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Anna Nicole Smith's ex Larry Birkhead pays touching tribute to late star on birthday

Larry and Anna share daughter Danielynn 

Larry Birkhead and Dannilynn Birkhead Kentucky Derby Barnstable Brown Gala
Faye James
Faye JamesSenior Editor
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Larry Birkhead, the former partner of the late Anna Nicole Smith, shared a heartfelt tribute to the iconic model and actress on what would have been her 55th birthday. 

Taking to his Instagram stories on November 28, Larry posted a simple yet poignant 'Happy Birthday' message, accompanied by a photograph of Anna Nicole, who was a major cultural figure in the late 1990s and early 2000s.

Known for her work as a Guess model and her high-profile marriage to 89-year-old billionaire J. Howard Marshall, Anna Nicole's life was marked by both glamour and controversy. 

However, following the death of her husband, Anna Nicole found herself entangled in a prolonged legal battle over his estate, and her life began to take a turbulent turn.

Anna Nicole Smith smiling and laughing while sat at an event© Getty Images
The documentary about Anna Nicole Smith's life was released in May 2023

Anna Nicole ventured into reality television with "The Anna Nicole Show," but her life was tragically cut short in 2007. She was discovered unconscious on February 8, 2007, at the Seminole Hard Rock Hotel and Casino in Hollywood, as reported by The New York Times. She was pronounced dead later that afternoon.

The cause of her death was determined to be an accidental overdose of prescription drugs, with the medical examiner's report also noting that she had been suffering from a bacterial infection and flu at the time. 

Anna Nicole Smith smiling at an event© Getty Images
Anna in 1993

Traces of various medications, including muscle relaxers, methadone, and anti-anxiety drugs, were found in her system. The coroner explicitly ruled out suicide, citing that Anna Nicole had appeared to be in good spirits before her death.

Adding to the tragedy, Anna Nicole's son, Daniel, had died from a drug overdose just a year prior, mere days after the birth of her daughter Dannielynn. 

larry birkhead anna nicole smith in bed© Instagram
Larry met Anna Nicole in 2003

Anna Nicole was laid to rest at the Lakeview Memorial Gardens & Mausoleum in the Bahamas, beside her son Daniel. Interestingly, the ashes of her late husband, J. Howard Marshall, were also interred in her casket.

In the aftermath of Anna Nicole's death, a paternity lawsuit erupted over Dannielynn. Anna Nicole had declared her attorney Howard K. Stern as the father, but Larry Birkhead contested this claim. 

Dannielynn Birkhead at the Kentucky Derby © Stephen J. Cohen
Dannielynn is the double of the late Anna Nicole Smith

A DNA test ultimately confirmed Larry as Dannielynn's biological father. "I’m the father. Thank you for your support,” he expressed to reporters, as per People magazine. 

“Thank you for the people who got me this far. Thank you very much. My baby’s gonna be coming home pretty soon. Things are moving quickly here, and we’ll see what happens.”

Today, Dannielynn, now a teenager, and her father Larry are familiar faces at the Kentucky Derby, showcasing their resilience and the enduring legacy of Anna Nicole Smith.

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