NEWPORT BEACH — Sitting on an oversized plush chair in baseball legend Chuck Finley's Newport Beach home, actress Tawny Kitaen seems to be in a much different place than she was eight years ago. A soccer goal is visible in the backyard, and her daughter's art covers the refrigerator in the family home.
Her adopted dog, Woody, nuzzles Kitaen as she talks about a new off-camera passion: helping others.
A volunteer at Kathy's House, a shelter for at-risk women in San Juan Capistrano, and a member of the board of directors at Testimony Life Resources, an alternative counseling center, Kitaen appears to be a far cry from her role as the eccentric star of "The Surreal Life," or the woman battling a dependency on prescription pills on "Celebrity Rehab."
For Kitaen, the last eight years have not been easy. Originally, the San Diego native, whose real first name is Julie, achieved fame for her presence in the 1980s heavy metal scene. Known as the iconic, cart-wheeling redhead in Whitesnake's 1987 video "Here I Go Again," Kitaen later became the wife of front man David Coverdale and appeared in films such as "Bachelor Party" alongside Tom Hanks and on the TV show "The New WKRP in Cincinnati."