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Anna Nicole Smith Dies (no joke)

Original Source

Anna Nicole Smith collapses and dies

By Michael Muskal
Times Staff Writer
Published February 8, 2007, 4:09 PM CST

HOLLYWOOD, Fla. -- Anna Nicole Smith, the Texas waitress who climbed into the top echelons of wealth and sexual glamour, died in Florida today, officials reported.

The former Playboy model and reality television star reportedly collapsed in her hotel room and was rushed to a hospital about 2 p.m. EST but was pronounced dead.

"At 2:49 this afternoon, we were advised by hospital personnel that Anna Nicole Smith had died. Our thoughts and prayers go out to the family," Seminole Police Chief Charles Tiger told a televised news conference.

Smith, 39, collapsed at her hotel, the Seminole Hard Rock Hotel and Casino in Hollywood, Fla, where she had been since Monday. Her nurse was in the room and called for help, Tiger said.

A bodyguard administered CPR at 1:45 p.m., but failed to revive Smith, Tiger said.

The cause of death will be determined by the Broward County medical examiner. The police will continue its investigation but are not treating the incident as a crime, he said.

It was a dramatic end to the life of the woman born Vickie Lynn Hogan in Houston on Nov. 28, 1967.

She was a woman who followed in the footsteps of Marilyn Monroe, a blond bombshell who combined sexuality with tragedy to become notorious.

She gained and lost weight while serving as a spokesperson for a weight-loss company. But it was her personal life, with more twists and turns than a B-movie, that gripped the public imagination.

After a stint as a waitress and a model, she shed her clothes in a sizzling Playboy centerfold and became the magazine's Playmate of the Year in 1993.

The next year, she married 89-year-old oil tycoon J. Howard Marshall after meeting him at a strip club.

Marshall died 14 months later, setting off a legal battle over his estate between Smith and her husband's son, E. Pierce Marshall. Marshall died last June.

Smith has had ongoing problems with her weight, but last May, a demure and thin Smith, dressed in black, attended a session at the U.S. Supreme Court over the estate.

The justices ruled that Smith could continue to pursue the inheritance in California courts.

Smith's son, Daniel, died last year in her hospital room in the Bahamas shortly after she gave birth to a daughter.

She had been embroiled in legal fights over the girl's paternity.

Smith was a spokeswoman for the weight loss product TrimSpa. Last month, the Federal Trade Commission announced that TrimSpa would pay $1.5 million to settle allegations that the company's claims about weight loss were untrue.

michael.muskal@latimes.com
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