The Cult of Performer Anna Nicole Smith in Skyscraper (1996) Part Two

*contains spoilers

It was this era that she made her film appearances including The Hudsucker Proxy (1994) and The Naked Gun 331/3: The Final Insult (1994). The first one is a blink and miss it appearance which played well on her sexy appearance.

She used Xanax and cocaine to get through an appearance on the Phil Donahue Show to promote Naked Gun.

Entertainment weekly said of her role: “The bosomy blonde’s screen debut … may mark the beginning of a whole new career but as what isn’t clear.”

Anna Nicole said of Naked Gun: “Oh me, and Leslie (Nielson) played around so much. Me and him were probably the funniest in the whole movie. Leslie was always using his fart cushion. He has this fart cushion and he farts and then walks away. I was dying, I mean I was just on the floor.” It is hardly the film to win an Oscar.

The Hudsucker Proxy (1995)
Anna Nicole in The Hudsucker Proxy (1995)
Anna NIcole in the third Naked Gun movie
The poster for the final Naked Gun movie

Asked about her career: “Well, I’m either going to be a very good, famous actress or model, or I’m going to have a bunch of kids.” … “I’ve done my acting, I’ve done my modelling, I’ve done everything I’ve wanted to do.”

Sadly, for Anna Nicole, at the 15th Annual Razzies, she won Worst New Star.

It was in June 1994 that the nuptials between Anna Nicole and Howard Marshall came to a head after four years of pleading from the elderly man. For the occasion she wore a wedding gown with train and plunging neckline. It was a dress which became more famous when she wore it to his funeral service. Daniel was there as ring-bearer as well as other relatives while Marshall wore a tuxedo, white shirt and white shoes.

The White Dove Wedding Chapel owner was told by the groom: “I’ve made a lot of money. If I can make her happy. I’ve made her happy.” Anna Nicole wanted him to stand from his wheelchair but his legs buckled beneath him. The song Tonight I Celebrate My Love for You was played and after being wheeled up the aisle they married and two doves were released.

The song played at Anna Nicole’s wedding
The wedding between Anna Nicole Smith and Howard Marshall
The villain Pierce Marshall
Anna Nicole in one of her finer moments

It was then after a small reception that Anna Nicole left for a photo shoot in Greece with a male companion. Her brand-new husband wept and she told him: “Please don’t cry” waved goodbye and left. It was then the press went wild over the elderly oil tycoon.

“She loved Howard. She did love him,” said her cousin Melinda.

There were endless questions about their love life and comedians on late night television made endless jokes. It was a feeding frenzy. Anna Nicole’s intelligence was also made into a joke.

“Are you a feminist?” asked one host.

“I don’t understand that question,” she answered.

And other models?

“I think thin models are unhealthy. Who wants to hug a skeleton? I wouldn’t change my body for anything. Besides, I hate exercise. I love sweets.”

Little did Anna Nicole know that Howard had signed over his assets to his son Pierce. Meanwhile she dated Donald Trump and rang him after a bodyguard assaulted her and then stalked her.

On 31 December 1994, she rang the New Year in by jumping into the pool at the Playboy mansion on the stroke of midnight and then ‘balled’ actor Judd Nelson. The National Enquirer headline was ‘Thar She Blows’ which was probably knocking her weight as she was a plus size icon like Oprah Winfrey and Roseanne Barr. She was ridiculed and pitied for her plus size.

Anna NIcole disgraces herself with Bruce Willis
She would use diet pills to lose weight
Anna Nicole Agnes Bruckner stars as Anna Nicole Smith in the all-new Lifetime Original Movie, Anna Nicole, premiering Saturday, June 29, 2011

More bad behaviour ensued when she opened a Planet Hollywood in San Diego in a red dress where one breast fell out while Demi Moore was irate as she fondled husband Bruce Willis.

It was then that Pierce began to close in on the model and take back all the assets his father had given her. It was said by those close to the billionaire that he was unhappy about this. There was even a point where there was a fight over the guardianship of Howard Marshall which Anna Nicole lost.

It was around 1995 and 1996 that Anna Nicole starred in two movies made by the low-budget filmmaking PM Entertainment Group. Look through this production company’s resume and you will find very few good or memorable movies but they did capture performances by Anna Nicole in the films To the Limit (1995) and Skyscraper (1996). The best one is probably Skyscraper. The first one shows that playing complex roles beyond the catwalk was never going to be an option for a so-called ‘trailer trash’ type who couldn’t spell like Anna Nicole. She doesn’t necessarily embarrass herself except for the fact that her most convincing acting scene is Anna Nicole in the shower reaching orgasm using a shower nozzle! I guess there really is a think called typecasting. The movie isn’t a cult item apart from that.

To the Limit (1995) poster
To the Limit (1995) DVD cover
Skyscraper (1996) poster
Skyscraper (1996) DVD cover

Skyscraper has Anna Nicole hit her stride and has her know a bit of Shakespeare as well as fly a helicopter convincingly. This movie is a rip-off of Die Hard (1988) along with the long-haired baddies like Alexander Godunov (1949-95 hepatitis and alcoholism) and another so muscular you wait for him to burst. If you ever wanted to imagine Marilyn Monroe using her fists on bad guys as well as shooting a gun that seems to have a hundred bullets then this is the movie for you. The strange thing about Skyscraper is that it is shoddily enjoyable. It doesn’t have the polish of an A-grade movie but as a B or C-grade movie it delivers to a certain degree. Anna Nicole seems to put on about twenty kilograms and times and then loses them again and one wonders if there was a break in production in which the actress simply pigged out once or ten times too often. It’s a pity she wasn’t more committed to the production. I have read interviews where it was said she was drunk or stoned throughout the entire production of Skyscraper but there is no real sign of this. Anna Nicole could sure kick ass as this movie quickly proved. Skyscraper is watchable more than once.

Skyscraper (1996) trailer
Anna Nicole in Skyscraper (1996)
Another shot from Skyscraper (1996)
Director Ray Martino

The director of these two movies Ray Martino would put rosary beads all around Marshall’s hospital bed as if to try and get the devil out of him and her friends thought Anna Nicole go the same treatment as well.

On a July 1995 topless shoot two policemen tackled her to the sand and dragged her from the beach when things got out of hand. All despite no law about going topless on this particular beach.

“My whole life revolves around my breasts. Everything I have is because of them,” she said.

Howard Marshall died on 4 August 1995 and at the funeral she sang The Wings Beneath My Wings in her wedding dress. She was said to be inconsolable.

Ray Martino said the brief moments he spent with Anna Nicole and Howard “taught him the meaning of love.” She and son Daniel and Martino left the ceremony without eating in a black limousine. Howard’s son wanted a cremation but Anna Nicole was going through a Catholic stage and wanted a burial. Martino’s influence saw her question her thoughts and beliefs and he thought her “soul was in danger” as he tried to “cast the demons” out of her using prayer, candles and other rituals.

In November 1994, one of her implants ruptured and one breast was half the size of the other: “This is my life. My whole world. I can’t look like this,” she told her doctor. Three hours surgery fixed the problem but gave her one breast larger than the other.

In November 1995, she was found limp on the floor at home after it was said she had seizures. She was taken to hospital in a critical condition. It was then that she ended up in the Betty Ford Clinic for rehabilitation. There was talk her heart had stopped and that she had permanent brain damage.

German To the Limit (1995) trailer
Model Carre Otis (right) with MIckey Rourke
The Anna Nicole Show was highly improvised

People said she was a gold-digger and really didn’t love Howard. She had told people she really hated to watch him eat and also hated to spoon feed him. Meanwhile son Pierce refused to part with a dime. He would die in June 2006 of sepsis.

Her modelling career wasn’t quite over when she was asked to do a stout women advertisement for a clothing company along with Cathy Najimy, Queen Latifah, Carre Otis and Mia Tyler. And then television came calling after the success of the reality show The Osbournes… What happened was the Anna Nicole Show which debuted on August 2002. Critics called it a train wreck but people tuned in for a while before ratings plummeted. Episodes included her toothless cousin destroying her Christmas party and her dog constantly having sex with inanimate objects. Watch the show and it seems each episode is contrived and that Anna Nicole is high on something if she hasn’t drunk herself into oblivion. Then each episode is recapped by a sober Anna Nicole. The show like Skyscraper starts with her at a reasonable weight and then she just continues to stack on the pounds.

She then gave birth to her daughter by C-section on 7 September 2006 in New Providence in the Bahamas and flew her son over from California to see his new sister. Daniel was now 20 and a student at Los Angeles College. She was the producer of her last movie Illegal Aliens (2006).

Ilegal Aliens (2007) trailer
Illegal Aliens (2007) poster
Anna Nicole in Illegal Aliens (2007)
Pro-wrestler Joanie Lauer aka Chyna

Illegal Aliens is a film which kind of resembles Charlie’s Angels with three women who work for a hologram. It is definitely a B-movie but it is better than the work of Ray Martino. Anna Nicole is in her element as an alien who does baby talk possibly just the way that Howard Marshall liked it. She is looking rather thin after the birth of her daughter possibly due to diet pills. There is another early death with the bad girl in the movie played by Joanie Laurer (1969-2016 drug overdose). The film is genuinely silly but is slightly ruined by the editing. But it was never going to be Citizen Kane (1941) and if you give it a chance you might ‘almost’ be transported to the idiotic universe it intended.

Anna Nicole’s best line: “You’re right girls, tuning into a helicopter did get rid of my hiccups!” Say no more.

It had been reported that before he left to see his baby sister, Daniel had suffered chest pains and high blood pressure and was ill when he caught the plane. Anna Nicole and he met in the hospital but when she woke up the next morning, she found that he wasn’t breathing. She yelled for help but after the staff tried to resuscitate him for 20 minutes, he was pronounced dead. It is said that Anna Nicole still tried to revive him and asked Jesus to take her and not her son.

Son Daniel with her new baby daughter
Son Daniel with his sister. He would be dead within 24 hours.
Daniel’s funeral
Anna NIcole got married while her son was in a funeral home

Murder? Drug overdose? It was a mystery. The autopsy showed no sign of heart disease or stroke while the toxicology found anti-depressants and methadone. The mixture of two anti-depressants was probably fatal and Anna Nicole accepted the verdict.

On 28 September 2006 she was filmed jumping off a super yacht as she married the man who was possibly the father of the baby while her son’s body lay embalmed in a Bahamas funeral home for a month.

The baby was meanwhile named Dannielynn Hope Marshall Stern.

The life of excess had more or less spent her once promising career and any real friends that she had were ultimately revulsed by her hedonistic and tasteless behaviour as her personality warped into something entirely of its own making. Then there were the tantrums when it all came down to being about Anna Nicole.

Then she died. On 5 February 2007 she looked ‘woozy’ as she walked through the lobby of a Florida hotel. Her last day was one where her body guards and attendees more or less tried to help her as she took ice baths to cure the fever and meanwhile an abscess on her backside grew worse and threatened to turn into sepsis. She sipped chloral hydrate to sleep and escape reality. She was then found unresponsive at 2.49pm on 8 February on the bathroom floor or in her bed according to which report you believe. Dannielynn remained in the Bahamas.

The family grave in the Bahamas
Whoa there big boy: Some of Howard’s ashes were put in Anna Nicole’s coffin
Daughter Dannielyn with her father
Air-bushed Anna NIcole
Iconic shot from Guess?

Hugh Hefner said: “I am saddened to learn about Anna Nicole’s passing. She was a dear friend who meant a great deal to the Playboy family and to me personally.”

There was a fight over her body with her mother wanting her buried in Texas and the wishes of Anna Nicole to be buried beside Daniel in the Bahamas. The court case went on as it was reported that her body was starting to decompose in refrigeration. It was ruled she could be buried beside Daniel on 2 March 2007. Hundreds of fans watched as she was laid to rest in a coffin draped in Rhinestone studded pink, while Anna Nicole was dressed in a custom-made beaded gown and wearing a tiara. It is said a small urn of Howard Marshall’s ashes were put in the coffin as his name is on the marker. A flock of doves were released at the graveside.

Such was the life of this girl who was penniless with no education and no marketable skills who worked her way up not in the traditional sense but using what could be possible described as one of oldest professions in the world. Her addictions to seemingly everything possible destroyed any lasting career she may have wished for. Was she basically insecure, which caused her to escape reality as she chased the tail of the dragon in terms of drugs and alcohol? Perhaps Anna Nicole knew she wasn’t meant to be on Earth for a long time – but for a good time. Like several other actresses or more, she died before she turned forty, especially like her idol Marilyn Monroe. Anna Nicole Smith wasn’t a movie star, but in some ways, she has become a cult icon of the frozen magazine image and the small screen, especially since Skyscraper went straight to DVD.

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