Anna Nicole's Death: One-Year Anniversary

Anna Nicole's Death: One-Year Anniversary
Smith in February 2006
Manuel Balce Ceneta/AP

02/08/2008 08:10AM

Friday marks the one-year anniversary of the discovery of Anna Nicole Smith's lifeless body in a Florida hotel room – the sorrowful finish to a real-life soap opera that managed to both captivate and shock those who followed it.

Nowhere is Smith's passing more profoundly felt than in the late centerfold and reality-star's Los Angeles home, now occupied by Anna Nicole's 17-month-old daughter, Dannielynn, and the baby's father, Larry Birkhead.

"There's pictures everywhere in the house of her mom and of Daniel. She knows," Birkhead recently told PEOPLE. (Daniel, Smith's 19-year-old son, died only days after Dannielynn was born.)

Speaking of Dannielynn, Birkhead says, "We have a granite piece of tile with Anna's picture on it, and she crawls to it and she kisses it and says, 'Momma!' and she points to her momma. It's sweet, but at the same time, it brings back so many memories."

Known for her fierce drive, the former Mexia, Texas, native (who was born Vickie Lynn Hogan) modeled her life on Marilyn Monroe's – and met just as tragic a fate.

Divorced as a teen, widowed at 27 and dead at 39, Smith's final months were indelibly marred by Daniel's death – which, like her own, was blamed on a lethal combination of prescription drugs.

Although questions about Dannielynn's paternity were resolved soon after Anna Nicole's death, courts continue trying to unravel problems left in Smith's wake.

In mid-March, a coroner's inquest into Daniel's death is set to resume in the Bahamas, as are hearings in Los Angeles over a petition to have Dannielynn declared her mother's sole heir.

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