Anna Nicole Smith's life was full of speculation and controversy that followed her to her death. Her first marriage was to a man that paid her no attention, while her second was to another 62 years her senior.
Born Vickie Lynn Hogan, she adopted the moniker Anna Nicole as a young woman. But her mother, Virgie Arthur, disclosed that Vickie and Smith were two different people. While Lynn was a young beautiful, and funny girl, Smith was a "terrible" person, especially when she did drugs.
Smith was born in Houston, Texas, on November 28, 1967. Her parents divorced when she was two, and her mother went on to remarry. In her sophomore year, Smith dropped out of school to work as a cook at a fried chicken shop.
Model Anna Nicole Smith signs autographs at Grand Central Station to kick off the new National Enquirer magazine on April 7, 2005 in New York City. | Source: Getty Images
While there, she met her first husband, Billy Wayne Smith. When they first became acquainted, Smith would get mad because Billy did not show any interest in her. Smith's mother would say:
"He was a sweet young man, very timid and shy. It made her mad because he didn't pay attention to her."
Feeling challenged, Smith became determined to get Billy to like her and told her mother that she would get him to marry her. A few months later, they got married. They moved into a little house behind the chicken shop and, in 1986, welcomed their first baby, Daniel.
Anna Nicole Smith and son Daniel at Bullock's Store at Beverly Hills California | Source: Getty Images
When Daniel was only six months old, Smith got tired of her job at Red Lobster and sought a job as an exotic dancer at the Executive Suite in Houston. Arthur, a police officer, was not having any of that and dragged her out, threatening the establishment not to hire her again.
After dragging her out of the suite, Arthur told her she would no longer allow her to work there. The following day Smith packed up her stuff and moved in with a friend. When Arthur inquired about what would happen to Daniel, Smith replied:
"You keep him. You take care of him."
Anna Nicole Smith, poses for a portrait during the Video Software Dealers Association Convention on July 11, 1993 at the Las Vegas Convention Center in Las Vegas, Nevada. | Source: Getty Images
Arthur took on raising Daniel until Smith's career took off. After sending photos to Playboy magazine, her big break finally came. The publication featured her as a cover girl in the 1993 issue.
Due to her uncanny resemblance to the 50s star Jayne Mansfield, Smith quickly gained recognition among advertisers and soon landed a modeling contract for H&M and magazine spreads for Harper's Bazaar, Vanity Fair, and Italian Vogue.
However, despite her newfound success, she felt pigeon-holed into playing minor roles in ditzy movies and longed for people to take her more seriously as an actress.
Anna Nicole Smith attends the opening of Planet Hollywood in Las Vegas, 24th July 1994. | Source: Getty Images
In 2002, she starred in her reality show "The Anna Nicole Show." Filmed 24/7 in her home. The cameras and microphones were always on, and she admitted that her son hated it.
SMITH'S SECOND HUSBAND WAS 62 YEARS HER SENIOR
In 1991, Smith finally found the notoriety she had always desired after meeting octogenarian billionaire, oil tycoon J. Howard Marshall. She'd been performing at a Houston club, and as soon as they met, they started a relationship. It is crucial to note that while Smith was still married to Billy, they had separated in 1987.
In 1993, Smith and Billy divorced, and she married Marshall the following year. Despite the 62-year age difference, Smith insisted that she had married him for love, not for money. Smith disclosed that Marshall had taken her out of a dark place and cared for her and her son. In return, she took care of him.
Anna Nicole Smith at the Seminole Hard Rock Hotel and Casino on July 21 2005 | Source: Getty Images
Unfortunately, Marshall passed on in 1995, and despite not including Smith in his will, she sued for half of his $1.6 billion estates, maintaining that he had intended to set up a trust to provide for her and her son.
An ensuing sexual harassment suit against Smith by her son's nanny saw the actress lose plenty of money in depositions, and eventually, she filed for bankruptcy in California.
SMITH'S UNFORTUNATE DEMISE
Anna Nicole Smith during VH1 Big in '04 - Arrivals at Shrine Auditorium in Los Angeles, California, United States. | Source: Getty Images
Her lengthy legal battle notwithstanding, Smith carried on with her life, and, after announcing she was pregnant in May 2006, she delivered her baby girl, Dannielynn, on September 7. Smith was ecstatic as she had always wanted a girl. Arthur would tell DailyMail:
"She wanted a girl that she could dress up in the finest clothes and teach how to be a girl. For years she bought clothes, pacifiers, hairbrushes, and bottles."
Sadly, three days after welcoming her baby girl, Smith received the devastating news that her son Daniel had died of an accidental overdose in her hospital room.
Anna Nicole Smith and her son Daniel at Shrine Auditorium in Los Angeles California | Source: Getty Images
Smith was devastated and even tried throwing herself into Daniel's coffin during his funeral in the Bahamas. Many believe that her son's death led her on a disastrous path of unfettered drug use.
Months later, she checked herself into the Hard Rock Hotel in Seminole, Florida, and on February 8, 2007, the hotel staff found her unconscious in her room. She passed on that afternoon at 39.
Anna Nicole Smith during National Cable & Telecommunications Association Press Tour at Ritz Carlton Pasadena in Pasadena, California, United States. | Source: Getty Images
Immediately after discovering her daughter's death, Arthur flew to Florida as she was worried about her granddaughter's safety. She would say:
"I was scared to death that Dannielynn would be the next one that died. I was scared to death, so I went to the Bahamas to see if there was any way I could stop it, and it did not happen to her."
DANNIELYNN DECLINED MODELING OFFERS
Dannielynn was only months old when her mother met her untimely death. Her father, photographer Larry Birkhead, won full custody of the toddler, and she lives with him today.
Anna Nicole Smith's daughter Dannielynn with her father Larry Birkhead at Churchill Downs on May 2 2015 in Louisville Kentucky | Source: Getty Images
The spitting image of her mother, Dannielynn, has been getting plenty of offers from acting and modeling agencies in Hollywood but maintains that she wants no part of it.
In 2021, TMZ reported that while acting and modeling gigs were constantly at her disposal, Dannielynn did not seem interested and instead wanted to focus on getting her homework done and on her true passion — art.
Dannielynn also appears to have lost any chances of inheriting the money her mother fought tooth and nail for from her late husband, Marshall.
Dannielynn Birkhead and Larry Birkhead at the 142nd Kentucky Derby on May 07, 2016 | Source: Getty Images
The 2014 ruling came after U.S District Judge O. Carter dismissed any attempts by Birkhead's lawyers to win sanctions from the Marshall estate.