On the occasion of Dannielynn’s 17th birthday, her father Larry Birkhead posted a heartfelt tribute to her on Instagram, reminiscing on their journey together and the legacy of her late mother, Anna Nicole Smith.
Larry, a 50-year-old photographer, shared a compilation of memories in the form of a video slideshow, showcasing photographs taken over the years. Among these cherished moments, some featured Dannielynn with Anna Nicole, the iconic Playboy model who tragically passed away in February 2007 due to an accidental drug overdose. Dannielynn was welcomed into the world by Anna just a year prior on September 7, 2006.
In his touching caption, Larry wrote: “Happy 17th Birthday Dannielynn! I am so proud of you in each and every way. Wishing you the best day ever! You are funny, crazy smart, pretty, and just about everything I could ever imagine.
“Your Mom would be so proud of you, I sure am. Happy Birthday! Love Dad.” Lightening the mood, he humorously added: “By the way, when you asked me if you could live in my basement forever. I said yes, but I didn’t have the heart to tell you there aren’t any basements in Florida #HappyBirthday.”
Dannielynn and Larry have been inseparable over the years, with the father-daughter duo sharing a special bond evident from their public appearances.
The two were recently seen at the 149th Kentucky Derby Gala in May. Paying tribute to Anna Nicole, Dannielynn wore a Guess top adorned with black and white images of her late mother, while Larry sported a tie matching his daughter’s outfit.
Reminiscing about the past, Larry shared on Instagram about the same event: “Tonight is the 20th anniversary where I met Dannielynn’s Mom at the same event…”
Larry and Anna first crossed paths at the Kentucky Derby Gala in 2003. Recounting that day, Larry revealed: “I met Anna first in 2003, and she blew me kisses. I always thought she was so beautiful. When she returned to the Derby in 2004, she was in her best shape.”
Their romantic journey began in 2004, and Larry soon moved in with Anna in Los Angeles. However, when she became pregnant, Anna relocated to the Bahamas amidst a legal dispute over her late billionaire husband, J. Howard Marshall’s fortune.
The two had wed in 1994 when he was 89, and she was 26, but he passed away just 14 months later.
“We were living together, planning our baby’s future. Despite what anyone says, Anna knew I was the father,” Larry said. “They took her to the Bahamas because she was in a lawsuit for all that money, and they saw me as a threat.”
Tragedy struck in 2006 when, shortly after Dannielynn’s birth, Anna’s son Daniel passed away due to a drug overdose.
The following year, Anna herself tragically passed. After her demise, a DNA test confirmed Larry as Dannielynn’s biological father, resulting in a change in her birth certificate. Anna’s lawyer, Howard K. Stern, had previously been assumed as Dannielynn’s father.
Since then, Larry has single-handedly raised Dannielynn in Kentucky. “After nearly 17 years of raising my daughter on my own, people see that’s a resume that speaks for itself,” he asserted. He proudly revealed that Dannielynn is “grounded and very humble,” attending public school by choice and excelling academically.
“Dannielynn is on the honor roll and taking college-level classes. Anna would be very, very proud of her. I know I am,” Larry shared.
Reflecting on Dannielynn’s upcoming college journey, Larry told People, “It’s one of those things where she’s just now dipping her toe into getting stuff, and people are mailing her things.”
He acknowledged the inevitable transition, adding: “It’s one of those things that all parents go through. They don’t want their kids to go off, but they know they have to.”