Anna Nicole Smith’s daughter was a baby when her mum died. Here's what her life looks like now.

The complicated life of Anna Nicole Smith has been featured recently in the new Netflix documentary Anna Nicole Smith: You Don't Know Me

And part of that story is Smith's daughter Dannielynn Birkhead.

By the time her daughter was born, Smith had already had a life filled with incredible highs and lows. She had been named Playboy's Playmate of the Year, had her own reality TV show, and starred in a bunch of movies and TV shows

Alongside this, she had been ridiculed by much of the media and become a punchline, particularly when it came to her highly publicised second marriage to 89-year-old billionaire J. Howard Marshall.

By 2006, Smith's billionaire husband had passed away, and Smith retreated from the spotlight to the Bahamas. She was also in a relationship with her lawyer, Howard K. Stern (not to be confused with American radio personality Howard Stern).

This same year, Smith announced her pregnancy via her website. She didn't indicate who the child's father was at the time, although Stern's name was listed as the baby's father on the birth certificate.

But American photographer Larry Birkhead contested the claim and demanded a DNA test, as he believed he was the father of Smith's newborn daughter, Dannielynn Birkhead.

Larry Birkhead was indeed the father, but before the DNA test was confirmed in April 2007, Smith passed away.

Smith died in February 2007 aged 39 due to an accidental drug overdose. Dannielynn was only five months old at the time.


Watch Anna Nicole Smith: You Don’t Know Me official trailer. Post continues below.

Video via Netflix.

It was particularly tragic circumstances, as just months earlier Smith's eldest (and only other) child Daniel Wayne Smith had died. He had also passed away from an accidental overdose while in the Bahamas, where he was visiting his mother and newborn sister. He was 20 years old.

Once Birkhead was confirmed to be Dannielynn's biological father, he spoke to media outside a Bahamas' court.

"I'm the father. Thank you for your support. 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," he said.

Stern was cooperative once the results were confirmed, saying his primary concern was making sure "the best interests of Dannielynn are carried out".

Birkhead soon received full custody and chose to raise his daughter in his home state of Kentucky.

Over the years, the father and daughter duo have spoken to the media on some occasions. Birkhead previously told Daily Mail TV that he's tried hard to let his daughter lead a private life at their Kentucky home.


"Right now she's just being a kid," he explained.

Dannielynn Birkhead and Larry Birkhead in 2011. Image: Getty.

Dannielynn is now 16, and over the years she has done a number of public-facing events to honour her late mother.

In 2012, she modelled for Guess for the 25th anniversary of Smith's own campaign. 


And interestingly, Birkhead said his daughter had quite a talent for acting, as did her mother. 

"She surprised me because last year she took an acting class. I got an email from a teacher and she said Dannielynn gave one of the most believable performances of the whole entire school. So, if she wants to do something like that when she's older... we'll see when we get there," he said to Daily Mail TV.

"People always say, 'Is she going to be an actress? Is she going to be a model?' And I never push her in a certain direction. Actually, I get calls all the time and I say, 'No she's not interested in doing that kind of stuff'."

As for Dannielynn's late half-brother, Birkhead said he always aims to keep Daniel front of mind for Dannielynn, because "sometimes Daniel gets forgotten" in the media.

He said: "We try to talk about him [Daniel] and I shared a birthday with him [January 22], so we always celebrated together."

In May, the father and daughter attended the Kentucky Derby together, like they do every year. It remains a particularly special occasion, as it's where Birkhead says he first met Smith in 2003. 

Dannielynn Birkhead and Larry Birkhead at the Kentucky Darby in 2023. Image: Getty.


"It's funny how one event can change your life. And that's what this party did for me, he told PEOPLE about the Kentucky Derby. "If I had not been there that night and had that connection – how different my life would have been if I hadn't met Anna and had our daughter."

As for Dannielynn's life now, it's a quiet and content one in Kentucky, with a few media events or appearances sprinkled in every so often. She is also on the honour roll at high school and beginning to look for colleges, her dad said

Just this week, Birkhead said he was very disappointed about the latest Netflix documentary on Smith.

Although he chose not participate to in the project, he says he was reportedly told the project would be a "non-judgmental" story that would "restore dignity" to Smith, who was a victim of "society's thirst for celebrity" culture. 


Birkhead said in a statement to Yahoo Entertainment that protecting his daughter has always been his top priority.

"Well, honestly, she's known since she was little that people make up stories and lie about Mum. We've walked past magazines and they've said just the most outlandish things," he said.

"So I've told her early on that people are incentivised by making up stories for different reasons and that there are a lot of bad people out there that will say bad things about her mum."

Image: Instagram @larryanddannielynn.


In June, Birkhead shared a sweet update about Dannielynn finishing her second last year of schooling.

"Dannielynn finished 11th grade and maintained honour roll through some challenging times," he said, before explaining the pair had both helped to take care of his mother before her recent death. 

"I am so proud! Now, on to Summer break and then 12th grade," he added.

Reflecting on Smith's death, Birkhead wrote in an Instagram post that Smith was "truly one of a kind".

He said his late girlfriend – who he dated on and off for two years – would remain alive through their daughter, saying Dannielynn has "her mum's smile, beauty and courage".

"Anna should be remembered as this larger-than-life figure that was, a really caring, giving person," Birkhead said. "A beautiful lady who loved her fans and loved her family."

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This story was originally published on May 22, 2023 and updated on June 21, 2023.

Feature Image: Getty/Instagram @larryanddannielynn.