I cannot be alone on this one. When I saw Saturday morning that actress Tawny Kitaen had reportedly passed away, my first thought was, 'that sounds like a hoax'. No known cause of death was given. I was definitely burned by comedian Sinbad "dying" in 2007. Sinbad is alive today, though he suffered a stroke last November. As far as Kitaen goes, maybe I didn't want to believe it. Either way, I waited for more reliable news sources to confirm what TMZ and The Daily Mail were blurting out as fast as they could.
Kitaen had her share of personal troubles through the years, especially with her ex-husband MLB pitcher Chuck Finley. Videos I'd seen of her being herself at home did not really endear her to me, but her contributions to my affinity for hair bands and comedies are absolutely stellar. She's on the cover of Ratt's Out of the Cellar album and appeared in their "Back For More" music video, as she was dating Ratt guitarist Robbin Crosby at the time. She went on to marry David Coverdale of Whitesnake and writhed on the hoods of Rolls Royces in their "Here I Go Again" video. She was perfect as Tom Hanks' intended in the hilarious Bachelor Party, though I doubt this movie has aged well. All of these are 80's cheesiness that I fully own and adore just the same, but Kitaen's guest role in the "Penis vs. Brain chess match" episode of "Seinfeld" was absolutely brilliant (actually entitled "The Nose Job").
Tawny Kitaen is just the perfect fringe personality from a past era, known only to those of that era, to be believable enough if she passed away unexpectedly. It seemed like perfect bait for us suckers. So much so that many people I texted with and spoke to were equally suspicious that it was a fake. Unfortunately, as Saturday went along more confirmation of her death came in and I was bummed. I give prayers to her family because the truth is as an icon of my youth I adored her and I am extremely sad to see her go.