On February 8, 2007, drug-ridden and alone, 39 years old Anna Nicole Smith died at the Seminole Hard Rock Hotel and Casino hotel room in Hollywood, Florida. Tragedy followed her throughout her short life and who knew that the harrowing starlet would be right when she predicted that she would die at an early age, and even in the end, she would not find peace.
Born, Vickie Lynn Hogan, in Mexia, Texas, she was abandoned by her father and was raised by a single mother, which is most likely the reason she sought attention from many men she encountered in her life and what many thought would most ultimately lead to her downfall. At just age 17 she gave birth to her son, Daniel, and married her first husband, Billy Wayne Smith. When Daniel was one-year-old Anna became a single mother and had to resort to working as a stripper to make ends meet. But Anna made no secret that she always lived for her son Daniel who was her “light” in the ever dark night.
She met her future billionaire husband J. Howard Marshall II in 1991 while at the club. This blossomed into a relationship and marriage in 1994 with Anna just 26 years old and Marshall 89 years-old. Marshall would only live for two years after that. Anna always maintained that she did not marry him for money and the age was not a big deal for her. Outside looking in, you could see the love for Marshall in her eyes, but it seemed more like of a father/daughter as opposed to a husband/wife relationship. After Marshall’ s death, there was a very noted and publicized legal battle that involved his will.
In 1992 Anna answered a Playboy ad and Hugh Hefner could not resist featuring the buxom blonde on the March 1992 cover of the magazine. She would end up being one of his favorites and ended up featured on several more covers of the adult paper.
Anna became more prominently noticed when she was show-cased as the face of Guess in their 1992 ad campaign, when she made it no secret she was obsessed with Marilyn Monroe. Looking at the ads, you can certainly see the resemblance between Smith and Monroe’s photo presence, uncanny, as if she channeled Marilyn. One could even speculate that she idolized her so much that she orchestrated her untimely death to imitate that of Monroe’s.
This is also the time when Howard K. Stern, her infamous attorney, entered her life. His law firm handled her modeling contracts through the 1990’s as Howard personally handled her case during the J. Howard Marshall II litigation. He would be the one who eventually spiraled her career downhill and made her a joke among her peers.
Later in her career, in 2002, starring in her own reality show titled “The Anna Nicole Show,” would ultimately make a mockery out of Anna. She seemed loopy and nonsensical throughout the show, and many believe, Stern, being her lawyer, should have advised her against this endeavor.
She always had a potential to allow herself to blossom in the show business, but it seemed like someone was always around the corner ready to sabotage her efforts. It appeared as if Stern was supplying her with prescription medications and then, as many believe, used her drug-fueled antics to make money.
The most prominent example was June of 2006 when she announced her pregnancy followed up by erratic footage of a pregnant Anna in full ‘clown’ makeup. She was clearly intoxicated on some medication and rambling about ridiculous notions while you could hear Stern in the background instigating the situation. Nevertheless, in September 2006, Smith gave birth to a healthy baby girl and named her Dannielynn.
Of course, tragedy was sure to strike Anna’s life again when just three days after the birth of her daughter her 20-year-old son passed away from a drug overdose. He was visiting her and his new sister in the hospital in Nassau, the Bahamas when Daniel died in a chair sitting by his mother’s bed.
Anna was sleeping when he passed away beside her. She was never able to cope with the loss of her “Light.” The media took this opportunity to exploit her pain which was only encouraged by the few people she kept around her.
After losing her son, she had a commitment ceremony that would spiritually marry her with the long-time advisor, Howard K. Stern. It seemed like he was doing everything he could to keep his hold on her.
Eventually, there would be a short legal battle between him and Larry Birkhead revolving around the paternity of her daughter. She and Howard swore it was Stern’s baby but Birkhead knew different, he even went on to profess that Anna and Stern were never intimate. After her calamitous death, it was determined that Birkhead was Dannielynn’s father, which was confirmed through DNA testing as he was awarded sole custody.
Today is the 10 year anniversary of this sad event. If Anna had never been abandoned as a child, never used drugs to escape her pain, or had never met Stern maybe she would be present with us today. At the end of the day, there is no more reason to theorize; she is gone. But there is a bright side to her life as there is a little bit of Anna left in this world – her daughter Dannielynn.