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Published:February 11th, 2007 11:39 EST
Why was Anna Nicole so captivating?

Why was Anna Nicole so captivating?

By Krista Belles

Thursday, February 8th, Anna Nicole Smith died at age 39 in a hotel room in south Florida. The news broke Thursday afternoon to the shock of millions. As the news spread, many people began speculating the cause of death. The official cause of death has not been released yet, but the Broward County Medical Examiner`s Office has stated that the cause of death is under investigation and an autopsy is scheduled for Friday, February 9th.

Why was Anna Nicole Smith so popular? Among the American public, she continually stood out as a pop culture icon that fascinated or horrified. She began her fame as a topless dancer at a strip club. She entered photos in a search contest and made the cover of Playboy. In 1994, she married octogenarian oil tycoon, Howard Marshall II, the owner of Great Northern Oil Company. A feud began upon Marshall`s death with his son, E. Pierce Marshall over the estate. E. Pierce Marshall died later that year at age 67, but his family vowed that the court fight would continue. She has continued to captivate America when she publicized her battle with weight and became a spokeswoman for the diet pill, TrimSpa.  She starred in a reality television show entitled "The Anna Nicole Show." Cameras followed her daily life, from dealing with her lawyer to playing with her dog.

Tragedy has also struck in Anna Nicole`s life, allowing for empathy from the public that may not understand her more outlandish aspects. Five months ago, she lost her 20-year-old son to an apparent drug overdose. Her son died just five days after Anna Nicole had given birth to a daughter. The paternity of the child, Dannielynn, is now in question. The birth certificate lists the father as Smith`s attorney, Howard K. Stern, but ex-boyfriend Larry Birkhead is now legally challenging the paternity, stating he is the child`s father.

So why was Anna Nicole Smith so bewitching to the American public? Her outrageous antics were amusing to watch, her life was full of ups and downs, whether battling with her weight, fighting her family in court, or delivering a beautiful daughter. Perhaps she exemplified the extremes of all human behavior and it was interesting to watch. Perhaps she was the person everyone wishes to "fix." Perhaps she was just great over the top entertainment. Why she captured and kept the attention of the public for so long may never really be explained or understood, but her energetic and often bizarre behavior provided vast amusement for over a decade to media and public alike.

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