- (Photo: Reuters)
This week marks five years since model and actress Anna Nicole Smith died of an overdose in a Florida hotel.
On Feb. 8, 2007, the "Anna Nicole Smith Show" star died at age 39. Playboy's 1993 Playmate of the Year died in room 607 in Hollywood, Florida, at the Seminole Hard Rock Hotel of "combined drug intoxication." Forensic pathologists and the Seminole police confirmed that Smith had combined a sedative with 11 other drugs found in her system.
The controversial model led a tumultuous life which began in Harris County, Texas, in 1967. Born Vicki Lynn Hogan, the model changed her name to Nikki Hart when she was in her teens.
After dropping out of high school, Smith married Billy Wayne Smith in 1986 and a year later had their son, Daniel Wayne Smith. The couple divorced in 1987 when Smith and her 1-year-old child moved to Houston, where she began taking modeling and voice lessons.
Smith worked at Wal-Mart and Red Lobster, but eventually became employed as a stripper. In 1991 she saw an ad in the newspaper to audition for Playboy magazine, and was chosen by Hugh Hefner to appear on the March cover of the magazine in 1992.
By 1993 Smith finally settled on the name Anna Nicole, and a year later at age 26 she married oil tycoon J. Howard Marshall, who was 89-years-old.
Smith and Marshall were married until his death in 1995, ensuing years-long battle over his estate. Many criticized Smith for marrying a man over 60 years her senior and accused her of seeking his money.
The case over Marshall's estate finally resulted in the U.S. Supreme Court's 2011 ruling that denied Smith any part of her late husband's riches.
In the midst of the court battles, Smith gave birth to daughter Dannielynn on Sept. 7, 2006 in the Bahamas. Three days later, her son Daniel, 20, died while visiting his mother and half-sister of mysterious circumstances.
The death of her son was overshadowed by another lengthy battle involving the paternity of her infant daughter.
Attorney and boyfriend Howard K. Stern and photographer Larry Birkhead both claimed to be the father of Dannielynn, and eventually Birkhead prevailed.
In a statement at the 1999 Oscars, Smith stated that she was Christian.
"Jesus Christ is my Lord and Savior, and will always be, and I pray every day," said Smith.