Anna Nicole Smith Collapses, Dies At 39 - KFDA - NewsChannel 10 / Amarillo News, Weather, Sports

Anna Nicole Smith Collapses, Dies At 39

Anna Nicole Smith (File) Anna Nicole Smith (File)
Evidence bags leaving the Hard Rock Hotel and Casino. Evidence bags leaving the Hard Rock Hotel and Casino.

(CBS) LOS ANGELES Anna Nicole Smith, the former Playboy playmate whose bizarre life careened from marriage to an octogenarian billionaire to the untimely death of her son, died Thursday after collapsing at a Florida hotel, one of her lawyers said.

Smith, 39, collapsed and was unresponsive while staying at the Seminole Hard Rock Cafe Hotel and Casino, said the attorney, Ron Rale. She was rushed to Memorial Regional Hospital in Hollywood, Fla.

CBS station WCBS-TV in New York reports that while searching Anna Nicole Smith's hotel room late Thursday afternoon, investigators found two key pieces of evidence: illegal narcotics and prescription medications.

A toxicology report will determine whether one of these drugs or a combination of both substances contributed to her death.

An autopsy is scheduled for Friday morning in Fort Lauderdale, Fla.

Speaking at a Wednesday news conference in Florida, Charlie Tiger of the Seminole police told reporters that a private female nurse discovered Smith's body at the hotel and that a bodyguard administered CPR at 1:45 p.m.

Tiger said police received confirmation of her death at 2:49 p.m.

Edwina Johnson, chief investigator of the Broward County Medical Examiner's Office, said the cause of death is under investigation.

CBS News correspondent Kelly Cobiella reports that police are not treating Smith's death as a crime but they are interviewing people who were with her at the hotel.

"She checked in Monday at 8 p.m. as a guest. She was due to check out tomorrow [Thursday]," said Danielle Giordano, a spokeswoman for the hotel.

WFOR-TV reports that Smith was in the room with a nurse when she started to experience "difficulty." The nurse reportedly called Memorial Hospital directly, and while she was on the phone, Smith's bodyguard entered the room and began to perform CPR.

Her partner, Howard K. Stern, told "Entertainment Tonight" that Smith had a high temperature Wednesday night. ET reported that the couple was shopping for a new boat in Florida.

The past year has been a turbulent one for Smith. She was facing a paternity suit filed by her ex-boyfriend, Larry Birkhead, who claimed to be the father of her infant daughter, Dannielynn.

The baby was born on Sept. 7 in the Bahamas, days before her son Daniel, 20, died suddenly of a drug overdose.

A medical examiner hired by the family said Daniel had methadone and two antidepressants in his system when he died.

Bahamian authorities announced last month that there will be a formal inquiry into his death on March 27.

Smith had been a tabloid staple even before she became Playboy's Playmate of the Year in 1993. Readers were fascinated by her bombshell good looks, her marriage to an elderly billionaire and subsequent court fight over his estate, her weight fluctuations and the sudden death last year of her 20-year-old son.

A former topless dancer, she made her name squeezing into Guess jeans. She was at times compared to the late actress Marilyn Monroe, a similarity played up in her magazine ads, billboards and department store displays.

In 1994, she married 89-year-old oil tycoon J. Howard Marshall II, the head of oil-based Koch Industries, which is part of a family fortune worth at least $400 million.

Marshall died in 1995, setting off a feud with her former stepson, E. Pierce Marshall, over whether she had a right to his estate.

A federal court in California awarded Smith $474 million in a complicated legal twist that began after she declared bankruptcy. That was later overturned.

But last May, the U.S. Supreme Court revived her case. The justices said only that federal courts in California could deal with her case, despite a Texas state court ruling that Marshall was the estate's sole heir.

The stepson then died in June at age 67. But the family said the court fight would continue.

In the following years, Smith had her own reality show, "The Anna Nicole Smith" show on the E! cable network.

Smith was born Vickie Lynn Hogan on Nov. 28, 1967, in Houston, one of six children of Donald Eugene and Virgie Hart Hogan.

She married Bill Smith in 1985, giving birth to Daniel before they divorced two years later.

Smith had been estranged from her immediate family for years at the time of her death.

"Everyone in my life has stabbed me in my back, or said something bad about me or sued me," she told The Insider in an interview shot at her Bahamas home ten days ago.

(© 2007 CBS Broadcasting Inc. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed. The Associated Press contributed to this report. )

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