Friday, June 21, 2024

Remembering Anna Nicole Smith and her inclusion in Celebrity Deathmatch on the 13th anniversary of her passing

If yas qween! was a compliment in the early 2000’s, it certainly would have been a phrase chanted at the world’s most famous Playboy Playmate, Anna Nicole Smith.

The face of Guess Jeans, H&M and Hugh Hefner’s It Girl twice in 1992, Anna Nicole became a tabloid pariah after her surprise marriage to oil tycoon J. Howard Marshall, a millionaire 63 years older than her. When he died just thirteen months later, the future spokeswoman for Trimspa and Peta waged a bitter court battle against his family over Howard’s inheritance, and managed to walk away with more than eight figures.

This was followed by a reality show on E! from 2002 to 2004, which seemingly poked fun at her extreme weight gain and abuse of prescription medication.

Unlike many celebrities in Hollywood, Smith was able to pull her life back together before she became pregnant with a daughter, Dannielynn Hope. However, her son, Daniel Wayne, died only four days later from a drug overdose. The heartbreak over losing her son and the following paternity case for Dannielynn – four men had claimed to be her father – pushed Anna back into the tabloids, and severely damaged her mental health and ability to sustain from abusing prescription medication.

Sadly, on 8 February 2007, she was found deceased in her hotel at the Seminole Hard Rock Hotel and Casino in Florida; thus, ending a life and career that had so much left to offer at the age of 39.

Four years before her death, Big Ape Productions, Coresoft, Gotham Games and MTV Interactive forever memorialized Anna Nicole Smith in the 2003 release of Celebrity Deathmatch, a video game based on the popular claymation television show on MTV.

Boasting appearances by Busta Rhymes, Carrot Top, Carmen Electra, Ron Jeremy, Marilyn Manson, and Miss Cleo, Celebrity Deathmatch saw players take on the celebrity of their choice and have them battle to the death in a WWE-inspired setting. The game, as with the show, was over-the-top, raunchy, outrageous and a gory splatterfest.

All the former 90’s and 00’s musicians and television stars fighting each other in comedic ways weren’t enough to save the game, which was met with poor sales and mixed-negative reviews.

Of course, Anna’s avatar was designed to mimic the second whirlwind of negativity in her life, when she was depressed and overweight. Almost all her attacks had to do with eating food or using her boobs/butt as a weapon. It was crude and disrespectful, to say the least, but it also proved the point that Smith had eclipsed hundreds of other media personalities to land in the game. It meant that she was so beloved by people around the world, that creators of Celebrity Deathmatch assumed her inclusion in the game would contribute to sales. And it stands to reason that Anna had to sign off on the game using her appearance in the first place. So, maybe she got a kick out of seeing herself on the Xbox and Playstation 2.

Obviously, I’m a fan of the later centerfold and aspiring actress. As with fellow bombshell Marilyn Monroe, I think Anna Nicole Smith was a soul that needed to be nurtured and loved, not exploited and ridiculed.  Today, on the thirteenth anniversary of her passing, I’m going to power-up my old Xbox and pay tribute to her with another hour of Celebrity Deathmatch gameplay.

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