Actor Tawny Kitaen, the '80s icon best known for her role in Bachelor Party, passed away at the age of 59 on May 7, 2021.
Her daughters, Wynter and Raine, stated, "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 support and love. You gave her life every day. We miss her and love her and we know her legacy will live on forever."
As fans and loves ones continue to share touching tributes on social media, there is one question that continues to resurface: What was Tawny Kitaen's cause of death? Read on to get your answer.
What was Tawny Kitaen's cause of death?
The Orange County Coroner's Office told TMZ that Tawny died due to "dilated cardiomyopathy," the most common type of heart disease. The site also shared that there were other contributing factors at play including clogged arteries, antidepressants, sedatives, Tylenol, nerve pain medication, and opioids.
When TMZ originally reported Tawny's death on May 8, 2021, the site shared that the star struggled with substance abuse in the recent past. In 2006, Tawny was charged with possessing 15 grams of cocaine and has been very open about her addiction. A year later, she was arrested for a DUI.
It's unclear if Tawny had been sober these last few years.
Fans and celebrities alike took to Twitter following her death to express their condolences for Tawny's family and to pay tribute to the star.
Actor Tom Arnold shared a funny story about Tawny and Chris Farley, writing, "Chris Farley was in love with Tawny Kitaen so he called & asked her out to dinner. Chris got a limo for his big date & when beautiful Tawny opened her door Chris handed her a bouquet of roses. She was so impressed she invited Chris inside to meet Chuck Finley … her husband."
"So sad to hear of #TawnyKitaen's passing. She was always very sweet to me. This is a photo of us meeting many years ago when she and David came to my show. My love and sympathies to her family and friends," Richard Marx tweeted.
Tawny was probably most famous for her legendary role in Whitesnake's music video for "Here I Go Again." She also appeared in RATT's music video for "Back for More" and appeared on the cover of two of their albums. She starred in several movies, such as Bachelor Party (along with Tom Hanks), Perils of Gwendoline, and After Midnight. She had a few smaller roles — such as Jerry's girlfriend in an episode of Seinfeld — and she co-hosted America's Funniest People from 1992 to 1994.
Tawny married the lead singer of Whitesnake, David Coverdale, in 1989. The couple divorced in 1991. She was also married to baseball player Chuck Finley from 1997 to 2002, and the couple had a tumultuous relationship. She was charged with domestic violence after Chuck claimed she kicked him in the face while wearing heels. He later dropped the charges. Tawny was also known for having an affair with O.J. Simpson while he was still married to Nicole Brown Simpson.
While it's been a while since Tawny's last big project, she did post to social media quite often. Right before her death, she shared a photo of herself and her brother. "Me and my handsome brother," she wrote in the caption.
A week prior to her death, she uploaded a TikTok of herself. "Who knows?" she titled the video.
On April 29, Tawny posted a selfie with the caption, "She’s back! Not feeling good, is like totally not feeling good! I’ve missed you guys. so much. I swear you keep me sane."
RIP to a woman who lived her life to the fullest.