Happy Birthday, Anna Nicole Smith! The late Playboy Playmate would have turned 50 on Tuesday, Nov. 28, so Larry Birkhead and their daughter, Dannielynn, celebrated her legacy in the Bahamas. The 11-year-old was born on the tropical island where her father fought for sole custody of her, and now the duo has returned to the “special” country in Anna Nicole’s honor. Watch the video below for more details on their trip!
The blonde bombshell died after an accidental drug overdose in 2007, months after Dannielynn’s birth. Larry fought Anna Nicole’s former lover and lawyer, Howard K. Stern, over custody of Dannielynn, which he was eventually granted after a DNA test confirmed he was the little girl’s biological father. “I remember coming out of this door right here and they said, ‘You can take Dannielynn home to Kentucky or wherever you’re gonna move.’ And I came out, I was so happy,” he recalled in an interview with Us Weekly. Dannielynn was named after her half-brother, Daniel Wayne Smith, who passed away of a drug overdose in 2006.
Earlier this year, Larry opened up to Entertainment Tonight about how he and his daughter cope with their tragic loss, and they’ve clearly remained strong through it all. He revealed that Dannielynn’s “more accepting” of missing her mom but that she’s left with a void from having no motherly figure in her life. “She is clinging to the female teachers,” he said. “She’s clingy to her girlfriends’ moms and she’ll say things like, ‘Do you want to adopt me? Would you be my honorary mother?’ She tends to do that a lot.”
Yet despite everything they’ve been through, Larry and his daughter are clearly father-daughter goals and are often out and about together. “She’s a good kid and we laugh and have the best times and she wears me out,” he said. “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!’ Sometimes you just have to say, ‘I gotta let you go and become your own person.’ You can only do so much. Sometimes I’m amazed by the way she handles things.”