For a moment, Anna Nicole Smith seemed to embody the American dream. The rags-to-riches story behind her rise to becoming a Playboy Playmate and coveted face for Guess made her a smash hit. Her subsequent marriage to 89-year-old oil tycoon J. Howard Marshall when she was just 26 years old, however, made her a national curiosity and tabloid target.
After Marshall's death, a lengthy court battle over Marshall's inheritance proved more lurid, draining and outlandish than any Hollywood script, eventually reaching the Supreme Court in September 2010 -- not that Smith would live to see its outcome.
The details of Smith's death are even more bizarre than her 39 years on Earth. On September 7, 2006, while vacationing in the Bahamas, Smith gave birth to her daughter Dannielynn. Three days later, Smith's 20-year-old son Daniel Smith died in the same hospital, allegedly from a prescription drug overdose. A distraught Smith married long-time friend and lawyer (and listed father on daughter Dannielynn's birth certificate) Howard K. Stern later that month, on September 28th. Five months later, Smith was found dead in a Hard Rock Hotel and Casino in Florida from a lethal "combined drug intoxication."
SLIDESHOW: Remembering Anna Nicole Smith (1967-2007)