Playboy, becoming the 1993 Playmate of the Year. She modeled for clothing companies, including Guess jeans and Lane Bryant.
Smith dropped out of high school and was married in 1985. Her highly publicized second marriage to oil business mogul J. Howard Marshall, 62 years her senior, resulted in speculation that she married the octogenarian for his money, which she denied. Following Marshall's death, Smith began a lengthy legal battle over a share of his estate; her case, Marshall v. Marshall, reached the U.S. Supreme Court on a question of federal jurisdiction. She died on February 8, 2007 in a Hollywood, Florida hotel room as a result of an overdose of prescription drugs. Within the final six months of her life, Smith was the focus of renewed press coverage surrounding the death of her son, Daniel and the paternity and custody battle over her birth daughter Dannielynn.
Born Vickie Lynn Hogan in Harris County, Texas, Anna Nicole was the only child of Donald Eugene Hogan (July 12, 1947 – September 19, 2009) and Virgie Mae (née Tabers; born July 12, 1951), who married on February 22, 1967 and divorced on November 4, 1969. Anna Nicole was raised by her mother and aunt. Virgie subsequently married Donald R. Hart in 1971. After Virgie married Donald, Anna Nicole changed her name from Vickie Hogan to Nikki Hart. Anna Nicole attended Durkee Elementary School and Aldine Intermediate School in Houston. When she was in the 9th grade, she was sent to live with her mother's younger sister, Kay Beall, in Mexia, Texas. At Mexia High School, Anna Nicole failed her freshman year and later quit school during her sophomore year. While working as a waitress at Jim's Krispy Fried Chicken in Mexia, Anna Nicole met Billy Wayne Smith, who was a cook at the restaurant. The couple married April 4, 1985; when she was 17 and he was 16. Anna Nicole gave birth to their son, Daniel Wayne Smith on January 22, 1986. She and Billy separated in 1987 and she moved to Houston with one-year-old Daniel. They were officially divorced February 3, 1993, in Houston. Initially, Anna Nicole found employment at Wal-Mart, then as a waitress at Red Lobster. She then became a stripper, and in 1991, began taking modeling and voice lessons. In October of that year, she saw an ad in the newspaper to audition for Playboy magazine.
Playboy and modeling career
|Anna Nicole Smith|
|Playboy centerfold appearance|
|Preceded by||Cady Cantrell|
|Succeeded by||Angela Melini|
|Playmate of the Year|
|Preceded by||Corinna Harney|
|Succeeded by||Jenny McCarthy|
|Born||November 28, 1967 |
Harris County, Texas, United States
|Died||February 8, 2007 (aged 39) |
Hollywood, Florida, United States
|Measurements||Bust: 36DD (97DD cm) |
Waist: 26 in (66 cm)
Hips: 38 in (97 cm)
|Height||5 ft 11 in (1.80 m)|
|Weight||140 lb (64 kg; 10 st)|
Smith secured a contract to replace supermodel Claudia Schiffer in the Guess jeans ad campaign in a series of sultry black and white photographs. Guess capitalized on Smith's strong resemblance to Jayne Mansfield and put her in Jayne-inspired photo sessions. In 1993, before Christmas, she modeled for the Swedish clothing company Hennes & Mauritz (H&M). She appeared on big posters in Sweden and Norway.
A photograph of Smith was used by New York magazine on the cover of its August 22, 1994 issue titled White Trash Nation. In the photo, she appears squatting in a short skirt and cowboy boots as she eats chips. In October 1994, Smith's lawyer initiated a $5,000,000 lawsuit against the magazine claiming unauthorized use of her photo and that the article had damaged her reputation. Her lawyer said that Smith was told she was being photographed to embody the "all-American-woman look", and that they wanted glamor shots. He further stated that the picture used was taken for fun during a break.
Marriage to MarshallWhile performing at Gigi's (now renamed as "Pleasures"), a Houston strip club, in October 1991, Smith met elderly oil tycoon J. Howard Marshall and they began a relationship. During their two-year relationship, he reportedly lavished gifts on her and asked her to marry him several times. She divorced her husband Billy on February 3, 1993, in Houston. On June 27, 1994, Smith, 26, and Marshall, 89, married in Houston.This resulted in a great deal of gossip about her marrying him for his money. Though she reportedly never lived with him, Smith maintained that she loved her husband, and age did not matter to her. Thirteen months after his marriage to Smith, Marshall died on August 4, 1995, in Houston.
Inheritance court casesWithin weeks of J. Howard Marshall's death, Smith and her husband's son, E. Pierce Marshall, battled over her claim for half of her late husband's US$1.6 billion estate. She temporarily joined forces with J. Howard's other son, James Howard Marshall III, whom the elder Howard had disowned. Howard III claimed J. Howard orally promised him a portion of his estate; like Smith, Howard III was also left out of J. Howard's will. The case has gone on for more than a decade, producing a highly publicized court battle in Texas and several judicial decisions that have gone both for and against Smith in that time.
In 1996, Smith filed for bankruptcy in California as a result of a $850,000 judgment against her for sexual harassment of an employee. As any money potentially due to her from the Marshall estate was part of her potential assets, the bankruptcy court involved itself in the matter.
Smith claimed J. Howard orally promised her half of his estate if she married him. In September 2000, a Los Angeles bankruptcy judge awarded her $449,754,134. In July 2001, Houston judge Mike Wood affirmed the jury findings in the probate case by ruling that Smith was entitled to nothing and ordered Smith to pay over $1 million in fees and expenses to Pierce's legal team. The conflict between the Texas probate court and California bankruptcy court judgments forced the matter into federal court.
In March 2002, a federal judge vacated the California bankruptcy court's ruling and issued a new ruling but reduced the award to $88 million. In December 2004, a three-judge panel of the U.S. 9th Circuit Court of Appeals reversed the March 2002 decision, on the reasoning that the federal courts lacked jurisdiction to overrule this probate decision.
The U.S. Supreme Court decided in September 2005 to hear the appeal of that decision. The Bush administration subsequently directed the Solicitor General to intercede on Smith's behalf out of an interest to expand federal court jurisdiction over state probate disputes. After months of waiting, Smith and her stepson Pierce learned of the Supreme Court's decision on May 1, 2006. The justices unanimously decided in favor of Smith; Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg wrote the majority opinion. The decision did not give Smith a portion of her husband's estate, but affirmed her right to pursue a share of it in federal court. On June 20, 2006, E. Pierce Marshall died at age 67 from an "aggressive infection". His widow, Elaine T. Marshall, now represents his estate. The case was remanded to the 9th Circuit to adjudicate the remaining appellate issues not previously resolved.
After Anna’s death, the New York Times reported that the case over the Marshall fortune "is likely to continue in the name of Ms. Smith’s infant daughter." The current situation is that Anna Nicole Smith's estate will not inherit any of her late husband's estate. Following the decision by the Appeals Court for the Ninth Circuit, lawyers for the estate of Anna Nicole Smith requested the appeal be heard before the entire 9th circuit. However on May 6, 2010 the appeal was denied. On September 28, 2010, the U.S. Supreme Court again agreed to hear the case.
Film and television careerThe Hudsucker Proxy and Naked Gun 33⅓: The Final Insult were highly publicized in 1994, little was done to further Smith's acting career. Her first major role was as Colette Dubois, a retired spy seeking revenge for the murder of her husband, in the action/thriller To the Limit (1995).
Smith next starred in the action/thriller Skyscraper (1996), which she also produced, as a helicopter pilot, Carrie Wisk, who lands on a high rise building and, upon learning it has been taken over by terrorists, becomes engaged in a deadly fight to save hostages.
Both films, and Smith's performances in them, were critically panned. During the course of the litigation over her late husband's estate, her career stalled. Her legal battle, her increasing weight, and her reportedly bizarre behavior made her regular fodder for late night television comedians.
In 2002, she debuted in her own reality TV series on the E! cable network, The Anna Nicole Show. The series focused on her personal and private life in the manner of other reality shows, such as the ratings hit The Osbournes.
The debut of The Anna Nicole Show was the highest rated series on the network, but critics blasted it and ratings dropped with each successive week. However, it achieved a cult status among some, particularly college fraternities. The show was canceled in February 2004 due to "creative differences," but has retained some life in reruns and on DVD releases.
Smith's next appearance on the big screen was as herself in Wasabi Tuna (2003), about a group of friends who kidnap her dog, Sugar-Pie, on Halloween. She appeared as herself again in Be Cool (2005), a crime/comedy about the film and music industries that stars John Travolta, Uma Thurman and The Rock. She produced and starred as "Lucy" in Illegal Aliens, a sci-fi/comedy about beautiful space aliens saving the earth from evil.
Personal lifeSmith stated that she was Christian in an interview, saying: "Jesus Christ is my Lord and Savior, and will always be, and I pray every day."
Birth of daughter
Though her announcement did not provide any details, in an interview with Larry King on CNN's Larry King Live after her daughter's birth and her son's death, Smith's longtime personal attorney Howard K. Stern said that he and Smith had been in a secret relationship for "a very long time" and that, due to the timing of the pregnancy, he was confident that he was the father of the baby. Her ex-boyfriend, entertainment photojournalist Larry Birkhead, steadfastly maintained that he was the baby's father and filed a lawsuit to establish paternity. Smith's daughter, Dannielynn Hope Marshall Stern, was born September 7, 2006, at Doctors Hospital in Nassau, Bahamas. The Bahamian birth certificate recorded the father as Howard K. Stern.
A judge in the United States ordered that DNA tests be performed to determine the biological father of Dannielynn. Following Smith's death, Debra Opri, the lawyer for Larry Birkhead, asked for an emergency DNA sample to be taken from her body. Smith's lawyer, Ron Rale objected strongly to this request. The request was denied by a judge, who instead ordered Smith's body preserved until February 20.
According to a story published in the New York Daily News, Donna Hogan, Smith's younger half-sister, has said that the model froze the sperm of her second husband, Marshall, prior to his death. The newspaper said that Hogan wrote in her unpublished manuscript about her sister, entitled Train Wreck, that "To her family, she hinted that she had used the old man's frozen sperm, and would be giving birth to Howard Marshall's child".[dead link] However, the publisher of Hogan's book described the newspaper's claims as a hoax. On February 9, 2007, Zsa Zsa Gabor's husband Frédéric Prinz von Anhalt said that he had had a decade-long affair with Smith and could potentially be the father of her infant girl, Dannielynn. Alexander Denk, a former bodyguard for Anna Nicole Smith, reportedly told the tabloid television program Extra that he had had an affair with his former employer, and that it was possible he could be Dannielynn's father.
After Smith's death, TMZ.com reported that Smith had been given a prescription for methadone under a false name while she was in her eighth month of pregnancy. The Medical Board of California launched a review into the matter; the prescribing doctor, Sandeep Kapoor, said his treatment was "sound and appropriate."[dead link]
On April 10, 2007, a Bahamian judge ruled Larry Birkhead, a former boyfriend, as the father of Dannielynn. DNA tests had established Birkhead as the father, with 99.99% certainty. Commenting on the revelation, Birkhead stated, "I hate to be the one to tell you this but, I told you so. I'm the father...My baby's going to be coming home pretty soon." Birkhead subsequently applied for an amended birth certificate listing him as the father, which paved the way for him to obtain a passport for the baby to leave with him for the United States. Howard K. Stern did not contest the DNA results or the ruling. Subsequent to the ruling, Birkhead returned to the United States with the baby. Virgie Arthur's appeal of the ruling was later denied and she was ordered to pay costs.
Death of sonSmith's 20-year-old son, Daniel Smith, died on September 10, 2006 in his mother's hospital room while visiting her and his half sister. After the coroner labeled the death "reserved," Smith hired forensic pathologist Cyril Wecht to perform a second autopsy.
His death certificate was issued on September 21, 2006, so that he could be buried. While Smith remained in the Bahamas with Dannielynn and Stern, Daniel's family in the United States, including his father, Billy Smith, gathered with friends on October 7, 2006, in Mexia, Texas, for a memorial service. Daniel was buried at Lake View Cemetery on New Providence, Bahamas, on October 19, 2006, almost six weeks after his death. According to Howard K. Stern, Smith's longtime partner, she was devastated over her son's death. "Anna and Daniel were inseparable. Daniel was without question the most important person in Anna’s life," Stern told Florida Circuit Judge Larry Seidlin during his testimony in the legal battle after the model’s death. "At Daniel’s funeral, she had them open the coffin and tried to climb inside. She said that 'if Daniel has to be buried, I want to be buried with him,'" Stern testified. "She was ready to go down with him. Howard K. Stern revealed that "Anna saw herself as both mother and father to Daniel. From the time I met her, everything was for Daniel. I would say that physically, she died last week, but in a lot of ways, emotionally she died when Daniel died," he added.
Dr. Wecht announced on Larry King Live that the autopsy he performed showed that Daniel died from a lethal combination of Zoloft, Lexapro and methadone. Although he explained that methadone is used in the treatment of heroin and morphine addiction, Wecht said he had no information to make any conclusion why Daniel was using the drug. On February 8, 2007, Wecht said on Fox News that he still had no information about how Daniel obtained methadone.
Commitment ceremony with SternOn September 28, 2006, Smith and Howard K. Stern exchanged vows and rings in an informal commitment ceremony aboard the 41-foot catamaran Margaritaville off the coast of the Bahamas. She wore a white dress and carried a bouquet of red roses, while he wore a black suit with white shirt. Although they pledged their love and made a commitment to be there for one another before a Baptist minister, no marriage certificate was issued and the ceremony is not legally binding.
After the ceremony, they landed on the island of Sandy Kay where they had a party and celebrated with champagne and apple cider that had been brought over for the occasion by sailboat.
Regarding the questionable timing of the ceremony, Smith's attorney in Nassau, stated, "They needed a little adrenaline boost because things have been so hectic and devastating in their life recently." The photos of their ceremony were sold through Getty Images to People magazine for around $1,000,000.
Residency in the BahamasAnna Nicole Smith and Howard K. Stern were reportedly staying in the Bahamas to avoid paternity testing of her daughter in the United States. In late 2006, Smith was granted permanent resident status in the Bahamas by Immigration Minister Shane Gibson. On February 11, 2007, newspaper photographs were published showing Smith lying clothed in bed in an embrace with Gibson. Opposition politicians in the Bahamas accused the minister of improper behavior. Gibson resigned as a result of the controversy and claimed that the photos, taken by Stern, were innocent.
The basis of Smith's permanent residency status was the claim that she owned a $900,000 mansion, which she said was given to her by a former boyfriend, real estate developer G. Ben Thompson of South Carolina. Thompson asserted that he loaned Smith the finances to purchase the property, but that she failed to repay the loan, and was attempting to regain control of the property. Thompson sued to evict Smith from the property in Bahama Court, and received a default judgment against her when she failed to respond to the eviction, or appear in court on November 28, 2006. Ford Shelley, son-in-law of G. Ben Thompson, claimed that methadone was found in Anna's bedroom refrigerator while the mansion was being reclaimed.A photograph provided by TMZ shows a large bottle of methadone along with vials of injectable cyanocobalamin in her refrigerator.
Death and funeralOn February 8, 2007, Smith was found unresponsive in room 607 at the Seminole Hard Rock Hotel and Casino in Hollywood, Florida. Tasma Brighthaupt, a friend of Smith who was a trained emergency nurse, performed CPR for 15 minutes until her husband, Maurice "Big Moe" Brighthaupt, Smith's friend and bodyguard, took over CPR. He had driven back to the hotel after being notified by his wife of Smith's condition. According to Seminole Police Chief Charlie Tiger, at 1:38 pm (18:38 UTC) Maurice Brighthaupt, who was also a trained paramedic, called the hotel front desk from her sixth-floor room. The front desk in turn called security, who then called 911. At 1:45 pm the bodyguard administered CPR until paramedics arrived and she was rushed to Memorial Regional Hospital at 2:10 p.m and pronounced dead on arrival at 2:49 pm
A phone call was released to the public on February 13, 2007, involving Seminole police and the local 911 operators, saying:
After a seven-week investigation led by Broward County Medical Examiner and Forensic Pathologist Dr. Joshua Perper in combination with the Seminole police and several independent forensic pathologists and toxicologists, Dr. Perper announced that Smith died of "combined drug intoxication" with the sleeping medication chloral hydrate as the "major component." No illegal drugs were found in her system. The official report states that her death was not considered to be due to homicide, suicide, or natural causes.The full investigative report has been made public and can be found online. Additionally, an official copy of the autopsy report was publicly released on March 26, 2007, and can be found online.
Ultimately her death was ruled an accidental drug overdose of the sedative chloral hydrate that became increasingly lethal when combined with other prescription drugs in her system, specifically four benzodiazepines: Klonopin (Clonazepam), Ativan (Lorazepam), Serax (Oxazepam), and Valium (Diazepam). Furthermore, she had taken Benadryl (Diphenhydramine) and Topamax (Topiramate), an anticonvulsant AMPA/Kainate antagonist, which likely contributed to the sedative effect of chloral hydrate and the benzodiazepines. Although the individual levels of any of the benzodiazepines in her system would not have been sufficient to cause death, their combination with a high dose of chloral hydrate led to her overdose. The autopsy report indicates that chloral hydrate was the "toxic/lethal" drug, but it is difficult to know if chloral hydrate ingestion alone would have killed her, since Dr. Perper indicated (in the March 26 press conference) that she had built up a tolerance to the drug and took more than the average person. He indicated that she took about three tablespoons, whereas the normal dosage is between one and two teaspoons. Chloral hydrate, first synthesized in 1832, was the first depressant developed for the specific purpose of inducing sleep. The infamous “Mickey Finn” or “knockout drops” was a solution of alcohol and chloral hydrate that was popular in Victorian England and in that era’s literature. When used properly, and without the introduction of alcohol or other depressants, chloral hydrate is effective in easing sleeplessness due to pain or insomnia. But according to Avis (1990), the effective dose and lethal dose of chloral hydrate are so close that the sedative should be considered dangerous. Today, the use of chloral hydrate has declined as other agents, including barbiturates and benzodiazepines, have largely replaced them. Despite rumors of methadone use due to its involvement in her son's death, Dr. Perper found only methadone in her bile, indicating that it could only have been ingested 2–3 days prior to her death and was not a contributing factor. The autopsy report indicates that abscesses on her buttocks (presumably from prior injections of vitamin B12 (cyanocobalamin) and human growth hormone), and viral enteritis were contributory causes of death. Tests for influenza A and B were negative.
It was reported that 8 of the 11 drugs in Smith's system, including the chloral hydrate, were prescribed to Howard K. Stern, not Smith. Additionally, two of the prescriptions were written for Alex Katz and one was written for Smith's friend and psychiatrist, Dr. Khristine Eroshevitz. Dr. Perper acknowledged that all 11 prescriptions were written by Dr. Eroshevitz herself.
Before Smith's body was buried, it began decomposing at a faster-than-normal pace. The drugs found in Anna Nicole's body in the autopsy, the fact that the legal battles delayed her embalming until over a week after her death, and the nearly month-long wait for her burial in the warm Bahama weather, were cited as possible factors in her more rapid decomposition. This resulted in the family having a closed-casket funeral.
Smith's will, drawn up in April 2001, named her son Daniel as the sole beneficiary of her estate, specifically excluded other children, and named Howard K. Stern as the executor. It indicated personal property valued at $10,000 and real property valued at $1.8 million (with a $1.1 million mortgage) at the time of death. A petition to probate Smith's will was filed in Los Angeles County Superior Court. The petition to probate lists Larry Birkhead as a party with interest to Anna's estate. A six-foot-tall black granite monument was installed at Smith's grave in the Bahamas, as of February 2009.
- The Hudsucker Proxy (1994) – Za-Za
- Naked Gun 33⅓: The Final Insult (1994) – Tanya Peters
- To the Limit (1995) – Colette Dubois/Vickie Linn
- Skyscraper (1997) – Carrie Wisk
- Wasabi Tuna (2003) – Herself
- Be Cool (2005) – Herself
- Illegal Aliens (2007) – Lucy (posthumously released)
- The Naked Truth (1995) episode: Wilde Again – Herself
- Sin City Spectacular (1998)
- Veronica's Closet (1999) episode: Veronica's Wedding Bell Blues – Donna
- Ally McBeal (1999) episode: Pyramids on the Nile – Myra Jacobs
- The Three Stooges N.Y.U.K. (2000) – Dr. Anita Hugg
- The Anna Nicole Show (2002–2004) – Herself
- Comedy Central Roast of Pamela Anderson (2005) – Herself (In Audience)
- Comedy Central Roast of Jeff Foxworthy (2005) – Herself (Via Satellite)