Credited as being the biggest Playboy Playmate of the Year in terms of height, weight, and measurements, former-model-turned-actress Anna Nicole Smith was, in the mid-'90s, the epitome of the classic voluptuous blonde. Drawing comparisons to such legendary beauties as Marilyn Monroe due to her penchant for white dresses and sleepy bedroom eyes, the one-time Guess? model courted controversy for both her marriage to an elderly billionaire and the heated lawsuit pertaining to his estate following his death.
Born Vickie Lynn Hogan in Houston, TX (she moved to Mexia, TX, as a teenager), Smith's ascent to fame began when she was chosen as May 1992's Playboy Playmate of the Month. Voted Playmate of the Year shortly thereafter, the plus-sized platinum-blonde soon appeared in a pair of Playboy videos before making her feature debut in 1994's The Hudsucker Proxy. Following an appearance in that same year's Naked Gun 33 1/3: The Final Insult, Smith continued her association with the legendary men's magazine by appearing in a series of videos in addition to producing and starring in the steamy action thriller Skyscraper (1995). In 1987, Smith separated from her first husband Billy Smith, with whom she had one son; the couple later divorced and Anna Nicole married oil tycoon J. Howard Marshall in June 1994. Following Marshall's death in August the following year, Smith embarked on a heated legal battle with the former billionaire's remaining family in which she was ultimately rewarded 88 million dollars. Though she faded from the spotlight moving into the new millennium, Smith reemerged when, following the success of the MTV reality series The Osbournes, she was approached by E! Entertainment Television to be the subject of a similar series. The Anna Nicole Show debuted to general critical malaise in August 2002. Against all odds, the show remained on the air for the better part of two seasons, thanks largely to the morbid curiosity of viewers who found it virtually impossible look away from the disaster that seemed to be unfolding right before their very eyes.
In the turbulent three years that followed, Smith endured a series of disheartening blows. On September 10, 2006, just 20 days after the birth of her daughter Dannielynn, Smith's 20-year-old son Daniel died suddenly due to a lethal combination of antidepressants and methadone. November of that same year found the former model hospitalized for pneumonia in the same Bahamas medical center in which her son had recently died, and it was right around that time that Smith became involved in a bitter legal dispute over her lavish waterfront mansion in the Atlantic Ocean paradise. Her troubles showed no signs of slowing when, in January of 2007, Smith was ordered to by the court to submit her baby daughter for DNA testing as a result of a heated custody battle with a celebrity photographer who claimed to be the girl's biological father (Smith remained insistent that her longtime lawyer and companion Howard K. Stern was the father). Just a few short weeks later, the case that Smith had filed against her landlord was thrown out of the court by a Bahamas judge, leaving the path clear for the owner of the home to proceed with his eviction lawsuit against her, and on February 7, 2007, a woman dissatisfied with the results of Trimspa X32 -- a weight-loss supplement for which Smith served as spokeswoman -- filed a lawsuit against Smith citing "false and misleading" advertising. The following afternoon, Smith was discovered unresponsive in her Hard Rock Hotel room in Seminole, FL, and was rushed to a nearby hospital, where she was pronounced dead within the hour.