For anyone who just saw her playing at school or doing her homework, Dannielynn looks like just a normal 12-year-old Kentucky girl. Her room is decorated in a Tinkerbell theme, she’s learning the violin, and loves a good dance party with her friends. The only thing that might make you look again is her striking resemblance to one of the biggest models and media stars of the 1990s and 2000s: Anna Nicole Smith.
Wishing Dannielynn a Happy 12th Birthday! Her Mom would be so proud. The celebration is about to start! pic.twitter.com/ThlekFKGNm
— Larry Birkhead (@larrybirkhead) September 7, 2018
In 2006, Anna Nicole Smith gave birth to the daughter she had always wanted. She had written this wish down in her secret diary back in 1993, when she skyrocketed to fame as a model: “I want more children. I want a girl I can dress up.” When rumors started to swirl on the internet, Smith posted a home video confirming the story, describing herself as “very happy about it.”
She gave birth to baby Dannielynn in a hospital in the Bahamas, but tragedy soon struck as Smith’s son, Daniel Wayne Smith, died of an alleged overdose in the very room where his mom had given birth. Anna Nicole Smith died only a few months later, leaving her little girl behind with Larry Birkhead, her biological father and Smith’s photographer.
— Larry Birkhead (@larrybirkhead) April 15, 2017
While Dannielynn’s first months were marred by the tragic loss of her half-brother and mother, father Larry Birkhead has done his best to give her a normal life and let her know how special her mother was. Birkhead moved away from the Bahamas, where baby Dannielynn was born, to the country just outside Louisville, Kentucky. Getting the baby away from the media circus, he was able to give her a real childhood.
In 2017, Larry showed Inside Edition around his beautiful 10,000-square-feet house, complete with a self-portrait that Anna Nicole Smith left behind as a momento to her daughter. “To my baby who is in my belly right now. Seven-and-a-half months. I love you. July 31, 2006.” While Dannielynn was too young to have any memories of her mother, her dad is clearly keeping her memory alive.
In 2004, Anna Nicole Smith made a big splash in her appearance at the Kentucky Derby, famous not only for its down-to-the-wire finishes, but also for its incredible fashion moments, especially hats.
Earlier this month, Dannielynn wore her mom’s hat, a bit too big for the 12-year-old, but still incredibly beautiful. This touching tribute to her mom was accompanied by a beautiful pink dress designed by European fashion house Junona. Dad Larry wore a light-pink suit to match.
Dad and daughter have been attending the Derby for 10 years in a row, a great family tradition that will hopefully continue for a long time. “She’s a good kid,” he told E!Online, “and we laugh and have the best times and she wears me out.”
While Dannielynn has shown no signs of being interested in modeling or stardom more generally, she certainly has inherited her mom’s beauty, fierce sense of determination, and fearlessness.
As Larry told E!Online, “I’m going on amusement park roller coasters doing 200-foot drops holding on to her and she says, ‘I told you the last time, do not hold on to me!’” After such a tragic start, it’s wonderful to see that Dannielynn has had the chance to be a normal kid.