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Tawny Kitaen (1961–2021), actress known for music videos and “Bachelor Party”

by Linnea Crowther

Tawny Kitaen was an actress best known for starring in Whitesnake’s music videos in the late 1980s, as well as in the movie “Bachelor Party.”

Acting career

Kitaen was a model before her acting career launched, appearing on the covers of two Ratt albums in the early ‘80s. She landed a starring role as the fiancée of Tom Hanks’ character in “Bachelor Party” (1984) and went on to star in the 1986 horror movie “Witchboard.” While dating Whitesnake frontman David Coverdale, Kitaen began appearing in the band’s music videos at the height of MTV’s popularity, beginning with “Still of the Night” in 1987. She went on to star in the videos for the band’s later hit singles the same year, “Is This Love” and “Here I Go Again,” as well as “The Deeper the Love” and “Fool for Your Loving” in 1989. Later in her career, Kitaen had a notable guest role on “Seinfeld” and starred in “The New WKRP in Cincinnati.” She co-hosted “America’s Funniest People” and appeared on “The Surreal Life” and “Celebrity Rehab with Dr.Drew.”

Kitaen on shooting the “Here I Go Again” video

“Paula Abdul was there with Marty Callner, the director, who had hired her to give me some routines and choreography. I told her I was a ballerina and I was a gymnast, so she asked me to show her what I had. So I did a few things and she turned around to Marty and said, ‘She’s got this and doesn’t need me,’ and she left. That was the greatest compliment. So I got on the cars and Marty would say, ‘Action’ and I’d do whatever I felt like doing.” —from an interview for Rock n Roll Junkie


Tributes to Tawny Kitaen

Full obituary: Los Angeles Times

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