The Real Reason Anna Nicole Smith Changed Her Daughter's Name

Anna Nicole Smith was a model, actress, reality TV star, and former Playboy playmate, as well as a mother to two children — daughter Dannielynn Birkhead, who is now 15 years old, and son Daniel Wayne Smith, who died three days after his sister was born and five months before his mother's death.

Her death came on February 8, 2007, at the age of 39, and his was on September 10, 2006, when he was just 20 years old. Both were ruled as drug overdoses, with her son's including methadone and antidepressants and hers involving the sleeping pill chloral hydrate, benzodiazepines, and Benadryl, to name a few. According to Celebrity Net Worth, a seven-week investigation found that eight of the 11 drugs in her system had been prescribed to her partner at the time, Howard K. Stern. 

On the 14th anniversary of Smith's death, Larry Birkhead, Dannielynn's father, told "20/20" (via ABC7) that he made an effort to share details about Smith's life with his daughter, as well as to encourage her to celebrate her own life.

Five months before Anna Nicole Smith died, she gave birth to a daughter ... a daughter whose name was changed to Dannielynn for a very special reason. Read on to find out why.

There was some confusion surrounding who Dannielynn Birkhead's father was

When Dannielynn Birkhead was born on September 7, 2006, attorney Howard K. Stern was listed as the father on her birth certificate, as he was Anna Nicole Smith's live-in partner at the time.

However, a few other men also stepped forward, including freelance celebrity photographer Larry Birkhead; Smith's bodyguard, Alexander Denk; and Frederic Prinz von Anhalt, Zsa Zsa Gabor's husband, who said he'd had an affair with Smith. A DNA paternity test revealed that Birkhead was the real father, though, as stated by Celebrity Net Worth.

The site also lists Dannielynn's net worth as $3 million, a figure that is combined with her father. She did not receive any money from the estate of J. Howard Marshall, the billionaire that Smith was married to between 1994 and 1995 (when he was 89, and she was 26), before his death, even though Smith claimed he had promised to pass on the inheritance.

Anna Nicole Smith gave her daughter a name that honored Daniel Smith

According to People, Dannielynn Birkhead's name was going to be Hannah Rose. However, after Daniel Smith died, Anna Nicole Smith changed the name to Dannielynn Hope Marshall Birkhead. Marshall was Smith's married name, Daniel was, of course, in honor of her son, and the second part was a tribute to what Daniel always called his mother — Mommalynn.

In 2007, Dannielynn obtained the last name Birkhead, after Larry Birkhead was named her biological father. Before that, her last name was Stern, as attorney Howard K. Stern was named as the father on her birth certificate.

Birkhead spoke with OK! Magazine about the change, saying "I don't want to change anything else. [Dannielynn is] what her mother named her, and even though I didn't get a say, I still want to respect her mother's wishes." He also shared that Stern had "been a great help," as he'd "been with Dannielynn the last several months" and knew "her likes and dislikes."

Larry Birkhead belives his daughter is Anna Nicole Smith's 'legacy'

In the past couple of years, Dannielynn Birkhead has expressed interest in following in her mother's footsteps (via MEAWW). "There are times when she'll say, 'I wish I could be on that,'" her father, Larry Birkhead, shared. "Like when she watched 'Stranger Things' and 'The Umbrella Academy.' If she does anything, it will be on her terms. She's determined to be her own person."

Over the years, Dannielynn's mom appeared in TV shows and films such as "The Naked Truth," "Ally McBeal," "Be Cool," and "The Anna Nicole Show," seen via her IMDb page. She was also named the Playmate of the Year in 1993, as well as modeled for brands like H&M, Lane Bryant, and Guess Jeans, as stated by Celebrity Net Worth.

Birkhead continued, "We went into the Guess store the other day, and Dannielynn saw a big poster of Anna and said, 'Oh boy, she nailed that shot.' She understands her mom was a model, and she appreciates that." Anna Nicole Smith's daughter spoke on the topic with The Daily Mail, too, saying "It's really cool to, like, act as a character and not yourself. It's like portraying a new person. It's fun."

Reportedly, Birkhead is raising his daughter in Kentucky, away from the spotlight, and he considers Dannielynn to be Smith's "legacy" (via MEAWW).