Five months after 59-year-old actress Tawny Kitaen passed, the official cause of death has been revealed. According to the Orange County Coroner’s Office, Tawny died of heart disease. And opioids were one of a few “contributing factors.”
Kitaen’s primary cause of death is listed as dilated cardiomyopathy, which is the most common form of heart disease. The coroner also determined that clogged arteries, antidepressants, sedatives, Tylenol, nerve pain medication, and opioids also contributed.
The Bachelor Party actress died at her home in Newport Beach, CA, on May 7th, 2021. Authorities found nothing at the scene that suggested opioids or other drugs had caused her death. And they also ruled out suicide.
Tawny’s brother, Jordan Kitaen, told TMZ that their father died less than a month before his sister. He had been battling skin cancer. Jordan said that Tawny Kitaen had an “uncanny connection” with her father. And she died only a few days before their dad’s funeral.
Jordan was certain that his sister died of a broken heart.
Tawny Kitaen’s Daughters Post Emotional Tribute Announcing Her Death
Tawny Kitaen’s daughters, Wynter and Raine, broke the news of their mother’s passing the day she was found. Using Kitaen’s official Instagram page, the girls wrote an emotional tribute to their mother and told the world that Tawny’s “legacy will live on forever.”
“We are heartbroken and saddened to announce the death of our mom,” they wrote in a simple letter. “We just want to say thank you for all of you, her fans and her friends, for always showing her such support and love.”
Wynter and Raine continued by saying that they “miss her and love her.” And they “know that her legacy will live on forever.”
Wynter Merin Finley and Raine Finley are the actress and music video starlet’s only children. She shared them with her ex-husband, retired MLB pitcher Chuck Finley. The late actress was married to Finley for 15 years before a domestic violence accusation ended in divorce.
Julie Ellen Kitaen, who went by the stage name “Tawny,” was most known for her work alongside Tom Hanks in The Bachelor. And she was equally as popular for her role in the cult classic horror film Witchboard.
But she was also famous for her work in glam-rock videos. In the 1980s, she became the face of Whitesnake. And the actress appeared in several of the band’s music videos, including Here I Go Again and Is This Love.
After working with Whitesnake, Tawny went on to marry the lead singer, David Coverdale, in 1998. However, the romance was short-lived. The two separated and ultimately divorced only two years later.