Tawny Kitaen: Age, Career, Drug Use, Cause Of Death

Blonde Actresses
Tawny Kitaen

Actress Tawny Kitaen had her own share of celebrity struggles and all. And there were problems in her marriages. She was an actress whose story is told with a touch of heaviness. Here is everything you need to know about Tawny Kitaen from birth to death.

Tawny Kitaen: Birthplace and early life

Tawny Kitaen was born in Julie Kitaen San Diego, California on August 5, 1961, to Terry Kitaen who worked with the Neon Sign Company. Her mother Linda Kitaen (née Taylor) was a former beauty pageant participant and a housewife. There is no information about her siblings.

Tawny attended Mission Bay High School in San Diego but dropped out along the line because she was dyslexic. She immediately gave herself the name Tawny when she turned 12 years of age and was on the streets making a living through modeling and minor roles on TV. Gradually, she became a powerful sex symbol turning into the lady many men wanted but couldn’t have.

A couple of appearances in music videos as a vixen, Tawny arrived at fame.

Tawny Kitaen: Career

She made her film debut in the French action comedy film “The Perils of Gwendoline in the Land of the Yik-Yak” as Gwendoline a naïve girl who was captured by a trio of thieves at a Chinese port and sold off to a local brothel owner to make men happy. The film was a commercial success, perhaps not as successful as her vixen credits in the music videos of the Whitesnake rock band. It was a good business for her and the rock band.

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In 1984, she appeared in the comedy film “Bachelor Party” as Debbie Thompson, the bride to be of Tom Hanks a catholic school bus driver. Tawny appeared in other minor roles in films. In the television series, she made her acting mark in the television panel game show “To Tell The Truth”. Later, she appeared in the drama film “Malibu”. Tawny held several roles in television series in the late ‘80s and ‘90s.

Her acting career started going on a decline in the late 2000s as she battled with failed marriages and addiction to a substance. In order to revive her career, she landed an opportunity to be part of the cast in the reality television series “The Surreal Life” where celebrities live under one roof for two weeks.

Tawny appeared on the show alongside fellow actress Florence Henderson, Corey Clark, and Alexis Arquette. Unfortunately, it was during her time in the show that she was busted for the possession of 15 grams of Cocaine.

In 2011, she appeared on CBS procedural forensic crime drama series “CSI: Crime Scene Investigation” as Lydia Kole. Her last major acting credit was in 2017 in the television series “Botched” on E!

Marriages and struggles with drugs

Tawny Kitaen dated and married Whitesnake singer David Coverdale in 1989. The marriage only lasted for two years and the couples divorced. Before getting married to David, she also dated Raft guitarist Robbin Crosby after she dropped out of high school.

Kitaen married baseball player Chuck Finley in 1997 and the marriage was blessed with two daughters Raine Finley and Wynter Merin Finley before her husband Chuck filed for a divorce citing domestic violence. It was reported that Kitaen had repeatedly kicked Tawny in the face with her high-heeled shoes a couple of times in 2002.

Tawny was subjected to a six months rehabilitation program after she was arrested for cocaine possession in her home in Orange County in 2006. She has also been found guilty of driving under the influence in Newport Beach California. She pleaded no contest to misdemeanor DUI and was sentenced to jail for a couple of days. Tawny was also ordered to attend a first-offender alcohol program which required her to perform 64 hours of community service in 2009.

Tawny Kitaen: Net worth

Tawny made her acting debut back in the ‘80s. Her career has been hugely successful notwithstanding a few dark spots like drugs and alcohol abuse. These vice most times eat deep into purses and lifetime savings. Although she has never filed for bankruptcy in her life, her net worth is not looking too bright.

Tawny Kitaen had a net worth of 500 thousand dollars in 2019. In 2009, she sued her former boyfriend, alleging that he scammed her $3 million of her assets. The duo finally reached a settlement in 2009.

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In 2010, she sold two of her houses for less than what she paid for them. Tawny sold her Irvine penthouse apartment with 2-story-high windows, Viking appliances, Kohler fixtures, marble counters, and a private balcony, within a condo complex with a concierge, state-of-the-art fitness center that has a junior Olympic size pool in a distress sale. Where did all that money go? We have no idea.


Kitaen died on the 7th of May, 2021, at her Newport Beach, California. She was 59 years old. Her cause of death was given by the Orange County Sheriff’s Department in California confirmed to several media outlets that the star’s cause of death was dilated cardiomyopathy, a common type of heart disease.

USA Today added that other significant factors included mild coronary atherosclerosis and the medications mirtazapine, mirtazapine metabolite, alprazolam, acetaminophen, pregabalin, and hydrocodone.

“We are heartbroken and saddened to announce the death of our mom,” children Wynter and Raine Finley wrote on Instagram back in May. “We just want to say thank you to all of you. Her fans and her friends, for always showing her such support and love. You gave her life every day. We miss her and love her and we know her legacy will live on forever.”

Image Source: People



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