Anna Nicole Smith’s daughter just turned 16 and she’s the spitting image of her mom
She's beautiful!
Marilyn Caylor

Over the years, Larry Birkhead has purposely kept his daughter, whom he shares with Anna Nicole Smith, out of the spotlight.

But now that Dannielynn has recently celebrated her sweet 16, the private father decided it was the perfect time to post a touching tribute: “Mom is looking down!”

It seems like only yesterday that a then 26-year-old Anna Nicole married industrialist billionaire J. Howard Marshall II, who was 63 years her senior, in what many believed to be a shameless grab for his money.

An article from People dated August 1, 1994, led with a somewhat infuriating “The bride wore cleavage,” as if that was all she had going for her.

Flickr - kellywritershouse
Flickr - kellywritershouse

The truth is, women can have big boobs and still be smart as a whip – Dolly Parton is proof of that.

The actress and model, who landed the cover of Playboy in 1992, was actually one of the smartest “dumb blondes” in the public eye.

Not only did she steamroll her way to celebrity status in a relatively short timeframe, but she also netted herself a cable television series and was even the coveted “Guess jeans girl” at one point. Playing dumb was just another role she was really good at.

Wikimedia Commons - doggiesrule04
Wikimedia Commons - doggiesrule04

But, even with all that money and fame, life was far from easy. When her oil-tycoon husband died, Anna Nicole faced legal challenges with her share of his estate, which family members fiercely contested.

At one point she was awarded almost half a billion, but the courts later reduced that amount to zero.

Then in 2006, her 20-year-old son passed away from an accidental overdose, and 5 months later, she tragically met the same fate.

Anna Nicole left behind 5-month-old Dannielynn, but no one had ever heard of Larry Birkhead, the girl’s father. They had an on-off relationship for a couple of years that even the paparazzi didn’t know much about, and were in the “off” phase at the time of her passing.

Larry didn’t want to expose their daughter to the Hollywood limelight and took great strides to keep their private lives under lock and key.

Because their lives have been kept tightly under wraps, we never really got to see her grow up. Every few years Larry would share a few pictures of his daughter, but that was pretty much it.

Then last week he posted an entire collage of Dannielynn smiling and having fun at various stages of life!

One of them included a snap of 39-year-old Anna Nicole canoodling with her as a baby.

Larry began his Instagram post with, “Sixteen years ago my beautiful baby was born.”

He also wrote, “Through tragedy, turmoil, and a couple of baby tantrums-today you shine bright and are so accomplished. So proud to be your Dad!”

He ended the tribute with a cheeky warning to drivers: “Stay off your local roads because Dannielynn is 16!” You can read it in its entirety here.

ET tweeted a photoshoot with Dannielynn, who is pictured celebrating her 16th birthday in a yellow tie-die Kill Bill t-shirt.

And holy heck does she look so much like her mother!

In the short video clip below, you can also hear what her voice sounds like.

What a beautiful young woman Dannielynn turned out to be! Anna Nicole would be so proud to know that her father raised her to be a completely balanced, happy teenager.

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By Marilyn Caylor
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Marilyn Caylor is a contributor at SBLY Media.