The Truth About Dannielynn Birkhead's Relationship With Dad Larry

From taking family trips and going to theme parks (per Today) to wearing matching costumes just about every Halloween, as seen on the father-daughter duo's shared Instagram account, Dannielynn Birkhead and Larry Birkhead appear to share a tight-knit relationship — one that began when Larry, who was Anna Nicole Smith's ex-boyfriend at the time of her fatal accidental overdose in 2007 (per Today), was revealed to be Dannielynn's father via a paternity test several months after she was born. 

Since then, the two have been out of the Hollywood spotlight, except for the occasional TV special centered around the family, like the 2013 E! special "Life After Anna Nicole: The Larry & Dannielynn Story," which gave viewers an inside look at the family's private life. Larry keeps his daughter grounded with a normal life in Kentucky. "She's just a regular kid. She's into technology now and she's into games and these YouTube videos," he told Today in 2016.

Though, over the years, the Birkheads have shared glimpses of their life together, here is the truth about Dannielynn and Larry's special father-daughter dynamic.

Larry Birkhead helps keep Anna Nicole Smith's memory alive for daughter Dannielynn

Dannielynn Birkhead was only 5 months old when her famous mom, Anna Nicole Smith, died of an accidental drug overdose. Ever since, she's been raised by her dad, Larry Birkhead, who has helped keep her mom's memory alive for his daughter over the years in various ways.

In a joint interview with Dannielynn, Larry told DailyMailTV in 2019 that he let his daughter do a one-time modeling gig for Guess when she was younger to honor her mom. "It was the 25th anniversary of her mom's [Anna Nicole Smith] campaign," Larry shared with the outlet. His daughter echoed her dad's sentiments and said doing the campaign made her feel closer to her mom, adding, "It was actually really cool because now I get to know what it felt like."

In 2021, Dannielynn made a rare TV appearance in an ABC "20/20" special titled "Tragic Beauty: Anna Nicole Smith," where cameras followed Dannielynn and Larry as they traveled to Dannielynn's mother's hometown in Texas to learn more about her through people who knew her as a child.

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Dannielynn and dad Larry take family trips together

Dannielynn and Larry Birkhead enjoy taking family trips just like any other family. 

In 2016, the duo celebrated Dannielynn's 10th birthday at NBC's Universal Studios Hollywood in California, per Today. A year later, they traveled to the Bahamas not only for a vacation, but also to commemorate Dannielynn's late mother's 50th birthday, Us Weekly reported. The Bahamas also happens to be the place Dannielynn was born. "This trip back for Dannielynn is kind of special because she doesn't really know a whole lot about the place where she was born," Larry told Us Weekly. While in the Bahamas, the father-daughter duo swam with dolphins, visited the aquarium, and stopped at the courthouse where Larry fought for custody of Dannielynn when she was only several months old, according to the magazine.

The twosome have also gone to places like Dollywood in Tennessee and Disney World in Florida, trips documented on Larry and Dannielynn's shared Instagram account. In one of the photos, the duo is pictured in a pool at a Kentucky amusement park on Father's Day, according to the caption, and appear to be having fun together.

Dannielynn and Larry Birkhead enjoy annual traditions

From Halloween-themed outfits to their annual visit to the Kentucky Derby, Dannielynn and Larry Birkhead clearly love family traditions. 

On their shared Instagram account, several photos highlight the many different types of Halloween costumes they've put together over the years and show the lengths this duo will go for a memorable family photo. When Dannielynn was younger, she dressed up as Dorothy from "The Wizard of Oz," and her dad was the scarecrow. On another Halloween, Dannielynn was a witch and Larry a vampire. In 2017, the duo elevated their Halloween costume game, with Larry as Pennywise and his daughter as Georgie. A year later, they wore chilling costumes from "The Exorcist."

Besides going all out on Halloween every year, the duo also gets dressed up for the Kentucky Derby, a tradition that involves color-coordinated outfits, per Larry's Twitter post from 2019. That year, Larry wore a blush pink suit, and Dannielynn wore a dress of the same color with the same hat her mother wore to the 2004 Kentucky Derby, according to the caption. Per Entertainment Tonight, the duo has attended the derby together every year (except during the COVID-19 pandemic) since 2010.

Dannielynn has played matchmaker to her dad

Over the years, Dannielynn Birkhead has played matchmaker to her dad, Larry Birkhead, in hopes of him finding a partner and her, a mother figure. In an interview with Us Weekly in 2016, Larry spoke about his daughter's determination to find him a girlfriend. Anytime he goes out, Dannielynn encourages him to find a special lady. "She's trying her best," Larry told the outlet, adding, "And it's sweet."

A year later, in 2017, Larry told Entertainment Tonight that his daughter suggested a few high-profile celebrities he should go out with, namely Kylie Jenner (a little young, in his opinion) and Kim Kardashian (who was married to Kanye West at the time).

Larry also told the outlet that Dannielynn has attempted to match her dad in the real world. One time, at a pool party, Dannielynn selected one of the moms there as a match for her dad and told the pair, "Y'all need to get to know each other," according to Larry, who added, "It's cute when she tries to push me out of the house and get me to date and do things."

Dannielynn reminds Larry Birkhead of her mom, Anna Nicole Smith

Dannielynn Birkhead not only looks like her late mom Anna Nicole Smith's mini-me, but she also shares similar personality traits, reminding her dad, Larry Birkhead, of Anna Nicole every day. Larry told ABC's "20/20" in 2017 that Dannielynn is "fearless like her mom," adding, "She'll get on any roller coaster that you put in front of her."

Larry jokingly told Us Weekly at a 2020 TV movie premiere that his daughter also shares the "ability to spend money" like Anna Nicole. Plus, she's funny and loves scary movies like her mom, as he told the outlet in a video interview a couple of years earlier.

On February 8, 2022, the 15th anniversary of Anna Nicole's death, Larry posted an old black-and-white photo of him and Anna Nicole on Instagram, captioning the pic that her spirit lives on in Dannielynn. "Your love is alive still to this day, in the form of a truly one of a kind teenager with her Mom's smile, beauty and courage," he wrote.

He tries to protect Dannielynn from the spotlight

While Dannielynn Birkhead has been in the spotlight since birth, she's lived a normal childhood in Kentucky with her dad, Larry Birkhead. During a "20/20" interview in 2017, the single dad shared some of his daughter's favorite things, which include Snapchat, French fries, Girl Scouts, and her pet lizard.

In an interview with Us Weekly the same year, Larry jokingly described himself as a "chauffeur" and "bodyguard" to Dannielynn, saying he takes his role as a dad very seriously. "And I think I've done a pretty good job," he added.

Not only is Larry protecting his daughter from the spotlight — the duo occasionally comes out of the woodwork for the Kentucky Derby, as reported by People, or a TV special, per Inside Edition. He also protects her from any negative press about her late mom, Anna Nicole Smith, one of the reasons he and Dannielynn moved to Kentucky early on, as he told Today. "That's the thing, there's so many bad things that people say and rarely do you hear the good things [Anna] did for charities and different people," he shared with DailyMailTV in 2019, adding, "Those are the stories I like to tell, you know?"

Larry supports Dannielynn no matter what she decides to do in life

With a mother like Anna Nicole Smith, the late model and Playboy playmate, Dannielynn Birkhead has been expected to follow in her footsteps, as her dad, Larry Birkhead, told DailyMailTV during a joint interview with his daughter in 2019. "'People always say, 'Is she going to be an actress? Is she going to be a model?' And I never push her in a certain direction," Larry told the outlet, adding that he's turned down acting gigs for her in the past so she can enjoy "being a kid."

But, as Dannielynn has gotten older, he added, she's developed a love for the arts, especially acting, even taking an acting class. And, apparently, she has talent for it, too. In the interview, Larry shared that his daughter's teacher sent him an email saying how Dannielynn gave "one of the most believable performances of the whole, whole entire school."

Additionally, Dannielynn told DailyMailTV that she finds acting "cool" and playing a "new person" fun. While her dad expressed his hesitancy toward that career path for his daughter, he isn't completely opposed to it either. "If she wants to do something like that when she's older," he told the outlet, "we'll see when we get there."