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Anna Nicole Smith - Biography & Career

Anna Nicole Smith was born in Houston, Texas as Vickie Lynn Hogan. When she was very young, her family moved to Mexia, a small town 79 miles (127 km) south of Dallas. Her father Donald Eugene Hogan left the family when Smith was a child and she was raised by her mother Virgie Hogan Hart Arthur with her aunt. Anna has a half-sister, Donna Hogan. While growing up, Smith told others that she wanted to be the next Marilyn Monroe. Smith worked at Jim's Krispy Chicken restaurant in Mexia in her teens. On April 4, 1985, at age 17, she married Billy Smith, a cook at the restaurant, who was 16. The next year, she gave birth to her first child, the late Daniel Wayne Smith, and the following year she and Billy divorced.

In her early 20s, Smith worked at a variety of low-paying jobs while supporting her son Daniel. While working as an exotic dancer at a nightclub in Houston under various names including Nikki, Robin and Anna Nicole, she met oil billionaire J. Howard Marshall, a frequent customer of the strip club. With MarshallТs money, Smith had cosmetic surgery to increase her breast size, and paid for photographers, publicists, wardrobe, living expenses, hair and make-up stylists, bodyguards, talent agents, attorneys, and a host of additional support staff.

Smith's career took off after appearing on the cover of the March 1992 issue Playboy magazine wearing a low-cut evening gown. She secured a contract to replace supermodel Claudia Schiffer in the Guess? jeans ad campaign in a series of sultry black and white photographs. Guess? capitalized on Anna Nicole's strong resemblance to sex symbol Jayne Mansfield and even put her in Jayne inspired photo sessions. Smith then posed nude for Playboy as the May 1992 centerfold (under the pseudonym Vickie Smith). Smith was subsequently called "the next Marilyn Monroe" in press reports, a comparison she encouraged by wearing a hair style reminiscent of Monroe's, as well as her trademark white dress. Smith was chosen to be the 1993 Playmate of the Year. She finally settled on the name Anna Nicole Smith by the time of her PMOY pictorial. Smith once did a nude Playboy lay out in Jayne Mansfield's famous "Pink Palace" mansion.

In the August 22, 1994 edition of the New York Magazine, Smith was used as the cover model for an article called "white trash nation". She appears in the photo squatting down eating chips dressed in a short skirt and cowboy boots. In October 1994, her lawyer initiated a five million dollar lawsuit against the magazine claiming that the photo used was unauthorized and that the article had damaged her reputation.