‘Anna Nicole Smith: You Don’t Know Me’ Dives Into the Self-Destruction of a Blonde Bombshell
Anna Nicole Smith was a volatile mix of sex appeal and reckless abandon.
The model, actress, celebrity spokesperson and litigation magnet lived an off-the-rails soap opera life. She had an untimely death due to a drug overdose in 2007.
Director Ursula Macfarlane (Untouchable) and producer Alexandra Lacey are behind Netflix’s documentary film Anna Nicole Smith: You Don’t Know Me, debuting Tuesday, May 16. The film presents never-before-seen footage, home movies and interviews with people in Smith’s life who have not spoken publicly about her before.
Born Vickie Lynn Hogan in Houston in 1967, Smith dropped out of high school and became a teenage bride and mother. She appeared on the cover of Playboy in 1992 and became Playboy Playmate of the Year in 1993.
Her modeling career took off and she appeared in ad campaigns for Guess jeans and H&M. Acting roles soon followed — mostly in guest appearances and cameos in comedies — and she was never really taken for a serious actress.
Her marriage to billionaire oil tycoon J. Howard Marshall in 1994 made headlines and raised eyebrows. When Marshall died in 1995, it spurred a series of lawsuits over his estate, two of which were argued by the U.S. Supreme Court.
In 2002, E! gave Smith her own reality show, The Anna Nicole Show, patterned on the success of MTV’s The Osbournes. It was a look at Smith’s daily life with her family and odd mix of assistants, her poodle and hangers-on like interior designer Bobby Trendy.
Asked about why she would get a tattoo of herself, Smith told Channel Guide Magazine, “Well, if you’re gonna get a woman on yourself, you might as well get me. I have Jesus on my leg and I have Mother Mary. I love Jesus and Mother Mary — they’re my inspiration. As for me, I just wanted another tattoo, so I [got one of] my face because I didn’t want to put another girl’s face and [have people] say, ‘You’re a lesbian. You’re a lesbian.’” The Anna Nicole Show lasted two seasons.
Smith became a spokesperson for TrimSpa and made the rounds on the late-night talk show circuit and made several eye-popping and incoherent awards show appearances.
In September 2006, Smith gave birth to a daughter, Dannielynn, who became the subject of paternity disputes and lawsuits. Three days after the birth of Dannielynn, Smith’s son, Daniel Wayne Smith, died of a lethal combination of drugs at age 20.
On February 8, 2007, Smith died from combined drug intoxication. She was 39.
Fifteen years after her death, Smith leaves behind a complex legacy. She’ll be forever compared to her idol, Marilyn Monroe, a blonde bombshell who loved the spotlight but succumbed to addiction and inner demons that couldn’t be silenced.