Anna Nicole Smith: Playboy, drugs and plastic surgery highlighted in new documentary

Anna Nicole Smith had two children: son Daniel Smith, who died in 2006, and daughter Dannielynn Birkhead

Anna Nicole Smith's life is being presented in a new way.

The new Netflix documentary "Anna Nicole Smith: You Don't Know Me" shines a light on her troubled life, including her childhood, substance abuse and the death of her only son.

Smith — whose legal name was Vickie Lynn Hogan — died in 2007 from a drug overdose in Florida. The former Playmate was 39 at the time of her death and had welcomed daughter Dannielynn five months prior.

Anna Nicole Smith

Anna Nicole Smith's life is being covered in the new documentary, "Anna Nicole Smith: You Don't Know Me." (Paramount)

Here's a look at the biggest bombshells from the documentary.

Before the fame

Before Anna Nicole became "Anna Nicole," she was Vickie Lynn Hogan, raised in Mexia, Texas.

The new documentary begins with interviews from family members, including Smith's uncle, George Beall, who tells stories about her childhood, including that she "always loved the attention." 

Anna Nicole Smith's mother

Anna Nicole Smith's mother Vergie Mae Hogan said her daughter "loved being the center of attention." (Lou Toman-Pool)

"She craved attention," Beall said. "It was all about fun with her."

There's also an audio clip of Smith's mother, Virgie Mae Hogan, emphasizing that her daughter enjoyed being in the spotlight. 

"She always wanted to be the center of attention, and she enjoyed it," Virgie is heard saying. "She loved being the center of attention

Anna Nicole and Virgie allegedly had a difficult relationship, as prior to Smith's death, the model did an interview where she claimed that her mother was abusive.

At the end of the documentary, a friend of Smith's who goes by "Missy" claims that the story Smith told in the televised interview was actually about her childhood.

"All the beatings and the whippings and the rape," Smith said on the tape, included in the documentary. "That's my mother."

Missy said that was her childhood story, not Smith's.

Anna Nicole Smith 2004

Smith was once a stripper in Houston and went by "Nicky." (Gregg DeGuire/WireImage)

"I was shocked because I knew that was not her childhood coming out of her mouth," Missy said. "That was my childhood. That's exactly what happened to me and how I relayed it to her." 

Smith's brother, Donald, appears in the documentary and said their mother "did not abuse her" and was actually a "sweet, loving person."

Smith first met her friend Missy when she auditioned to be an exotic dancer at a Houston strip club. Missy shares several stories about the TV personality, who went by "Nicky" at the strip joint.

Anna Nicole Smith in Florida

Smith's friend Missy said she first became hooked on painkillers after getting a boob job. (Gustavo Caballero)


"She reminded me of an emu trying to fly," Missy said of Smith's audition.

During her time at the strip club, Smith reportedly told Missy that she believed a boob job would help her reach her goals of becoming a famous model.

Missy said the boob job started Smith's dependency on pain medication, saying she was taking "Valium, Xanax, Lortabs, Vicodin and the Klonopin" at the time.

"From that time on, she was always taking them. There was nothing she could do to stop it," she added. 

Anna Nicole Smith at AMAs

Smith wanted to become a famous model. (Frank Micelotta)

Missy explained that she was Smith's "first female lover," but eventually had to end the friendship because she became "an egotistical monster" as well as "a full-blown drug addict. There’s no way around it. She’s taking a lot of drugs."

Hollywood limelight

Eventually, Smith and her son, Daniel, made their way to Hollywood.

placeholderThe blonde bombshell posed for Playboy magazine, modeled for Guess jeans and had a few minor acting roles in '90s films such as "The Hudsucker Proxy" and "Naked Gun 33⅓: The Final Insult."
Anna Nicole Smith Playboy

Smith was Playmate of the Year for Playboy magazine in 1993. (Getty Images)

The documentary shows that Smith loved being in the spotlight and resonated closely with the late Marilyn Monroe.

Smith's friend Missy explained that while she and the actress were doing a photo shoot on the beach in Malibu, California, Smith saw a large picture of Monroe on a wall inside one of the homes.

Anna Nicole Smith smiling

Smith reportedly believed she was Marilyn Monroe's "reincarnated daughter." (Kypros/Getty Images)

"I've got to get in this house and take a picture," Smith said, according to Missy. The homeowner, Ashley Wells Lewis, was home at the time and described her as a "gorgeous girl." 

Lewis allowed Smith in her home to take pictures next to her large Monroe painting.

"There was really a deep bond between her and Marilyn," Lewis said. "She really felt like maybe she was Marilyn's reincarnated daughter."

Anna Nicole Smith Marilyn Monroe pose

Smith had an infatuation with Marilyn Monroe. (Getty Images)

Lewis let Smith and her son stay in her guesthouse on the property "anytime" she wanted. 

placeholdern the documentary, there is a clip of Smith in the guest house, talking to an unidentified person on the phone. She said that she wanted roles in two films, "The Mask" and "Naked Gun 33⅓," but they would be in production at the same time.

"It’s got Jim Carrey in it, that funny guy," she said on the phone, describing "The Mask."

Jim Carrey and Cameron Diaz

Jim Carrey and Cameron Diaz in a scene from the 1994 film "The Mask." (New Line Cinema)

Smith explained that she "loved" the project, but did not think the amount of money they offered her for the lead female role in the film was enough.

"This is embarrassing. They offered me $50,000," Smith said. "I love it, and I think it’d show more of my acting ability."

The lead female role in the 1994 comedy ended up going to Cameron Diaz, while Smith appeared in the third "Naked Gun" film.

Relationship with her 'monster' father

After Smith started to make a name for herself in Hollywood, she decided she wanted to meet her biological father, Donald Hogan, and her half-brother, Donnie Hogan.

Donnie explained that a private investigator called their house, asking if his father wanted to speak with his daughter. 

Anna Nicole Smith's father, Donald Hogan

Smith did not have a relationship with her biological father, Donald Hogan. (Lou Toman-Pool)

On the phone call, Smith invited her father and Donnie out to California to meet her. At this point, neither Donnie nor Smith's biological father knew who she was.

She arrived to the airport in a white limo, with her hair styled in two pigtails.

"At the beginning, it was great," Donnie said. "You can tell she wanted a father figure in her life."

Donnie explained in the documentary that their father is not "a type of guy you want to be alone with or feel safe [with]."

Anna Nicole Smith music video

Smith's life reportedly took a turn after she met her biological father. (L. Cohen/WireImage)

"He's a monster," he continued. Donnie revealed that when he was 16, his father told him he raped his wife's sister. 

"He's very scary. I was always afraid of him," Donnie said.

Missy explained that after Smith met her father, he "tried to have sex with her."

placeholder"It was really sad to see that happen for her," Missy said, fighting back tears. "She was so, so disappointed."

To Missy, Smith's life took a turn after that interaction with her father.

Billionaire husband

Smith met billionaire oilman J. Howard Marshall while she was working as "Nicky" in the Houston strip club.

The two wed in 1994 when Smith was 26 and Marshall was 89. In the documentary, viewers can hear audio clips of Marshall trying to get in touch with Smith after their wedding.

Anna Nicole Smith wedding ring

Smith shows off her massive wedding ring. (Barry King/WireImage)

According to Missy, Smith changed how she treated Marshall after their wedding.

"She’s getting to where she’s no longer grateful to Mr. Marshall," Missy said. "She’s really treating him like an ATM."

Anna Nicole Smith memorial service for husband

Smith attends the memorial service for her husband J. Howard Marshall in 1995, who died at age 90. (Greg Smith/CORBIS)

J. Howard Marshall's memorial service

A photograph of Smith and J. Howard Marshall sat next to Marshall's casket. (Greg Smith/CORBIS)

The following year, Marshall died at age 90, without a mention of Smith in his will, and her attempts to gain rights to his estate in court were unsuccessful.

placeholderAccording to Forbes, the Marshall family net worth was estimated at $18.5 billion in 2020.
Anna Nicole Smith arrives at court

Smith was involved in a legal case regarding the estate of her late husband. (Mark Wilson/Getty Images)

In previous interviews, Smith explained that she did love Marshall, even though they did not have a sexual relationship.

Ups and downs of motherhood

Throughout the entire Netflix documentary, it's clear to people close to Smith that she loved being a mother.


In 1985, she wed Billy Wayne Smith, a cook at Jim’s Krispy Fried Chicken. The following year they welcomed a son, Daniel.

Anna Nicole Smith and son Daniel

Anna Nicole Smith had her son, Daniel, when she was 19. (Frank Hempel)

Several years later, Smith was ready to be a mother again.

The blonde Texan welcomed Dannielynn Birkhead in the Bahamas in 2006. Smith's son flew to the island to meet his sister.

During his trip, Daniel tragically died from an accidental drug overdose. He was 20.

Anna Nicole Smith and Daniel

Smith's son Daniel died of an overdose in 2006 at the age of 20. (Getty Images)

According to Pol' Atteu, Smith's friend and a clothing designer, Smith never recovered after Daniel's death.


"She didn't want to live," Atteu said. "Everything that she did was for Daniel. Every single conversation was what she did wrong, blamed herself the whole time. She said, 'I just want to die. I don't deserve to be here. It should've been me.'"

Anna Nicole Smith, Larry Birkhead during 2005 MTV Australia

Smith welcomed daughter Dannielynn Birkhead in 2006. (Getty Images)

Larry Birkhead

Larry Birkhead is the father of Smith's daughter Dannielynn. (Getty Images)

On Feb. 8, 2007 — just five months after the birth of Dannielynn — Smith was found in her hotel room in Florida and was later pronounced dead from an overdose.

Following her death, there was a highly publicized paternity case, trying to uncover who Dannielynn's father was. Attorney Howard Stern had previously stated that he was the father. In the documentary, there is a clip of Smith telling Stern that he could be the father when she had the baby.

Anna Nicole Smith and lawyer Howard Stern

Anna Nicole Smith told friend and lawyer Howard Stern that he could be her daughter's father. (Amanda Edwards)

Photographer Larry Birkhead, who has since been proven to be Dannielynn's biological dad, was awarded custody of Dannielynn in 2007 and has raised her ever since. 

Dannielynn Smith and Larry Birkhead

Anna Nicole Smith's daughter Dannielynn Birkhead and her father Larry Birkhead attend the Kentucky Derby on May 6, 2023. (Daniel Boczarski/Getty Images for Churchill Downs)

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