Thursday, February 08, 2007

Anna Nicole Smith found dead

Anna Nicole Smith, 11/28/67- 2/8/07

The tumultuous, tragedy-filled life of model/actress Anna Nicole Smith came to an abrupt end at around 2:00 pm today when she was found unconscious in her hotel room at the Hard Rock Casino in Hollywood, Florida. Although the official cause of death has yet to be determined, 9 out of 10 armchair doctors are laying money on a drug overdose or complications from excessive, prolonged drug use.

The 39-year-old buxom blond's life had been filled with contro-versy, tragedy and legal drama for much of the past 10 years. Her son, Daniel, died in the Bahamas three days after Anna gave birth to her daughter, Dannielynn, last September. It was determined that Daniel, 20, had a lethal combination of drugs in his system when he collapsed in Smith's hospital room.

Following that horrible event, a paternity suit developed regard-ing the true father of Dannielynn; Smith claimed it was her long-time friend & lawyer, Howard K. Stern, while her ex-boyfriend, photographer Larry Birkhead, claimed he was the biological father.

Smith's journey from working-class country girl Vickie Lynn Hogan to international sex symbol began when she graced the cover of Playboy in 1992. Soon the voluptuous platinum blond was draw-ing comparisons to Marilyn Monroe and Jayne Mansfield, and by the time she was named Playmate of the Year and spokesmodel for Guess? Jeans in 1993, she was an object of lust for millions of heterosexual men, yours truly included, of all ages from all over the world.

But the magic carpet ride of photo spreads, B-movie roles and enjoying life to the fullest started to unravel when she married billionaire J. Howard Marshall in 1994. The starlet was just 26 while her new paramour was a robust 89. The controversial pairing brought both unrelenting claims of "golddigger" from the press and disgusted reactions from her fans as she was seen smooching and hugging the dodgy, geriatric oil tycoon.
Marshall passed away just over a year after they married and im-mediately Smith was embroiled in a nasty dispute over the dis-tribution of the Marshall fortune. She joined forces with one of Marshall's sons in a claim against his other son, E.Pierce Marshall, as to who should receive the majority of his estate. Although nei-ther had a written claim to the fortune, Smith swore that Marshall promised her half of his assets shortly after they wed.

After numerous judgements for both sides and more than a decade of legal wrangling, the case has yet to be resolved. Recently, the Supreme Court agreed to hear the case, but unfortunately Smith will never get to see its conclusion.

The firestorm of controversy, supposed heartbreak, and public ridicule led Anna down a dark path of overeating, drug addiction and ultimately self-parody. Her television series, The Anna Nicole Show, debuted on E! TV in 2002 and immediately brought those realities into clear view for the whole world to see. A bloated, incoherent and disgusting Smith waddled through life with her manslave Stern in tow, while a bewildered-yet-innocent looking Danny hung on as his mother embarrassed herself time and time again in front of the cameras.

The show was cancelled in 2004 after overexposure made the once-adoring masses sick of the behemoth, babbling former babe. Ironically, after that she began to rehab-ilitate her image-sort of; Anna became a spokeswoman for weight loss program TrimSpa and shaved at least 100 pounds off her ample frame. Still busty & boisterous, Smith soon stumbled into controversy again when she made a slurred appearance at the 2004 Amer-ican Music Awards, rekindling rumors of drug and/or alcohol abuse. These rumors persisted right up until Daniel's death; many blamed the young man's demise on the years he had spent watching his mother turn into an addicted, cartoon-like character.

But something tells me that the woman who was truly larger than life in life will become an even grander figure following her tragic death. Like the woman she has been compared to most, Marilyn Monroe, she lived hard and died young under mysterious circumstances. Stories like that only serve to help legends grow, and the legend of Anna Nicole Smith will live on long past this day.

The only question left is, who will play her in the inevitable biopic?

R.I.P. Anna Nicole.

And thanks for the memories.

The early years

Playboy material

Guess? what I've got?

Two reasons why she made it big

Goodbye, Vickie Lynn

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