One of the most contentious and talked-about celebrities of the 1990s, Anna Nicole Smith stood out in the frenzy of celebrity culture. Her striking appearances in Playboy magazine launched her to popularity, and in 1993 she was named Playmate of the Year, a coveted distinction. She modelled for well-known fashion labels including Guess, H&M, Heatherette, and Lane Bryant thanks to her attractiveness and charm.
However, history has demonstrated that wealth and celebrity can have unintended consequences. Despite the difficult turn that Anna’s life took, her legacy lives on via Dannielynn, her only daughter.
When Anna was just eighteen, she dropped out of high school and started dating Billy Smith, who would go on to become the father of her first child, Daniel. Sadly, Mary and Billy’s marriage didn’t last long, and she ended up becoming a single mother while working as a bar dancer. She had no idea that this work would serve as the springboard for her incredible ascent to fame and attention from Playboy Magazine.
After Anna Nicole appeared in the venerable men’s magazine, she quickly rose to prominence in the modelling industry. After being signed by the esteemed American talent agency William Morris, she began receiving modelling assignments from all over the world.
A pivotal moment in her life was her well-publicized relationship with petroleum millionaire J. Howard Marshall. The significant 63-year age difference between Anna and her ageing husband caused several people to wonder what Anna was planning. Their marriage ended tragically in 1994 after only six months of marriage, as 90-year-old Marshall passed away in 1995. This loss touched Anna severely.
“It was really, really hard on me after my husband passed away,” she said in a 2000 interview with 20/20. “People don’t understand that he knew me when I was nobody.” I’m not a gold digger, and I don’t want to be called that. One week or two weeks after our first meeting, I could have tied the knot with him. Years before I could have married him, but I chose not to. I declined. I ventured out and succeeded in my endeavours.”
Over the next few years, Anna and Marshall’s family engaged in a court dispute over her husband’s will that ultimately made it all the way to the US Supreme Court in 2006.
Tragic events occurred once more in 2007 when Anna Nicole overdosed and died, shortly after her son Daniel also passed away. At the time, Dannielynn, her infant daughter, was just a few months old.
Larry Birkhead, Dannielynn’s father, was given the responsibility of raising her. Together, they have lived a comparatively quiet life. In honour of Dannielynn’s 17th birthday, Larry just posted an Instagram video of his daughter throughout the years, including priceless moments from when she was a baby with Anna Nicole.
“His birthday is today, Dannielynn, 17! You have my utmost admiration in every manner. Have the most amazing day ever! He added, “You are pretty, funny, smart as hell, and pretty much everything I could ever imagine,” with love in the caption.
Even though her mother died while she was quite young, Dannielynn looks a lot like Anna Nicole. Even more mockingly, Larry said, “She can spend my money like her mom.” She also mentioned that she inherits her mother’s generosity and picky eating habits. “And she loves to do that.”
Dannielynn gracefully and resolutely navigates adulthood, embodying the heritage of her famous mother and the tender love of her loving father. Anna Nicole would surely be pleased with the young lady her daughter has developed into, someone who is a living example of the eternal strength of love and family.