Born Vickie Lynn Hogan
, Anna Nicole Smith was a model, TV personality & actress from small town Texas. She rose to fame after winning Playboy's 1993 "Playmate of The Year"
. (After being featured on the cover in March & being the May 1992 Playmate of The Month
under the name Vickie Smith, of course)
That same year she secured a modeling contract with GUESS
, started going by the stage name Anna Nicole Smith, and the rest is history. My first exposure to Anna Nicole
was via The Anna Nicole Show
as a kid, at the very beginning of the early 00s reality TV boom.
She was popular with tabloids after her marriage to 90yr old petroleum tycoon J. Howard Marshall
(& the inheritance-related court case that followed his death) but when The Anna Nicole Show
aired she'd been out of the spotlight
for a few years & it centered around her day to day shenanigans. (Mostly scripted, of course.) While she was out of the public eye she'd gained weight & I remember a lot of tabloid blurbs & shows like Entertainment Tonight
riffing on her body, but as a kid I just thought she was gorgeous & funny as hell
and didn't get why she was the butt of the joke.Anna Nicole's
personal life seemed to be a whirlwind, from her & her mother moving to small town Mexia, Texas after her parents divorce as a toddler - to dropping out as a sophomore in highschool to marrying her first
husband Billy Smith at 17
& having her son Daniel and being divorced before hitting 20. Always wanting bigger & better out of life
Anna Nicole was obsessed with Marilyn Monroe
growing up & seemed to hustle her butt off to make that happen - along with emulating Marilyn's iconic style, of course.
Her adult life didn't seem to slow down or get much easier than the rest. Her 1994 marriage to J. Howard Marshall
had turned her into a hosuehold name - but also
turned her into a punchline. The time she spent in court fighting his son in the early 00s ruined her financially & led to her picking up the TV show. (The case actually went on after her death!) Anna Nicole
struggled with both borderline personality disorder & a prescription drug addiction through adulthood as well. But in 2006 things seemed to be looking up - & she excitedly announced she was pregnant with her daughter Dannielynn
. Unfortunately, that was followed by a paternity battle
surrounding her daughter, & tragically - the overdose & death of her son Daniel mere days after Dannielynns birth while he visited her in the hospital in 2006.
Anna Nicole died of an accidental overdose just barely four months later.In 2007
I'd watch The Soup! with my mom, and look for Anna Nicole & Britney Spears in US & Star Magazine every week. After watching her on TV
& awards shows, & cutting out her picture in tabloids for years, Anna Nicole is probably the earliest celebrity death that I can remember news coverage about vividly, and honestly one of the only ones. I still remember how my mom & I were rooting for her
back then. I don't want to focus on her death here, or the controversy of her life - I feel like most pages about her do
Almost 15 years later
I still print out pictures of her! Anna Nicole
is everything I love about the early 00s wrapped up in a big blonde bow, and how the media handled everything
about her still horrifies me. Her energy is unmatched
, and I wish more people felt they could be themselves as loudly as she always seemed to. The perfect ratio of sexy, goofy, and tough as all hell.
Even when the world, the paparazzi & the public wasn't kind to her
she seemed to smile back no matter what - always coming that her insides were lovely as her outsides - with a heart just as big as those implants.