Tawny Kitaen, actress, model, rock video goddess, and one-time wife of Angels and Indians pitcher Chuck Finley, died yesterday at the age of 59, it was announced.
Texas Rangers fans may best know her from her rather well publicized at the time marriage to Finley, the lefty from Louisiana who seemed to be uniquely vexed by pitched in the Ballpark in Arlington — he had a career 7.16 ERA in the Ballpark, and allowed a 1035 OPS to Rangers hitters there. Finley and Kitaen had a well publicized split up, as well, as Finley filed for divorce a few days after Kitaen allegedly assaulted him by repeatedly kicking him with her high heeled shoes as they drove home after dinner, resulting in her arrest. Finley, incidentally, was scratched from his start for the Cleveland Indians as a result, and was replaced by spot starter and future Ranger Ryan Drese.
Kitaen’s acting career included co-starring with Tom Hanks in Bachelor Party and appearing in an episode of Seinfeld as one of Jerry’s girlfriends, and she famously was featured in several Whitesnake videos while she was in a relationship with frontman David Coverdale. She also was a bit player in the O.J. Simpson civil wrongful death trial, as Simpson acknowledged having a year-long affair with her during his marriage to Nicole Brown Simpson. Kitaen has in recent years been in the news for arrests for DUI and possession of cocaine, as well as appearing in the Surreal Life and Celebrity Rehab.
A lot of words for this, I know. I was smitten with Tawny Kitaen as a teen, and this is one of these things that makes me feel very old.