Anna Nicole Smith first gained notoriety as a Playboy Playmate in 1992. The year prior to that, she had gone through a string of jobs as a WalMart cashier, a waitress at Red Lobster, and a dancer at a local strip club in Houston.
Anna Nicole Smith Meets Hugh Heffner
While working as a stripper, Anna answered an ad to pose for Playboy Magazine; she was chosen among many others by Hugh Heffner himself.
One of the things that stood out most about Anna as a Playboy centerfold, besides her killer smile, was the fact that she had a more voluptuous body than most of the stick-figure-like women who normally posed for Playboy.
She was a single mother to her six year old son, Daniel Wayne Smith, and Playboy provided the type of money other single mothers could only dream about. By the time 1993 rolled around, she was named Playboy Playmate of the Year, and Anna Nicole Smith was officially on her way to celebrity status.
Anna Nicole Smith and Guess Jeans
Nineteen Ninety-Three would prove to be a hot year for Anna, as she secured the coveted position of spokesmodel for Guess Jeans, replacing supermodel Claudia Schiffer. The designer clothing company capitalized on her strong resemblance to classic Hollywood star Jane Mansfield by commissioning vintage looking photographs of Anna in their ad campaigns – the strategy was a hit.
Anna Nicole Smith – The Gold Digger?
In 1994, Anna married wealthy oil tycoon J. Howard Marshall – She was 26 years old to his 89, and his health was failing (as would the health of most octogenarians). She was constantly harassed and criticized for marrying Marshall for his money, but she had met him two years prior (while stripping) and she insisted that they were in love.
Predictably, J. Howard Marshall died in 1995 at the age of 90, less than 15 months after he had married Anna. Also predictably, Anna Nicole Smith becane involved in a lengthy court battle over his estate that involved Marshall’s sons. The court case became a cause de célèbre, and it still wages on today.
Anna Nicole’s Celebrity Status Deepens
Over the years, Anna made film and television appearances. She even had her own show, The Anna Nicole Show, which was a reality TV show modeled after the The Osbornes.
She also became a spokesperson for PETA due to her stance against animal cruelty, and Trimspa due to her dramatic weight loss while using their product.
Anna Nicole Smith’s Tragic Final Year (The Birth of One Child and The Death of Another)
In 2006, Anna Nicole announced that she was pregnant, during that time, many men came forth and claimed that the child was theirs – including Zsa Zsa Gabor’s husband.
Danielynn Hope Marshall Stern was born on September 07, 2006; her last name reflected that of Anna Nicole’s long time attorney and partner, Howard K. Stern (not the famed radio host). Paternity tests eventually revealed that Danielynn’s biological father was Larry Birkhead, a former boyfriend of Anna’s.
Just three days after the birth of Anna’s daughter, absolute tragedy struck, her son Daniel Wayne Smith was found dead in her hospital room after visiting her and his new baby sister.
Autopsy reports revealed that Daniel died of an accidental overdose. Anna was so distraught until she reportedly attempted to climb into her son’s casket at his funeral. According to Howard K. Stern, Daniel was the most important part of Anna’s life.
In a bizarre case of off timing, Anna Nicole and Stern were joined in a private commitment ceremony on September 28, 2006. The ceremony was not legally binding, but Stern claimed that he was trying to do whatever he could to boost Anna’s spirits after the horrible tragedy she had just experienced.
On February 8, 2007, Anna Nicole Smith died in a Hollywood, Florida hotel room. Her death was ruled an accidental overdose – there was no trace of illegal drugs in her system, all were prescribed for her or her partner, Howard K. Stern.
During Anna’s short time on Earth, she touched the lives of many people – in some ways positively and perhaps negatively in others, but no matter what, her star shined brightly while she was here.
– Sources –
Anna Nicole Smith IMDB Profile
In Loving Memory of Anna