Tawny Kitaen's Cause of Death Revealed 5 Months After She Died
Actress Tawny Kitaen's death was the result of dilated cardiomyopathy, a common heart disease. The Orange County Coroner's Office confirmed Kitaen's cause of death on Wednesday, five months after the Bachelor Party star died at the age of 59, also ruling her manner of death as natural. A spokesperson for the medical examiner added in a statement to PEOPLE that other contributing factors were listed, including mild coronary atherosclerosis, mirtazapine, mirtazapine metabolite, alprazolam, acetaminophen, pregabalin, and hydrocodone.
Kitaen died at her home in Newport Beach, California on May 7. At the time of her passing, little information was released, though her brother, Jordan Kitaen, told TMZ that substance abuse did not appear to be a factor in her passing. Although Kitaen's history of substance abuse was well-chronicled in the media, and the actress had previously been arrested for drug possession and DUI, Jordan told the outlet that police told Kitaen's family that nothing found at the scene of her death suggested that drugs, pills or alcohol were a factor. Police also told the family there were no signs that Kitaen took her own life.
"We are heartbroken and saddened to announce the death of our mom," Kitaen's daughters, Wynter and Raine, confirmed her passing at the time. "We just want to say thank you for all of you, her fans and her friends, for always showing her such support and love. You gave her life everyday. We miss her and love her and we know her legacy will live on forever."
Two weeks after her passing, Kitaen's family and close friends gathered at her ex-husband Chuck Finley's home for a celebration of life memorial. TMZ reported that a program for the service remembered Kitaen as a "loving mother, daughter, sister, friend, artist ... and now our angel."
Kitaen was best known for starring in several heavy metal music videos during the 1980s, including Ratt's "Back for More" and the Whitesnake videos "Still Of the Night" and "Here I Go Again." She also appeared in several films during that period, including Bachelor Party with Tom Hanks. In the 2000s, she appeared in reality shows, including Celebrity Rehab with Dr. Drew, in which she discussed her substance abuse. She was married to Whitesnake's David Coverdale from 1989 to 1991 and Finley, a retired MLB player, from 1997 to 2002. Her last film was the 2014 thriller After Midnight. Just prior to her death, the actress, along with Manic-TV, launched Tawny's Tales, a series of YouTube videos featuring Kitaen discussing her work with heavy metal bands in the 1980s.