in her home in Newport Beach Friday morning

Kitaen posted on social media just one day before her death, thanking a fan for a drawing. 

‘Thank you my darling, thank you so much for your picture you drew of me,’ she tweeted Thursday, alongside the sketch.   

Born real name Julie E. Kitaen in San Diego, California, in 1961, she caught the Hollywood bug at a young age when she managed to bag a backstage pass at a Peter Frampton concert in San Diego aged 14.

Inspired by the celeb lifestyle, she dropped out of high school and moved to LA.

Her road to fame began in 1976 when she starred in the game show To Tell the Truth as a teen. 

She then bagged a role in the 1983 TV show Malibu playing Mahoney’s girlfriend. 

From there she went on to star in several films including Bachelor Party, After Midnight, The Perils of Gwendoline in the Land of the Yik Yak, Witchboard, White Hot and Dead Tides.

She also starred in an episode of Seinfeld. 

She also landed several gigs in rock music videos including for British rock band Whitesnake and American heavy metal band RATT. 

Her personal life was notoriously rocky. 

She dated RATT guitarist Robbin Crosby and appeared in its Back for More music video and on the cover of the band’s albums including its self-titled 1983 debut and 1984 album Out of the Cellar.

She then starred in Whitesnake’s Here I Go Again, Still of the Night, Is This Love and The Deeper the Love.

During filming for Whitesnake’s videos she met and started dating the band’s lead singer David Coverdale.

Kitaen posted on social media just one day before her death, thanking a fan for a drawing

Kitaen posted on social media just one day before her death, thanking a fan for a drawing

Kitaen with Dave Coverdale of Whitesnake at the Fifth Annual MTV Video Music Awards in 1988. The couple married in 1989 and split up two years later

Kitaen with Dave Coverdale of Whitesnake at the Fifth Annual MTV Video Music Awards in 1988. The couple married in 1989 and split up two years later 

Kitaen with second husband baseball star Chuck Finley and one of their daughters Winter in 1992. Finley accused Kitaen of domestic abuse

Kitaen with second husband baseball star Chuck Finley and one of their daughters Winter in 1992. Finley accused Kitaen of domestic abuse 

Kitaen pictured in  2018. Kitaen was born in San Diego, California, and caught the Hollywood bug at a young age

 Kitaen pictured in  2018. Kitaen was born in San Diego, California, and caught the Hollywood bug at a young age

The couple wed in 1989 but the marriage was short-lived, with them parting ways in 1991.   

Kitaen went on to allegedly have an affair with OJ Simpson when he was married to Nicole Brown Simpson. 

Nicole was brutally murdered in 1994 alongside Ron Goldman. Sports star OJ was charged with the two slayings in a criminal trial that became known as the ‘Trial of the century.’ 

Simpson walked free after the 11-month trial which was streamed live on TV and closely followed by the nation.   

He was controversially acquitted but was later found responsible for the wrongful deaths of the two victims in a civil trial. 

The claims of an affair surfaced in the 1994 book Nicole Brown Simpson: The Private Diary of a Life Interrupted by Faye Resnick.  

Nicole reportedly learned of the affair and confronted OJ who “savagely beat” her, the book says. 

OJ admitted to the one-year affair during cross examination at his murder trial and said he had told Nicole about it when they split up. 

In an explosive documentary in 2016, one of Nicole’s closest friends claimed OJ told Nicole about his affair with Kitaen and told her he had strayed because she got fat after giving birth to his children. 

‘He was pretty darn brazen. He blamed his affair with Tawny Kitaen on the fact that Nicole got fat when she was pregnant and he didn’t want to have sex with her,’ Nicole’s friend said.    

Tawny Kitaen and Michael Desbanes 1995 in New York City. She had her first touch of fame as a teen before starring in movies and music videos

Tawny Kitaen and Michael Desbanes 1995 in New York City. She had her first touch of fame as a teen before starring in movies and music videos 

Kitaen in 1994. She married and divorced twice - Whitesnake singer David Coverdale and baseball star Chuck Finley - and had two children

Kitaen in 1994. She married and divorced twice – Whitesnake singer David Coverdale and baseball star Chuck Finley – and had two children

Tawny Kitaen with Robby Benson in Crack In The Mirror. She died Friday in California

Tawny Kitaen with Robby Benson in Crack In The Mirror. She died Friday in California 

Kitaen then met and married baseball star Chuck Finley in 1997 and they had two children together – Wynter Merin Finley, 28, and Raine Finley, 22.

The couple split up in 2002 when he accused her of physically abusing him and kicking him in the face with her high heels.

Kitaen was arrested and charged with domestic violence but the charges were later dismissed. 

Finley filed for divorce just three days later. 

More recently, she has had various stints on reality TV shows including Botched, The Surreal Life, Celebrity Rehab and The Ex-Wives Club.

Kitaen in a mugshot in 2002 after she was accused of hitting then-husband Chuck Finley

Kitaen in a mugshot in 2002 after she was accused of hitting then-husband Chuck Finley

Kitaen has spoken in the past about her troubles with substance abuse, particularly cocaine, opening up to Dr Drew on Celebrity Rehab. 

She has also had some brushes with the law including being charged for cocaine possession in 2006 and DUI in 2009. 

The drugs charge led to her entering rehab for six months in exchange for the charges being dropped.  

She was sentenced to two days in jail and 64 hours of community service for the 2009 DUI.  

Tributes started pouring in from fans Saturday as news of Kitaen’s death broke.

‘RIP Tawn,’ wrote one person.

‘Tawny… I love you. I will miss our talks about everything from painting, decorating, music and our daughters… RIP sweetheart…,’ wrote another. 

Another tweeted: ‘Tawny, you were always nice to me when we interacted on Twitter. I send my condolences to your family.’ 

Tributes started pouring in from fans Saturday as news of Kitaen's death broke

 Tributes started pouring in from fans Saturday as news of Kitaen’s death broke



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