Close
BRAND NEW ON E!
  • News/ 

    Anna Nicole Smith's Death Five Years On: Timeline of a Tragedy

    Anna Nicole Smith Scott Suchman/Getty Image

    Hard to believe it's been five years since the death of Anna Nicole Smith. And not just because every year since has been chock-full of headlines—both good and bad—that keep the memory of the infamous Playmate, reality star and, lest we forget, mother alive.

    In honor of the anniversary of the tragic death of the 39-year-old woman born Vickie Lynn Hogan, we're taking a look back at all the exploits of Anna Nicole, both in the years before and since her death:

    MORE: Own a piece of the infamous icon: Anna Nicole's home is for sale!

    Nov. 28, 1967: Vickie Lynn Hogan is born in Houston.

    1985: Office romance? At the age of just 17, she meets and marries her 16-year-old coworker (at Jim's Krispy Fried Chicken) Billy Smith in Texas.

    Jan. 22, 1986: She gives birth to son Daniel Smith.

    1987: And they said it wouldn't last. They were right. She and Billy divorce.

    October 1991: Office romance, take two: While working as a stripper at Rick's Cabaret in Houston, she meets billionaire oil magnate J. Howard Marshall.

    Spring 1992: A pinup is born: Anna Nicole graces the March cover of Playboy and she's such a hit that just two months later, she's named May's centerfold.

    MORE: Speaking of Playboy, how did LiLo's issue sell?

    J. Howard Marshall II, Anna Nicole Smith Michael Gerber/Corbis

    1993: Having perfected the art of sultry posing, Smith begins appearing in now iconic print ads for Guess? jeans, which she appears in under her new name, Anna Nicole.

    June 1993: Smith is once again back on the cover of Playboy and is ultimately named Playmate of the Year.

    June 27, 1994: At the age of 26, Smith weds the 89-year-old Marshall in Houston's White Dove Wedding Chapel. To say his family didn't approve of the match would be an understatement.

    1995: Due to ailing health, Marshall's son, E. Pierce Marshall, is appointed as the billionaire's legal guardian. Anna Nicole's time with her husband is severely limited under his son's watch.

    Aug. 5, 1995: Sadly, Howard passes away. So strained are the tensions between the families that two separate funerals are held. It's also revealed that Marshall's recently revised will shut out Anna Nicole and left everything to his son.

    PHOTOS: Dannielynn: Growing Up in Anna Nicole's Shadow

    November 1995: Smith is hospitalized for nearly a week after what her spokesman calls an adverse reaction to prescription medication.

    1996: A court battle is born. Smith files for bankruptcy in the wake of being plagued by lawsuits and begins fighting for a share of her late husband's estate in Texas probate court, claiming his son fraudulently wrote her out of the will.

    2000: A Los Angeles judge awards Smith the whopping sum of $400 million for Pierce's meddling ways. He appeals the ruling, thus beginning the marathon, years-long, jurisdiction-swapping battle. This same year, Smith gets back to work appearing in ads for Lane Bryant.

    August 2002: A reality star is born: E! begins airing The Anna Nicole Show. It's a hit and introduces the world to Howard K. Stern, the man who would at times be her attorney, friend, falsely self-identifying baby daddy and legally non-binding commitment ceremony-declared partner. The show airs for two years.

    2003-04: Anna Nicole's widely mocked and now infamous endorsement of the diet pills TrimSpa begins with the oft-repeated catchphrase, "You like my body?"

    MORE: Get Birkhead's take on the Supreme Court ruling

    Howard K Stern, Anna Nicole Smith Tom Casino/Getty Images

    September 2005: After years in the appellate system, none other than the U.S. Supreme Court agrees to hear the inheritance case of Marshall vs. Marshall (Smith was listed in the court filings as Vickie Lynn Marshall).

    Spring 2006: The Supreme Court finally gets around to hearing the case, and eventually sends it back to the Ninth Circuit judges.

    June 2006: Anna Nicole announces she is pregnant in a viral home video that sees her slurring her speech in her backyard pool. She names neither the father nor the due date.

    Sept. 7, 2006: Anna Nicole gives birth to daughter Dannielynn in the Bahamas.

    Sept. 10, 2006: Tragedy strikes. Just three days after the birth, her 20-year-old son Daniel is found dead in the same hospital room where Anna Nicole was still recovering from the delivery. The death is declared "suspicious" by Nassau coroners and it's later revealed that he was on antidepressants when he died.

    Sept. 26, 2006: Stern appears on television and announces that he is the father of Dannielynn. Not long after, freelance photographer Larry Birkhead counters the proclamation by saying Smith, with whom he had been in a relationship, had previously informed him that he was the father. Chaos, confusion and media saturation reign.

    MORE: Five Things to Know About Dannielynn

    Larry Birkhead,  Dannielynn Birkhead BAUER-GRIFFIN.COM

    Sept. 28, 2006: Anna Nicole and Howard add another headline into the mix, holding a bizarre commitment ceremony on a boat in the Bahamas.

    Oct. 2, 2006: Birkhead formally files a paternity suit challenging the claims that Stern is the father.

    Oct. 19, 2006: Daniel is buried in the Bahamas.

    Oct. 31, 2006: Little wonder with the grief and stress she's endured—still in Nassau, Anna Nicole is treated at a hospital for what her lawyers claim is a case of pneumonia and a collapsed lung.

    Feb. 8, 2007: Anna Nicole Smith dies at the age of 39 after collapsing in her hotel room in Hollywood, Fla.

    PHOTOS: 20 Years of Scandals

    March 2, 2007: After weeks of wrangling over her remains, Anna Nicole is buried in the Bahamas next to her son. Later this month, the Broward County coroner declares that her death was caused by "accidental overdose," with nine prescription drugs found in her system, among them methadone, valium and a sedative.

    April 10, 2007: Following a widely publicized court battle, Birkhead announces to the media that DNA tests confirm he's the biological father of Dannielynn. Stern told reporters afterward that he would not pursue any custody rights of the girl who he'd been caring for.

    March 12, 2009: Stern, along with Smith's doctors, surrender to charges they fraudulently conspired to provide Smith with thousands of prescription pills before her fatal overdose. All told, Stern faces six felony counts and her two doctors face seven apiece.

    May 13, 2009: Stern formally pleads not guilty to the charges.

    November 2009: Stern reaches a settlement in a $60 million defamation lawsuit he filed against former MSNBC anchor Rita Cosby over Blonde Ambition: The Untold Story Behind Anna Nicole Smith's Death, a tawdry tome that alleged Stern had engaged in sexual romps with Birkhead.

    PHOTOS: Remembering Anna Nicole Smith

    Dannielynn Smith, Larry Birkhead Barry King/Getty Images

    Oct. 28, 2010: Though a judge tossed out two of the 11 charges Stern faced in the drug case just a month before (both felony counts) Stern is cleared on seven more, but he's ultimately convicted on the remaining two counts of conspiring to use fake names and false pretenses to score prescriptions for Anna Nicole.

    December 2010: Smith just can't stop making news! A newly aired WikiLeaks memo claims that Anna Nicole played a part in the toppling of the Bahamian government.

    Jan. 6, 2011: And that's how long it takes to clear a record. A judge surprisingly dismisses the two drug conspiracy charges Stern was convicted of, claiming that the evidence against the onetime lawyer never intended to defraud or conspire against the system, but was simply trying to protect Smith's privacy.

    June 2011: Nearly a decade and a half after the legal battle began, the U.S. Supreme Court finally upheld a ruling denying Smith's estate any claim to the $89 million-plus previously awarded to her from her late oil baron husband.

    August 2011: Now that's closure. Smith's Hollywood home, which gained its own notoriety as the set of her reality show, is put on the market for $1.7 million.

    Feb. 8, 2012: Five years since her death, Anna Nicole is still remembered. Not least of all by her spitting-image daughter, now a whopping 5½ years old.

    PHOTOS: Anna Nicole Smith: Her Life and Legacy

    RELATED VIDEOS:

    FROM AROUND THE WEB
    MORE ON EONLINE

    Selena Sizzles

    Check out her summery red carpet style!