Anna Nicole Smith wasn’t always Anna Nicole Smith. The Playboy model and television personality was originally born Vicky Lynn Hogan in 1967. But it wasn’t until Anna Nicole Smith began to work as a model with Guess in 1991 that she took on the name that the world now knows her by.
Smith’s former best friend and assistant, a woman who goes by just the name “Missy,” recounts the origin of Smith’s name in the new Netflix documentary Anna Nicole Smith: You Don’t Know Me.
Missy says how Anna Nicole Smith got her name was through Paul Marciano, the co-founder of Guess. He suggested that Smith take on a new name instead of going by Vicky, or her other nickname, Nicky.
After Smith did her first photoshoot with Guess, she came back and began brainstorming her new name.
Anna Nicole Smith: Not Provincial
“She said, ‘Well, Paul [Marciano] and I decided that I need a name that’s less provincial. Something more global,” Missy recalls Smith telling her.
“I liked the name Anna, so I chose Anna, and he [Marciano] put Nicole with it,” Missy adds. “And voila — Anna Nicole Smith was born.”
Missy also remembers Smith instructing her not to call her by her old nickname anymore.
“When we’re in public, you call me that. Don’t call me Nicky in public,” Missy recalls Smith saying. “I don’t care if you keep calling me Nicky, but don’t call me anything but Anna Nicole in public.”
Anna Nicole Smith was born to parents Virgie Hogan (née Arthur) and Donald Eugene Hogan. Smith grew up in Mexia, Texas.
The “Smith” in the model’s name was likely a holdover from her first husband, Billy Wayne Smith, whom she married when she was 17 and quickly divorced. They had a son together named Daniel Wayne Smith.
Anna Nicole Smith married her second husband, the elderly billionaire J. Howard Marshall, in 1994. He died the following year.
Smith ultimately died of a drug overdose in 2007 just five months after giving birth to her daughter, Dannielynn Birkhead. Her son, Daniel, had died shortly after Dannielynn was born.
Today, Dannielynn Birkhead is 16 years old. She has been in the sole custody of her father, Larry Birkhead, since 2007. She was born on September 7, 2006.
Main Image: Anna Nicole Smith pictured in Anna Nicole Smith: You Don’t Know Me courtesy of Netflix