Anna Nicole Smith died 14 years ago on Monday, and ABC is marking the anniversary with a special episode of 20/20 on Friday night. In "Tragic Beauty," Smith's daughter, 14-year-old Dannielynn Birkhead, is shown visiting important places in her mother's life alongside her father, Larry Birkhead. Smith died at 39 on Feb. 8, 2007, from an accidental overdose. Dannielynn was born just five months earlier. The two-hour special starts at 9 p.m. ET Friday.
In the trailer for the special, released last week, Dannielynn and Birkhead, 48, are shown going to Mexia, Texas, where Smith grew up. "Dannielynn's a teenager now, and she doesn't really know a ton of things about her mom," Birkhead said in a narration in the preview. He later notes that, as the father of a child whose mother has died, he thought it would be a good idea to go back to Smith's beginnings. According to ABC, the special also includes scenes with Birkhead and Dannielynn meeting some of Smith's friends from high school and "see the places she frequented before coming famous."
NEW: Anna Nicole Smith | What happens when her family goes in search of her secrets, past and possessions? ‘Tragic Beauty’ the new #ABC2020 event premieres Friday night at 9|8c on ABC. https://t.co/ZGewRPfd2o pic.twitter.com/4UnUIvKlvv— 20/20 (@ABC2020) January 30, 2021
"While in Los Angeles, they visit several sentimental locations, and Dannielynn sees for the first time some of Anna Nicole's memorabilia from her life and career, tucked away in a storage locker following her death," ABC's statement on the special reads. Good Morning America co-anchor Robin Roberts also reports on Smith's life n the special, which includes new interviews with those who knew Smith, never-before-seen footage and material from ABC's archives. The network teased a look at who Smith was before she became famous, her life as a celebrity and the "unanswered questions" about her death.
Smith was born Vickie Lynn Hogan in Houston on Nov. 28, 1967, and found instant success when she appeared in Playboy in 1992. She secured a modeling contract and appeared in a handful of movies in the early 1990s. In 1994, she married oil tycoon J. Howard Marshall, 13 months before he died at age 90. This led to a highly publicized case over the inheritance, which went all the way to the Supreme Court.
In September 2006, Smith's son, Daniel Wayne Smith, died from a drug overdose, which reportedly left Smith devastated. Smith was found dead in a hotel room in Hollywood, Florida in February 2007. There was also a paternity case involving Dannielynn. Birkhead insisted he was Dannielynn's father, but other men did as well, including Smith's longtime attorney Howard K. Stern. In April 2007, a judge in the Bahamas ruled DNA tests found Birkhead was the father. Birkhead and Dannielynn live in Kentucky, and they famously appear at the Kentucky Derby each year.