"Tawny Kitaen dead at age 59" seemed like a fake story

Originally published at: "Tawny Kitaen dead at age 59" seemed like a fake story | Boing Boing


I’m surprised too. Her career died decades earlier.

I’m not saying it was coke…

But it was probably coke.


Many people who were coked out in the 80’s and 90’s got clean, only to have resulting adverse health complications later on in life, like heart failure.


She’s dead. How about not making light?


Thought about it, couldn’t leave well enough alone. Took the bait.


I don’t know why anyone would assume “59 year old woman dies” must be fake news, or that the death must be the result of current or former drug use. And while it’s a bit of an early death, no doubt, it’s not that uncommon for folks in their late 50s to pass away. Her death is noteworthy because she was a bit of a cultural touchstone, especially for those of us in my generation, but this article and some of these comments are super icky and tacky.


Such is BB, sometimes.


My brother, Steve Jobs and Patrick Swayze all died before reaching 60-pancreatic cancer.


I thought the same thing. 59 is just way too young. It’s been a hell of a year-and-then-some.

I remember her from “The Perils of Gwendoline in the Land of the Yik-Yak”. It is exactly as cheesy as the title makes it sound.


i knew of her from Whitesnake, of course, but it wasn’t until this weekend that i learned she was also on the cover that Ratt album. she was definitely an icon of the time. no cause of death seems to indicate a not-good sign, though. i hope her family has peace.


She had such a cool name, too. Tawny Kitaen. Looks like it was “Julie E. Kitaen” but Tawny works so well.

She was a person, with family and friends who loved her, not the butt of a joke. Nor is she “bait”… she was real and deserves a bit more respect in her death than that.


Now, my Mom is a very observant Catholic, but probably even for that, she scores pretty high on her opinions about the importance of chastity. Sex in a marriage is wonderful but sex before marriage was an abomination. And physical affection short of sex ahead of marriage is pretty suspect, too.

So it’s a wonder that MTV made its way into our house, but it did. To avoid a lecture, this required having your hand quick on the channel slider. Mom never objected to the music. For her Catholicism, I never got any of that Satanic panic nonsense. But the “raunchy” videos were something else.

So if Mom was lurking around the house, unless it was Phil Collins or something general G-rated, and you didn’t want to get a lecture about the appropriateness of Paulina Porizkova’s swim suit, you’d be ready to swap channels.

One time I was doing other stuff but had MTV on and up comes Whitesnake’s “Here I Go Again” – the later version so I guess this must have been when I was about 17 or so – and Mom comes into the TV room and sees Ms. Kitaen writhing on the hood of Dave Coverdale’s car.

And as Mom starts into her canned lecture, I say “Mom, that’s his wife.”

She sits there and steams. Looking back and forth between me and the TV.

“You should be so lucky.”

And walks out without another word.


I’m part of an online film group that screened “The Perils of Gwendoline in the Land of the Yik-Yak” on Saturday night in her honor. None of her obits mention this film, which is kind of crazy. It is technically Euro-trash softcore smut, but was made with a medium/big budget and has some incredible set and character design that is straight out of Heavy Metal. Besides some slow parts in the middle it’s really fun to watch with a group of friends; Rocky Horror and Hedwig fans should see Gwendoline, it’s a neat little cult movie.


I thought of Gwendoline immediately upon reading of Kitaen’s death (actually, I’d never known her connections to MTV). It was a bad choice of date movie for a couple of 14-year-olds, but it is definitely weird that it was left out of her obituaries. Looking at it again now nigh 40 years later, the French bidi influence is unmistakable. RIP.


… not disappointed.

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That’s a good story.


Well, that was weird.
I had never heard of Ms. Kitaen, so I wound up riffling around the Internet reading about her, and I discovered that Kitaen was actually her real name, and she acted in a movie called" *The Perils of Gwendoline in the Land of the Yik-Yak" which sounds stupid, but maybe in a good way.

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Having grown up in this era, she was someone who I would have recognized visually, but couldn’t name. I also knew the name, but didn’t know who to connect it to.

She occupied the weird area at the edges of fame.

I’m sure like Bo Derek before her, there were tons of teen boys who had a poster of her in their garage.


Bo Derek is only famous because she took her blouse off in a movie which was otherwise completely unremarkable.
Because I was about 13 at the time I considered it the pinnacle of western culture.