• Share
  • Tweet
  • Share

Nearly a decade after Anna Nicole Smith's passing, Larry Birkhead is looking back on the legacy his former love left behind and opening up about the daughter they share.

Larry opens up to ABC News' 20/20 Friday night about Anna's untimely death and how she had always wanted a baby girl. She ultimately got her wish but didn't live to see her daughter, Dannielynn Birkhead, grow up.

"Anna always wanted a little girl, that was her dream," Larry says. "She went from city to city, as far back [as] the '90s, and she would collect outfits from all these road trips...and hope that one day that she could dress her in all these frilly outfits."

The father of one, who resides in Kentucky with his daughter, says Anna and Dannielynn have more in common than just their looks—although that certainly doesn't go unnoticed. 

"She is fearless like her mom. She'll get on any roller coaster that you put in front of her," Birkhead says in the interview. "I could stand right next to my daughter and we could look like twins, and the first thing they'll say is...'spitting image of the mother.'"

Now that Dannielynn is growing up, Larry said he has tried to talk to her about her famous mother's death. "The way I've told Dannielynn in the past is that, 'Your mom took some medicines and she...might not [have] taken them correctly or the right way, and the doctors couldn't help her, and they tried," he says.

Dannielynn Birkhead, Larry Birkhead, Kentucky Derby 2016

Frazer Harrison/Getty Images for Churchill Downs

Larry and Anna, who called it quits on their relationship by the time Dannielynn was born, entered a severe custody battle that ended up with DNA testing proving Larry was the father. The scandal was big news around the world, and since then Larry has tried to give his daughter a private life away from the Hollywood spotlight, where questions about Dannielynn's potential inheritance always come up.

"People think [Dannielynn] has got millions and millions of dollars," Larry shared. "She came home and asked me where the money was, and I said, 'I'm still looking for it.'"

At the end of the day, though, Larry wants to make sure his daughter has a different life from her mom.

"It's just like any other kid who has lost a celebrity parent. They think that the child is automatically destined for the same path," he says. "[But] she can work me like her mom could work people. She gets what she wants."

Watch the full story on ABC News 20/20 on Friday, Feb. 10 at 10 p.m. ET.