It's hard to believe it's been five years since Anna Nicole Smith died of an accidental overdose at age 39. The stripper-turned model-turned reality star first became famous for her generous curves and eccentric personality, and later for a downward spiral of tragedy and heavy drug use. While most everyone knows about the Playboy Playmate's notorious marriage to an octogenarian, her son Daniel's tragic death, and the bitter paternity dispute over her daughter, Dannielynn, there are still a few things you might not know about Anna Nicole:
- Anna Nicole Smith's birth name was Vickie Lynn Hogan.
- Before she was a stripper, Anna Nicole worked as a waitress at Red Lobster.
- Anna Nicole Smith was Playboy's biggest Playmate of the Year -- literally. She reportedly holds the record for being the tallest and the heaviest playmate with the largest measurements.
- She was a friend to the animals: Smith posed for a PETA ad campaign developed in response to a Marie Claire survey that found men were turned off by women in fur coats. The Marilyn Monroe-inspired ad featured Anna Nicole in a pink satin dress and jewels surrounded by fawning male admirers, with the copy: Gentleman Prefer Fur-Free Blondes. If you want to hook up, hang it up.
- Anna Nicole was considered for the lead role in the 1994 film The Mask, which eventually went to Cameron Diaz and helped launch her to A-list stardom.
- Smith sued New York Magazine for unauthorized use of the photo they put on the cover of the August 1994 issue, White Trash Nation, claiming the image -- of Smith eating from a bag of Cheez Doodles resting between her legs -- was an outtake in a photo shoot otherwise dedicated to glamour shots.
- Anna Nicole appeared in a Coen Brothers movie: In 1994, she played the role of Za-Za in The Hudsucker Proxy, sharing the screen with Tim Robbins, Steve Buscemi, and Jennifer Jason Leigh.
- Boyfriend Larry Birkhead once became so concerned about Anna Nicole's prescription drug use that he hid her Methadone.
- Smith claims she didn't know what Guess jeans were when she was offered the spokesperson job.
- She credits her breasts for the bulk of her stardom, claiming in 2005, Everything I have is because of them.
Birkhead, who is raising their daughter, Dannielynn, on his own, spoke to Us Weekly about how the 4-year-old is coming without her mother -- who she never knew.
Dannielynn knows that her mom passed away. She obviously doesn't know the details, Birkhead told Us Weekly. At first I said, 'Your mommmy's up in the clouds.' Then we were on a plane from Kentucky and she asked, 'Which cloud is my mom on. Maybe she can come play?' You have to be forthright but keep it on a kid-friendly level.
It's hard to flip from friend to parent. I overcompensate because she doesn't have a mom and I probably give her more than I should, Birkhead added. I'm working on cutting down on the shopping sprees.