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Anna Nicole Smith gained early fame as a model for Guess and Playboy magazine, and later became known for her marriage to 89-year-old oil tycoon J. Howard Marshall II.
Anna Nicole Smith was born Vickie Lynn Hogan on November 28, 1967, in Houston, Texas. A high school dropout, she epitomized the American dream by climbing to the national spotlight against all odds.
Anna Nicole Smith rose to fame as a model for Playboy magazine and for Guess jeans.
Hugh Hefner discusses the origins of Playboy magazine and how it has evolved today.
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Born on November 28, 1967, in Mexia, Texas, Anna Nicole Smith rose to fame as a model. She was named Playboy's Playmate of the Year in 1993. In 1994, she wed 89-year-old oil tycoon J. Howard Marshall II, who soon died. Smith spent years fighting for a share of her late husband's estate. She starred in her own reality show from 2002 to 2004. Smith died of an accidental drug overdose in 2007.
"I've always liked attention. I didn't get very much growing up, and I always wanted to be, you know, noticed."
"Marrying into money was not a good thing for me."
"It's very expensive to be me. It's terrible the things I have to do to be me."
"I want to be the new Marilyn Monroe."
"I grew up poor. I had no money ... and for me to come up and to have all of this fame and fortune, it's just—it is a Cinderella story to me."
Anna Nicole Smith was born Vickie Lynn Hogan on November 28, 1967, in Mexia, Texas. A high school dropout, Smith's dramatic life began quietly in the small Texas town of Mexia. She had a difficult childhood, growing up without her father who left the family when she was only a baby. As a teenager, Smith worked at a local fried chicken restaurant. There she met cook Billy Smith, and the pair married when she was only 17 years old. The couple had a son named Daniel in 1984, but the marriage later broke up. Not content with small-town life, Smith dreamed of becoming the next Marilyn Monroe.
Before her big break, Anna Nicole Smith worked numerous jobs, including as a Wal-Mart employee and a dancer. She left her son in the care of her mother, Virgie Arthur, to work in Houston at a strip club. In 1991, Smith met Texas oil tycoon J. Howard Marshall II while working at a club. She soon had her own reversal of fortune.
After mailing in photos of herself naked to Playboy in 1992, Smith got to pose for Hugh Hefner's famed adult magazine. She also appeared in ads for the Guess fashion brand later that same year. In the print advertisements, Smith showed off her impressive curves, looking very much like her beloved icon, Marilyn Monroe.
Smith reached a career milestone the following year, joining a select group of beauty who have been named "Playmate of the Year" by Playboy magazine. She parlayed her celebrity into some small film roles. In 1994, Smith appeared in the Leslie Nielsen comedy Naked Gun 33 1/3: The Final Insult and The Hudsucker Proxy with Tim Robbins and Paul Newman.
With her sexy image, Smith attracted a lot of interest from celebrity magazines and tabloids. The public seemed to have an insatiable interest in the ups and downs of the life of this seemingly bubbly blonde. Smith didn't seem to mind the media scrutiny. According to the Washington Post, she once said, "I love the paparazzi. They take pictures, and I just smile away. I've always liked attention. I didn't get very much growing up, and I always wanted to be, you know, noticed."
Smith married Marshall in 1994. At the time, she was 26 and he was 89. The tremendous age difference between the couple surprised many, and Smith endured allegations of only being after Marshall's sizeable fortune. According to People magazine, the bride took off for Greece without her groom shortly after the wedding. The pair also weren't living together in Marshall's final days either. Their unusual union ended with Marshall's death in 1995. Smith claimed that Marshall had promised a share of his estate, but he had not put her in his will.
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