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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.
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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.
From her legal battles to her quirky escapades on her reality TV show, Anna Nicole Smith managed to stay on top of pop media. Even in her death, she stole headlines for months.
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She spent years fighting his son, E. Pierce Marshall, in court.
The case went all the way to the U.S. Supreme Court in 2006. The court's decision opened the door to Anna Nicole Smith collecting some money from her late husband's estate. But this news was not the final word in the case. In 2011, years after Smith's death, the battle over Smith's claims on Marshall's estate once again made it to the U.S. Supreme Court. This time,
it was finally determined that the earlier Texas probate court finding against Smith must stand.
In 2002, television viewers got inside look at Smith and her wacky, quirky ways with a new series. The Anna Nicole Show, a reality program, followed her through her daily activities. At times, the show was difficult to watch as Smith seemed disoriented or confused, but the audience continued to tune in to see what Smith might do or say next. She was often shown in the company of Howard K. Stern, her attorney. While the show went off the air in 2004, Anna Nicole Smith remained popular with the American public.
Having struggled with her weight on and off for years, Anna Nicole Smith became a spokesperson for a line of diet products in 2003. She lost a significant amount of weight and did some modeling and acting. In 2006, Smith starred in the science fiction-comedy Illegal Aliens. Her son Daniel also worked on the project with her.
While her professional life appeared to be on the rise, Anna Nicole Smith experienced both joy and tragedy in her personal life. She announced that she was pregnant during the summer of 2006, and gave birth to a daughter on September 7, 2006, at a hospital in Nassau, Bahamas. She named her child Dannielynn, and was thrilled to be a mother again. But her happiness was short-lived. Her 20-year-old son Daniel died only three days later from an apparent drug overdose. Later reports indicated that the interaction of methadone and two different types of antidepressants may have caused his death. Anna Nicole Smith never truly recovered from the loss.
Smith found herself in the middle of media frenzy with reports on her son’s death appearing on entertainment news programs on an almost daily basis. She also became embroiled in a paternity lawsuit regarding her daughter. Her ex-boyfriend, photographer Larry Birkhead, claimed to be Dannielynn’s father. Smith stated that her attorney, Howard K. Stern, was the child’s father, and he is listed on the child's birth certificate. In the midst of all this heartbreak and legal battles, Smith and Stern held a small commitment ceremony, after which they ate fried chicken and drank champagne. While the event symbolized their devotion to each other, it was not legally binding.
Anna Nicole Smith died on February 8, 2007, at the age of 39, after being found unconscious in her hotel room at the Seminole Hard Rock Hotel and Casino in Hollywood, Florida. In death as in life, Anna Nicole Smith made headlines around the world.
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