Anna Nicole Smith, former Playboy model, actress, TrimSpa spokeswoman and television personality, was found dead on Thursday, February 8, in her room at the Seminole Hard Rock Café Hotel and Casino in Hollywood, Florida. She was 39.
Smith’s personal nurse found her unconscious body at 1:38 p.m. and called the hotel operator, according to The Associated Press.
Smith’s bodyguard and a team of paramedics unsuccessfully tried to revive her with cardiopulmonary resuscitation, and she was pronounced dead at a local hospital at 2:49 p.m.
“There was just no way of knowing how long she’d been down before she was discovered,” the paramedic for Hollywood Fire Rescue Department, Capt. Dan Fitzgerald, told WTVJ-TV on Thursday.
Smith’s lawyer, Ronald Rale, said that she had experienced flu-like symptoms in the days prior to her death and was worn out from her recent troubles, including the death of her 20-year-old son Daniel and a continuing paternity suit over her infant daughter.
He declined to comment on why she was visiting the Florida hotel. An autopsy was performed on February 9, but the results were inconclusive.
The medical examiner in Broward County, Florida, Dr. Joshua Perper, called her death “sudden, unexpected, and unexplained,” according to The AP.
More tests are necessary to determine the cause of death, but the results could take anywhere from 3-5 weeks. Perper noted that prescription drugs were found in her room, but there were no pills in her stomach.
“I think that she obviously had a very troubled life and I feel sorry for her baby in this situation,” said junior Rachel Giannell. “I also don’t think we will ever know what really happened with her death.”
The autopsy showed “subtle findings” in her heart and gastrointestinal tract, and there were bruises on her back from a recent fall. Florida officials have said that there is no evidence that criminal activity was involved.
Anna Nicole Smith was born Vickie Lynn Hogan on November 28, 1967 in Mexia, Texas.
Her parents divorced when she was a baby and she was raised by her mother Virgie, a police officer. She dropped out of high school and soon after married Billy Smith, a 16-year- old fry cook. Their son Daniel was born in 1986 but the two divorced only a year later.
In order to support her son, Smith worked as a topless dancer in Houston and lived in anonymity until she submitted photos to Playboy Magazine and was chosen for the cover of the March 1992 issue.
She was named Playmate of the Year in 1993. In 1994, Smith married a man she met while dancing, J. Howard Marshall II, a billionaire who made his fortune in the oil business. He was 89 and she was 26.
After four months of marriage Marshall died, which set off a series of federal court battles from E. Pierce Marshall over his late father’s estate. The case was still pending at the time of Smith’s death, according to The AP.
Smith became widely known for her reality show, “The Anna Nicole Show,” which appeared on E! network from 2002-2004, along with her battle against obesity.
Recently, she became the spokeswoman for the diet supplement TrimSpa. She also appeared in several lesser-known movies throughout the past decade.
Smith gave birth to her daughter, Dannielynn, on September 7, 2006, in the Bahamas, but her joy was cut short when son Daniel died as a result of the accidental mixture of methadone and antidepressants.
Smith is survived by her daughter, along with her companion and purported father of Dannielynn, Howard K. Stern. Her former boyfriend, Larry Birkhead, filed a paternity suit last fall, claiming that he fathered Dannielynn. This will be addressed in court in the coming weeks, according to The AP.
In a 1994 interview with a Los Angeles magazine, Smith was asked whether her sudden fame troubled her in any way.
“Oh, no, I like it,” she said. “I love the paparazzi. They take pictures, and I just smile away. I’ve always liked attention. I didn’t get it very much growing up, and I always wanted to be, you know, noticed.”