All these years later, it’s still shocking to remember the sudden death of Anna Nicole Smith in 2007. She had become a genuine pop culture icon and sex symbol, and it looked like she had a long life ahead of her. And she was likely hoping for her daughter, Dannielynn Birkhead, who had recently been born.
Sadly, that was never in the cards. After Anna Nicole Smith died, it led to an ugly custody battle and other legal drama. When all was said and done, Dannielynn ended up being raised by her biological father, but that hasn’t kept her life from having some of the same twists and turns that her mother’s did.
How did the drama surrounding Anna Nicole Smith’s daughter end up shaping the girl’s life, and what is she doing now? Keep reading to discover the answers!
The shocking death of Anna Nicole Smith
One of the reasons that Anna Nicole Smith’s death was so shocking is that she was only 39 years old at the time. However, given the fact that she died of a prescription drug overdose, there is a chance that the model was worried that her best days might be behind her.
The reason for that is that she shot to fame at a very young age. She was making ends meet as a stripper when she met the oil tycoon J. Howard Marshall. Professional doors began to open, and it wasn’t long before she was dazzling audiences on the cover of Playboy and becoming the new model for Guess jeans.
She married Marshall when she was only 26, but life’s stresses seemed to be catching up to her by the time she was 39. And her sudden death left her daughter, who was only five months old at the time, with some serious legal drama to deal with.
Legal drama from a young age
The first bit of legal drama that Smith’s daughter Dannielynn Birkhead was embroiled in meant solving a mystery. And that mystery was just who the hell her father really was!
Nobody thought the father could be J. Howard Marshall, who died shortly after marrying Anna Nicole Smith, though we’ll return to him in a bit. As for Smith, she knew the father was Larry Birkhead because they had been secretly dating and she texted him confirming his status as the daddy.
This is where things get weird, though: when Danneilynn was born, Smith insisted that the real father was her lawyer, Howard K. Stern, and she had his name placed on the birth certificate. Because of this, Larry had to come forward and provide sufficient proof that he was the father before being awarded custody.
Leading a normal(ish) life
By all accounts, Danneilynn is leading a very normal life. She and her father both want to keep her out of the limelight, so she is being raised in Louisville, Kentucky. She has some typical teenage hobbies, including singing, dancing, and (what else?) going to the mall.
Of course, one of the reasons that she has a normal life is that they are living a bit more modestly than Anna Nicole Smith probably thought they would be. After J. Howard Marshall died, Smith likely thought that she and her children would be eligible for at least some of the tycoon’s estate that was worth a cool billion dollars.
However, a 2014 case determined that Smith’s estate is not eligible to receive anything from Marshall’s estate. That means no giant check, though Danneilynn is still ironically and erroneously included in numerous “richest kids in America” writeups.
Like mother, unlike daughter
Now that Danneilynn Birkhead is getting a bit older, nobody can deny that she really does look like Anna Nicole Smith. And because of that, everyone has been waiting for her to take up her own career in modeling or acting.
On these fronts, though, everyone is going to have to keep waiting. Even though Danneilynn has received both modeling and acting offers, she has mostly turned them down, and she has no portfolio or manager. One of the few exceptions to this is that she did a photo shoot for Guess jeans, just like her mother did so many years ago.
Aside from that, the closest that Danneilynn ever comes to modeling is taking cute photos with her father. The two often share such photos online, including photos from the Kentucky Derby. Since that is where Larry met Anna, the derby will always hold a special place in their hearts.
Dipping her toes into acting
Even though Danneilynn has turned down acting gigs that were offered to her before, she didn’t permanently close the door on the idea. Like many who have dreamed of acting, she has certain roles in mind that she would like to tackle.
For example, the Daily Mail reports that she’d like to act in either Stranger Things or The Mandalorian. So if you see her on the receiving end of someone’s psychic powers or a Force push from Grogu, you’ll know that her Hollywood dreams came true.