Anna Nicole Smith dies after collapse

Feb 08, 2007 by Ian Evans

Anna Nicole Smith, the former Playboy centerfold, diet pill spokesperson, and reality show star, died Thursday at the age of 39.

Smith, whose 20-year-old son recently died under suspicious circumstances, collapsed while staying at the Seminole Hard Rock Hotel and Casino in Florida. A private nurse was with her and one of Smith’s bodyguards apparently administered CPR for about an hour. An autopsy will be performed Friday.

Smith, a former stripper, was most famous for her marriage to 89-year-old oil tycoon J. Howard Marshall II in 1984. When he died a year later, it set off a legal feud between Smith and E. Pierce Marshall over a family estate worth around $400 million. After originally being awarded $474 million, the decision was overturned, but in May 2006, the U.S. Supreme Court ruled the case should still proceed.

Smith’s death now puts more focus on the paternity case over her 5-month-old daughter, Dannielynn. The child’s birth certificate lists Smith’s companion/attorney, Howard K. Stern, as the father while ex-boyfriend Larry Birkhead contests that fact.