What was Anna Nicole Smith’s Net Worth?
Anna Nicole Smith was an American model, actress, and television personality who had a net worth of $1 million dollars at the time of her death. Anna Nicole Smith became a household name after being named the 1993 Playmate of the Year. She gained further notoriety as a reality TV star and model for brands such as H&M, Lane Bryant, and Guess Jeans.
J. Howard Marshall Estate Battle
Anna Nicole was married to Texas billionaire J. Howard Marshall II for 14 months, between 1994 and 1995, ending with his passing at the age of 90. When he died, Marshall was worth $1.6 billion thanks to his 16% ownership stake in Koch Industries. Today that stake would be worth around $16 billion.
After Marshall died, Anna quickly became embroiled in a lawsuit with her one-time stepson, E. Pierce Marshall. According J. Howard’s will, E. Pierce was to inherit all of his assets. The will pointedly excluded Anna and another son named J Howard II.
Anna claimed that J Howard had verbally promised her half of his estate. Both Anna and J. Howard III attempted to overturn the will and family trust. After a six month legal battle, their claims were rejected by a Texas state court.
In 1996 Anna declared bankruptcy in California. She continued appealing the Texas court’s ruling and in 2000 the California bankruptcy court ruled against E. Pierce and entered a $475 million judgement in Anna’s favor.
In 2001 Pierce appealed and was initially successful in reverting the previous judgment. In March 2002 a district court found in Anna’s favor that she was entitled to half of their community property, which would have been any appreciation of assets during the marriage. This court vacated the $475 million judgment and instead called for Anna to receive $88 million.
Pierce appealed to Texas’ Ninth Circuit court of appeals which ruled that was in fact NOT one of Marshall’s heirs, vacating the $88 million judgement.
Believe it or not, Anna appealed the case all the way to the United States Supreme Court. On May 1, 2006 the Supreme Court ruled in Smith’s favor by essentially saying the Ninth Circuit’s judgment was false and therefore she had the right to continue pursing the case back in the Ninth Circuit. In March 2010, that earlier court finally ruled, once and for all, that Anna’s bankruptcy court claim was false and therefore she was not entitled to any of J. Howard Marshall’s estate primarily because the bankruptcy court that originally ruled in Anna’s favor did not have jurisdiction in Texas to make such an award in a case where the probate had already been settled.
E. Pierce Marshall died on June 20, 2006 at the age of 67 as a result of septic shock. His estate was left to his wife, Elaine Marshall and their two children.
Anna died on February 8, 2007 at the age of 39. Her will left all assets to her son Daniel. Tragically, Daniel died six months earlier at the age of 20 from an accidental drug overdose. Smith’s estate at the time of her death included $1.8 million in real estate that had a $1.1 million mortgage. Her next of kin was a daughter named Danielynn who was born three days before older brother Daniel’s death in 2006.
Anna’s former attorney Howard K. Stern continued the legal fight on Danielynn’s behalf, appealing to the US Supreme Court for a second time. He initially claimed to be the girl’s father, but that was ultimately proven false. Larry Birkhead came forward as Danielynn’s father. In the end, after 15 years of legal battles, all of Anna’s claims and previous judgments were overturned in favor of the Marshall family.
Had Anna actually been victorious, today she would own 8% of Koch Industries and would be worth around $8 billion. Instead, today E. Pierce Marshall’s widow Elaine Marshall is worth $17 billion and is one of the richest women in the world.
She was born Vickie Lynn Hogan on November 28, 1967 in Houston, Texas. Smith has five half siblings and she was raised by her mother and aunt. Anna attended Aldine High School in Houston and later Mexia High School, where she dropped out during her sophomore year. As a teenager, Anna’s role model was Marilyn Monroe. Anna was an exotic dancer in Texas before becoming a single mother at the age of 20.
She first appeared in Playboy in March 1992 as Vickie Smith. For the May 1992 issue, she was named Playboy Playmate of the Month. A year later, she was named Playmate of the Year. Smith then secured a contract to replace Claudia Schiffer in a Guess jeans ad campaign. This is around the time she decided to change her name to Anna Nicole Smith. Smith gained worldwide attention when she modeled for Swedish company H&M and her photo was displayed on large billboards in Sweden and Norway. She also appeared on the cover of Marie Claire in Germany. In August 1994, a photograph of Smith was used by New York Magazine in its issue titled White Trash Nation. In the photograph she is squatting in a skirt with white cowboy boots while eating chips. Her lawyer initiated a 5 million dollar lawsuit against New York Magazine claiming that Smith did not authorize the use of her photo.
On Screen Career
While Anna found success as a model, she never quite found the same recognition as an actress. Her screen debut was in the 1994 screwball comedy “The Hudsucker Proxy.” She was next given a larger role as Tanya Peters in 1994’s “Naked Gun 33 ⅓: The Final Insult,” which earned her favorable reviews and moderate box office success. She found herself often typecast as the “ditzy dumb blonde” archetype amongst Hollywood studios. She played a more serious role in 1995’s “To the Limit” when she appeared as Colette Dubois. Unfortunately, though the film was highly publicized and boasted a very generous budget, Smith’s performance drew negative reviews, and “To the Limit” was ultimately a box office bomb. She attempted to revitalize her movie career with a leading role in “Skyscraper” in 1996 but the low-budget direct to film movie offered no help. In the late 90s, she turned her eye towards television roles. She appeared in “Sin City Spectacular,” “Veronica’s Closet,” and in an episode of “Ally McBeal.”
As a result of her rising popularity with tabloids, she was given her own reality show on the E! cable network. “The Anna Nicole Show” premiered on August 4, 2002. The show shot her to fame with a new audience and it achieved the highest cable rating possible for a reality show. The show focused on the private life of Anna, her boyfriend and attorney Howard K. Stern, her son Daniel Wayne Smith, and her miniature poodle Sugar Pie. The show was canceled in June 2003. Afterwards, Smith appeared in the comedy film “Wasabi Tuna.” Neither the film nor her performance drew positive acclaim. She briefly appeared in “Be Cool” starring John Travolta. Her final film before her death was in the parody film “Illegal Aliens” opposite wrestler Joani Chyna Laurer.
Smith was working at a Jim’s Krispy Fried Chicken in Mexia, Texas when she met Billy Wayne Smith, a cook at the restaurant, and the couple married on April 4, 1985 when she was just seventeen. She gave birth to their son, Daniel Wayne Smith, in January 1986. Anna and Billy Wayne divorced in 1993
Shortly after she was named Playmate of the Year, Anna married oil business mogul, J. Howard Marshall, in June 1994. They had met while she was working at a Houston strip club. Marshall was 62 years her senior. Not surprisingly, rumors swirled that Anna married the octogenarian for his money. They were married just 13 months before Marshall died in Houston at age 90.
His death set off a very bitter and lengthy legal battle between Anna Nicole and Marshall’s son Pierce Marshall over her desire to inherit half of the late tycoon’s $1.6 billion estate. Anna was initially awarded $475 million but that was soon vacated. In the end, after years of trials that involved the United States Supreme Court on TWO occasions, Anna’s estate did not receive anything from her former husband’s estate.
The last six months of her life she spent in the focus of the media regarding the accidental overdose death of her son, Daniel, and the paternity and custody battle over her newborn daughter, Dannielynn. Although she was in a relationship with Howard K. Stern at the time, several other men came forward claiming they were the father of the baby. Among those was entertainment photographer Larry Birkhead. After much media attention, DNA ruled that Birkhead was in fact the father of Dannielynn. On September 10, 2006, three days after Dannielynn was born, Anna’s 20 year old son Daniel died from an overdose of drugs, including methadone and antidepressants. On September 28, 2006, Stern and Smith exchanged rings during an intimate yet informal commitment ceremony.
On February 8, 2007, Smith was found dead in her hotel room in Hollywood, Florida. A seven week investigation found that Smith had died of a combined drug intoxication with the sleeping pill chloral hydrate listed as the “major component,” along with four benzodiazepines. She had also taken Benadryl. No illegal drugs were found in her system. It was later reported that eight of the 11 drugs found in her system were prescribed to Stern, not Smith. Her funeral took place on March 2, 2007.