Entertainment

Who was Daniel Wayne Smith?

The tragic death of Anna Nicole's son has been much reported, but what about his brief life?

THE LOS ANGELES TIMES

September 25, 2006
So much has been written about the death of 20-year-old Daniel Wayne Smith, but so little is known of the young man himself. Most of the media stories have focused instead on the eventful career of his notorious mother — Anna Nicole Smith — the sometimes Marilyn Monroe look-alike who became a famous stripper in Dallas and a Guess model, married a dying billionaire, struggled with prescription drug addiction, and eventually wound up with her own reality show.

Daniel died just a few days after Anna Nicole gave birth to a baby girl in the Bahamas. He was sitting in his mother's hospital room when she discovered he was unconscious. She tried to resuscitate him but he eventually died. There is much speculation over what caused his death, but a full report will not be released until two weeks from now.

In the meantime his death has been picked over in every publication from Star Magazine to the Hindustan Times: Who was the third person in the hospital room? Was the death from natural or unnatural causes? Was it his heart or the antidepressants he took or an overdose of something else? And how could his mother have sold photos of him to In Touch for $400,000 less than 24 hours after his death?

But what about who Daniel was and what his brief life was like? There's not much out there, but after lots of digging, we've put together a few facts.

Birth: Daniel Wayne Smith was born Jan. 22, 1986, in Limestone, Tex. His mother was 17 at the time. She was working at Jim's Krispy Fried Chicken and had married a cook at the restaurant one year before — he was 17 too. They divorced one year later.

Early Years: Virgie Arthur, Anna Nicole's estranged mother, claims she brought up Daniel for the first six years of his life while his mother looked for work (which she found stripping in Dallas). It wasn't until Anna Nicole found success as a model that she brought Daniel to live with her and cut off communication with her mother.

Childhood: Daniel spent his school years in a series of different private schools. He also had small parts in some of his mother's films playing a ring bearer in 1995's "To the Limit" and Billy Ray in "Skyscraper."

Teen years: When Daniel was 16 his mother became the star of a reality television show called "The Anna Nicole Show" and he was (not surprisingly) a recurring character. The makeup artist on the show remembers him as a shy, sweet kid, and that Anna Nicole was often worried that the camera crews were upsetting him. The blurb about him on the show's website describes him as a "straight-A student" and "sweet, quiet and shy."

Last Days: It was reported that Daniel attended classes at Valley College in the summer of 2006 including all the introductory basics — economics, anthropology, math, philosophy and English. "I didn't know him," said student Christina Corigliano, who was interviewed by Entertainment Tonight. "But I saw him a few times going to class and I thought he was cute." It has also been reported that the Daniel was taking antidepressants for depression related to a girl.




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