Autopsy lists heart disease, other contributing factors as cause of Tawny Kitaen’s death

Fans were shocked earlier this year to learn that popular 1980s actress Tawny Kitaen died unexpectedly at the age of 59.

Months later, an autopsy report reveals that she died as a result of heart disease with contributing factors including opioid use also noted.

New details emerge

According to the Daily Caller, Kitaen died in May at her home in Southern California.

The news of her autopsy was initially published by TMZ, as were the earliest reports of her death. That outlet reportedly learned from the Orange County Sheriff’s Office that the official cause of death had been attributed to dilated cardiomyopathy, which is the most common form of heart disease.

Among the potential contributing factors cited by medical examiners were “clogged arteries, antidepressants, sedatives, Tylenol, nerve pain medication, and opioids.”

Earlier reports indicated that there were no signs of alcohol or drugs found nor was there any evidence of foul play or suicide.

Her brother said at the time that her father’s recent death was too great a loss for her to bear.

“Her legacy will live on”

As Page Six chronicled, Kitaen’s acting career began in the 1970s with the game show To Tell the Truth and she soon transitioned to the big screen with roles in a number of movies throughout the following decade. Perhaps her most notable performance came opposite Tom Hanks in the 1984 hit Bachelor Party.

Many fans also knew her from appearances in music videos including Whitesnake’s Here I Go Again and Is This Love.

She went on to marry that band’s frontman David Coverdale in 1988, but they divorced two years later. She subsequently married pro baseball player Chuck Finley and the couple had two daughters, but they divorced in 2002 amid allegations of domestic violence.

She was open about her struggles with substance abuse and had a few run-ins with police over the years related to charges of drunk driving and drug possession.

Kitaen’s daughters reacted to the tragic news with a social media post shortly after her death, writing: “We are heartbroken and saddened to announce the death of our mom. 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.”

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