Anna Nicole Smith: The Opera
Anna Nicole Smith's tragic life story is being turned into an opera.
The former Playboy model - who was found dead aged just 39 from an accidental drug overdose in February 2007 - is the subject of a new production being developed by the co-creator of 'Jerry Springer: The Opera', due to be staged at London's Royal Opera House.
Richard Thomas, who is writing the words to a score by Mark-Anthony Turnage, told Britain's The Independent newspaper: "It's an incredible story. It's very operatic and sad.
"She was quite a smart lady with the tragic flaw that she could not seem to get through life without a vat of prescription painkillers."
Smith - who was crowned Playmate of the Year in 1993 - achieved worldwide fame when she married octogenarian billionaire J. Howard Marshall in 1994, who was 63 years her senior.
Following his death a year later, she became embroiled in a bitter legal battle with Marshall's son over his estate, a dispute that is still ongoing.
In September 2006, Smith gave birth to her daughter Dannielynn, three days later her son Daniel died in her Bahamas hospital room while visiting his new sister.
Just two weeks later, the busty blonde and her attorney Howard K. Stern, who claimed to be the father of Dannielynn, exchanged vows and rings in an informal commitment ceremony.
Five months later, Smith was discovered unresponsive in her Florida hotel room after taking a cocktail of prescribed drugs, including sleeping pills and sedatives.
Stern then became locked in a paternity battle with Smith's ex-boyfriend Larry Birkhead, who has been shown to be Dannielynn's father in DNA tests.
However, Thomas does not plan to focus on the paternity battle, saying: "For me, it ends when she does. It's an American story. I love American culture. Especially for opera, the stories seem to work on a grander, more epic scale."
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