Anna Nicole Smith has died after collapsing in a hotel room in Florida. The former Playboy model, who gave birth to a baby girl called Dannielynn just five months ago, was 39 years old.
While the cause of her death has not yet been confirmed, media reports stateside suggest she suffered a massive heart attack. Paramedics were called to the Hard Rock Seminole Hotel and Casino on Thursday when she was found unconcscious, but attempts to resuscitate the Texan celebrity failed.
The tragedy comes just a few months after her 20-year-old son Daniel, from her first marriage to chef Billy Smith, lost his life. An autopsy subsequently revealed he had taken anti-depressants and other prescription drugs after visiting his mother and newborn sister at a hospital in the Bahamas.
In the weeks that followed the tragedy Nicole found herself at the centre of another media furore as the photographer Larry Birkhead demanded a DNA test, insisting that he, rather than Anna Nicole's husband Howard Stern, was little Dannielynn's father.
Born Vickie Lynn Hogan in Houston in 1967, the archetypal blonde bombshell first rose to fame after marrying billionaire J Howard Marshall, who was 62 years her senior, in 1994. When he passed away 18 months later, a legal battle which was to last over a decade began between her and her stepson, who was determined that she should not receive any part of her husband's immense fortune.