From when Dannielynn Birkhead was five years old, people could not get over the similarities between the little girl and Anna Nicole Smith. Between their blonde hair and winning smiles, observers couldn’t help but see Anna Nicole — the famous Playboy magazine model who tragically died from an accidental overdose in 2007, five months after her son Daniel Wayne Smith died the same way– in little Dannielynn. Since Anna Nicole’s passing, Dannielynn’s father, Larry Birkhead, has looked over their daughter. The two have become fixtures at the Kentucky Derby in their hometown of Louisville, Kentucky, always showing up dressed in the brightest fashions. In 2023, Dannielynn looked like the spitting image of her mother when she attended the Barnstable Gala.
The late model and reality television star’s life was the subject of Netflix’s Anna Nicole Smith: You Don’t Know Me. The film, which premiered in May 2023, “will document Smith’s life, from her Houston upbringing to her rise to fame that included the cover of Playboy, modeling for Guess, and appearing in such Hollywood projects as the 1994 film Naked Gun 33 1/3: The Final Insult and E! series The Anna Nicole Show,” per The Hollywood Reporter.
“I feel like many previous books and films about Anna Nicole twisted her narrative, so I felt fortunate to have access to a wealth of audio and TV interviews, including personal phone calls that involved Anna Nicole,” director Ursula Macfarlane (Untouchable) told Netflix’s Tudum website. “I really feel like she is telling her own story in her own words. And with the contributions of people in her life who genuinely knew her, I feel that we’ve been able to get closer to her truth.”
However, Dannielynn and Larry were not among those voices. “We aren’t involved in the Anna Nicole Netflix documentary,” Larry told the New York Post. He added that he and Dannielynn are making their own special project, one in which they “can make sure that the people involved are truly connected with Anna and that we have a certain level of control over the way the story is told.”
Larry said he and his daughter passed on the program “after discussions with production over who would and wouldn’t be included. “I had to make that decision after seeing production after production following the same format and using the same people saying they were ‘friends’ with Anna. It’s important for me, and I owe it to my daughter Dannielynn that only credible people are involved in Anna’s story, and so I decided one way to get that assurance is to do our own project.”
With that said, here’s what you need to know about Anna Nicole Smith’s daughter and her late son.
How Old Is Dannielynn Now?
Dannielynn was born on Sept. 7, 2006. That makes Anna Nicole’s daughter 17 years old as of November 2023. Her father, Larry, took to Instagram on Sept. 7, 2023 to celebrate her 17th birthday with an adorable video montage (see above). “Happy 17th Birthday Dannielynn! I am so proud of you in each and every way. Wishing you the best day ever ! You are funny, crazy smart, pretty and just about everything I could ever imagine. Your Mom would be so proud of you, I sure am,” his caption began. “Happy Birthday! Love Dad By the way, when you asked me if you could live in my basement forever. I said yes, but I didn’t have the heart to tell you there aren’t any basements in Florida #HappyBirthday.”
Who Is Dannielynn’s Father?
Dannielynn’s father is Larry Birkhead, a celebrity photographer who’s now 50 years old. He met Anna Nicole at the Kentucky Derby in 2004, but the romance that happened afterward was hush-hush. “No one ever knew one time that I was her boyfriend,” Larry said in an older 20/20 special, which aired in 2017. “The whole time we dated, if you look at all the videos, I’m in the back carrying my camera bag … she didn’t want me in the spotlight.”
However, confusion over the true identity of Dannielynn’s father ensued after her birth in 2006. In his 20/20 interview, Larry claimed that he had a fight with Anna Nicole five months into her pregnancy and that she left him for the Bahamas. When the baby was delivered, Dannielynn’s father was listed as attorney Howard K. Stern (Anna Nicole’s partner at the time) on her birth certificate, which Larry challenged with a lawsuit. After a DNA test, Larry was confirmed as Dannielynn’s biological father in April of 2007.
Larry has been a devoted father ever since and even takes Dannielynn to the Kentucky Derby (where her parents met) as a yearly tradition. Although they had to watch the Kentucky Derby from home in 2020 due to the pandemic, you can see a photo of them at the 2019 horse racing event above.
How Old Was Anna Nicole Smith When She Had Her Daughter?
Anna Nicole was 39 when she welcomed Dannielynn into the world, just about a month away from her 40th birthday. The 1992 “Playmate of the Month” was only 17 years old, however, when she welcomed Dannielynn’s half-brother Daniel. He sadly died of an accidental overdose in the very same hospital room where his mother gave birth to Dannielynn. This was the same cause of death that claimed Anna Nicole’s life just five months later.
Larry never wanted to gloss over Anna Nicole’s troubled past and has kept the memory of Dannielynn’s mother alive. The pair even visit Anna Nicole’s grave together. “We visit, and I tell Dannielynn stories about her mom. I don’t sugarcoat it. I say there are some things that your mom did, and you know I try to make her learn from it,” Larry once told Entertainment Tonight in 2015. “My goal was always to keep Daniel and Anna in her mind and let her know who they were without overdoing it.”
What Is Dannielynn Up To Now?
— Larry Birkhead (@larrybirkhead) June 4, 2019
Like mother, like daughter! Anna Nicole was once the face of Guess in the ’90s, and in 2013, Dannielynn made her modeling debut with the very same brand for a Guess Kids campaign.
These days, Dannielynn is living life as a normal teenager. “She goes to school like every other kid, she’s a Girl Scout,” Larry said on The Steve Harvey Show during the summer of 2016. Dannielynn’s dad admits that it can be a struggle and said, “I make it as normal as I can.” The father-daughter duo does normal things like catching a movie and rushing to school late. Dannielynn graduated from the seventh grade in the summer of 2019, which Larry proudly posted about (you can see the photos above).
Dannielynn often hangs out with her father, whether going to Walt Disney World or catching a movie together.
She has also taken up the guitar. At the 2022 Kentucky Derby, she met Bon Jovi guitarist Richie Sambora, who offered to give Anna Nicole’s daughter some lessons whenever she visited Los Angeles. In 2023, Richie returned to the Kentucky Derby, where he “graciously made good on his offer to give Dannielynn a private guitar lesson and spent a ton of time giving her confidence-building tips and mastering the art of playing the guitar,” wrote Larry. “Great guy! Dannielynn played a little @janetjackson “Black Cat” for him. Now off to the @kentuckyderby after the Barnstable-Brown Gala last night.”
What Is Dannielynn’s Net Worth?
While Dannielynn’s net worth is not public information, she was named the sole heir to her late mother’s estate in 2008. However, lawyers representing Dannielynn lost an attempt to win $44 million from the vast fortune that Anna Nicole’s ex-husband J. Howard Marshall left behind, BBC News reported in 2014. After the oil tycoon billionaire passed away in 1995, he left his $1.6 billion fortune to only his son E Pierce Mashall, who is also now deceased.
“If Dannielynn is to inherit anything via her mom that she was entitled to, so be it, but it’s not like we’re sitting around waiting for one thing to happen,” Larry said about the financial ordeal in his 20/20 interview in 2017.
The celebrity website The Richest had Dannielynn’s net worth at around $10 million in 2023, likely from her work as a child model. She was the face of Guess Girls Spring 2013 line.
Anna Nicole Smith’s Son
Anna Nicole and her first husband, Billy Smith, welcomed their son Daniel on January 22, 1985. That was only one year after Anna got married to Billy, when she was sixteen years old. After Daniel’s parents separated in 1987, he was raised by Anna Nicole and his maternal grandmother, Virgie Arthur, in Texas. When Daniel turned 16, he started appearing on his mom’s reality show, The Anna Nicole Show. He also acted in two of Anna Nicole’s films, Skyscraper and To The Limit.
Daniel lived to the age of 20, before he tragically died of a mixture of drugs on September 10, 2006. He passed away at the maternity ward at Doctors Hospital in Nassau, Bahamas, where he was visiting his mother who gave birth to his half-sister, Dannielynn. Daniel died just three days after Dannielynn was born.