Tawny Kitaen

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Tawny Kitaen
Born Julie E. Kitaen[1]
(1961-08-05) August 5, 1961 (age 52)
San Diego, California, USA
Spouse(s) David Coverdale (1989–1991)
Chuck Finley (1997–2002)
Children 2

Julie E. "Tawny" Kitaen (/kɨˈt.ən/; born August 5, 1961)[2] is an American actress and media personality.[3] Kitaen became famous in the 1980s for appearing in several hard rock videos for the band Whitesnake, including the hit "Here I Go Again", and "Is This Love". Kitaen was married to Whitesnake lead singer David Coverdale from 1989 to 1991 and to baseball player Chuck Finley from 1997 to 2002. She had recurring parts on multiple television series such as Hercules: The Legendary Journeys and co-hosted America's Funniest People from 1992–1994. She was arrested for drug possession in 2006,[4] has been in and out of rehab programs, was part of The Surreal Life cast in 2006, and was one of the patients in Season 2 of Celebrity Rehab with Dr. Drew.

Personal life[edit]

Kitaen was born in San Diego, California, in 1961, the daughter of Linda (née Taylor), a housewife and a former beauty pageant participant, and Terry Kitaen, an employee of a neon sign company. She was raised in her father's Jewish religion.[5] Julie began using the name "Tawny" at the age of 12, on her own initiative.[6]

Kitaen married David Coverdale in 1989, but the two divorced in 1991. After her marriage to Coverdale ended, she married baseball pitcher Chuck Finley in 1997. They had two daughters, Wynter Finley in 1993 and Raine Finley in 1998. Kitaen appeared in a feature of professional athletes and their wives in the 1999 Sports Illustrated Swimsuit Issue. Kitaen and Finley divorced in 2002 after five years of marriage.

Career[edit]

Kitaen began her acting career in 1983 with a minor role in the television movie, Malibu. In 1984, she starred as the title character of the erotic-adventure movie The Perils of Gwendoline in the Land of the Yik-Yak (a.k.a. Gwendoline). She also co-starred in the movie Bachelor Party as the bride-to-be of a young Tom Hanks and was the star of the 1986 horror movie Witchboard.[7]

She also starred in the not so well known film "Crystal Heart" in 1986.

Kitaen became associated with the glam metal scene because of her high school sweetheart, Ratt guitarist and founder Robbin Crosby. Her legs appeared on the cover of Ratt's self-titled EP wearing black fishnet stockings and red pumps, pictured with white mice climbing up her legs. Then, in torn clothes, she appeared on the cover of Ratt's Out of the Cellar. She also can be seen at the beginning of the Ratt video "Back for More" as the girl in the 1950s-style skirt at the jukebox.

In 1987, her boyfriend was David Coverdale, the lead singer of Whitesnake, and she appeared in several of the band's music videos, the most famous of which was for the song "Here I Go Again", in which she did the splits and rolled around on the hood of two Jaguars while wearing a white negligee. She also appeared in the videos for "Is This Love" and "Still of the Night". In 1989, she appeared in the video for "The Deeper the Love" and "Fool For Your Loving".

After her music-video appearances, Kitaen took on a number of television roles. She was co-host of America's Funniest People with Dave Coulier from 1992-4, and was a regular cast member on The New WKRP in Cincinnati from 1991-3. She guest-starred in the episode The Nose Job of the sitcom Seinfeld in 1991 and in Season 9 Episode 1 of Married... with Children called 'Shoeway to Heaven' in 1994. She had a recurring role as Hercules' wife Deianira in three of the Hercules: The Legendary Journeys television movies in 1994, and then in the regular television series. From 1992-6, she provided the voice of "Annabelle" in the animated television show Eek! The Cat.

Kitaen was one of the cast of the sixth edition of the VH1 reality television show, The Surreal Life, which began airing in March 2006. In addition, in late 2007, she appeared on Rock of Love Season 1[citation needed]. Kitaen also appeared in the second season of the VH1 reality TV show Celebrity Rehab with Dr. Drew, which began in October 2008.[8][9][10] Dr. Drew Pinsky voiced concern for her use of triazolam after she admitted to using more than 0.5 mg per use. Pinsky guaranteed her that taking the drug (as with any benzodiazepine) in such high doses will eventually cause her to have a seizure. For fear of her life, Pinsky cut the dosage in half, despite Kitaen's protests.

Legal troubles[edit]

In 2002, Kitaen was charged with domestic violence for an incident involving her then-husband, professional baseball player Chuck Finley.[11] Three days later, Finley filed for divorce.[11] After a plea bargain, Kitaen agreed to "enter a spousal battery counseling program and avoid contact with Finley."[11] The couple were married for five years and have two daughters, Wynter and Raine.[12]

In November 2006, prosecutors charged Kitaen with possessing 15 grams of cocaine in her San Juan Capistrano home in Orange County. The authorities said her two children were home at the time and Kitaen had given deputies permission for the search.[13] In December 2006, she entered a six-month rehabilitation program in exchange for the dismissal of a felony drug possession charge.[4][14][15]

On September 26, 2009, Kitaen was arrested for driving under the influence in Newport Beach, California.[16]

Filmography[edit]

Film[edit]

Year Title Role Notes
1984 The Perils of Gwendoline in the Land of the Yik-Yak Gwendoline
1984 Bachelor Party Debbie Thompson
1986 Witchboard Linda Brewster
1986 Crystal Heart Alley Daniels
1986 Instant Justice Virginia
1987 Happy Hour Misty Roberts
1989 White Hot Vanessa
1993 Three of Hearts Woman in Bar
1996 Playback Sara Burgess
1997 Dead Tides Nola
2002 Happy Hour Short film
2009 Too Cool
2011 Here We Go Again Short film

Television[edit]

Year Title Role Notes
1983 Malibu Mahoney's Girlfriend TV film
1985 California Girls Karen Malone TV film
1986-1987 Capitol Meredith Ross TV series
1987 Glory Years Melinda Murphy TV film
1989 Santa Barbara Lisa DiNapoli Episode: "1.1211"
1989 Booker Skylar Samperton Episode: "Someone Stole Lucille"
1991 They Came From Outer Space Monica Bates Episode: "Sex, Lies & UFOs: Part 2"
1991 Shades of LA Linda Makowski Episodes: "Line of Fire: Parts 1 & 2"
1991 Veronica Clare Episodes: "The Boxing Story", "Slow Violence"
1991 Seinfeld Isabel Episode: "The Nose Job"
1991-1993 New WKRP in Cincinnati, TheThe New WKRP in Cincinnati Mona Loveland Main role (18 episodes)
1992-1994 America's Funniest People Cohost (with Dave Coulier) Succeeded Arleen Sorkin
1992-1996 Eek! The Cat Annabelle (voice) Main role (39 episodes)
1994 Married... with Children Dominique Episode: "Shoeway to Heaven"
1994 Hercules and the Circle of Fire Deianeira TV film
1994 Hercules in the Underworld Deianeira TV film
1994 Hercules in the Maze of the Minotaur Deianeira TV film
1995 Burke's Law Rhonda Dooley Episode: "Who Killed Cock-a-Doodle Dooley?"
1995 Hercules: The Legendary Journeys Deianeira Episodes: "The Wrong Path", "The Other Side"
1997 Hercules: The Legendary Journeys Deianeira Episode: "When a Man Loves a Woman"
2011 CSI: Crime Scene Investigation Lydia Kole Episode: "Father of the Bride"
2012 Life@Large TV miniseries

References[edit]

  1. ^ According to the State of California. California Birth Index, 1905-1995. Center for Health Statistics, California Department of Health Services, Sacramento, California. Searchable at http://www.familytreelegends.com/records/39461
  2. ^ Time Waster. "Tawny Kitaen: Major League Hitter". The Smoking Gun. Retrieved 2011-01-29. 
  3. ^ "Tawny Kitaen". The New York Times. 
  4. ^ a b "Tawny Kitaen enters drug rehab for cocaine - Celebrities - MSNBC.com". 
  5. ^ Google Books
  6. ^ "Celebrity Rehab 2 with Dr. Drew | Show Cast, Episodes, Guides, Trailers, Web Exclusives, Previews". VH1.com. Retrieved 2011-01-29. 
  7. ^ CARYN JAMES (March 15, 1987). "LOVE TRIANGLE IN 'WITCHBOARD'". The New York Times. 
  8. ^ ""VH1 Heads Back to Rehab With Dr. Drew Pinsky for a Second Season of 'Celebrity Rehab With Dr. Drew' "; June 10, 2008". 
  9. ^ TV Guide; June 23, 2008; Page 8
  10. ^ ""Celebs Check Into Rehab 2 With Dr. Drew"; vh1.com; June 10, 2008.". 
  11. ^ a b c "Kitaen Files $12-Mil Lawsuit Against Ex". People Magazine. September 24, 2002. 
  12. ^ "Wife accepts Chuck Finley plea bargain". cbcsports. 2002-09-18. 
  13. ^ Faber, Judy (November 22, 2006). "Tawny Kitaen Faces Felony Drug Charges". CBS News Online. Retrieved 2008-12-31. 
  14. ^ Vyas, Sunil; 'Bachelor Party' actress Tawny Kitaen in cocaine possession row earthtimes.org; November 23, 2006
  15. ^ Reuters; Tawny Kitaen enters drug rehab for cocaine msnbc; December 18, 2006
  16. ^ "Actress Tawny Kitaen arrested in Calif. for DUI". Associated Press. 2009-09-26. 

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