Anna Nicole Smith

Denise Truscello/

Even almost a decade after Anna Nicole Smith's untimely passing, her stamp on popular culture remains remarkably untouched. 

Today marks nine years since the provocative star died of an accidental overdose, leaving her beloved family and fans in utter shock, her larger-than-life persona tragically cut down when she was only 39.

From humble beginnings in Mexia, Tex., the blond bombshell skyrocketed into superstardom as Playboy magazine's 1993 Playmate of the Year. She went on to lead a life in the spotlight, gaining notoriety for her marriage to 89-year-old billionaire oil tycoon J. Howard Marshall ll and later headline-making behavior.

Kentucky Derby 2015, Larry Birkhead, Dannielynn Birkhead

Neilson Barnard/Getty Images

Anna Nicole's memory lives on in her daughter Dannielynn, who's being raised by her father, Larry Birkhead, after a hard-fought paternity battle. Over the years, the gorgeous 9-year-old has grown up right before our eyes and continues to honor her late mother's legacy. 

Every year the father-daughter duo make a point to attend the Kentucky Derby, where Birkhead first met Smith years prior. "I have told her from a young age, 'Mom's in heaven,' she understands that," Larry explained to E! News back in 2013. "She's pretty satisfied with the stories that I give her at this moment."

In honor of Anna Nicole on the year that she would have celebrated her 49th birthday, here's an in-depth look at the famous blonde's storied life. 

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