Smith was a high school dropout turned fried chicken restaurant employee. In that capacity, she met restaurant cook Billy Wayne Smith. Just months later, in April 1985, the two were married.
A product of that marriage with Billy Wayne , Daniel Wayne Smith, their only son was born shortly thereafter, in January 1986.
After working as a stripper and sending photos to Playboy Magazine, Smith began to catch on in the modeling world.
She became a Playboy Playmate of the Year in 1993. She also appeared in New York magazine, Vanity Fair, Harper's Bazaar and W, among others.
In 1994, Smith sued for $5 million over the cover photo used on an issue of New York magazine - with a title reading "White Trash Nation." The lawsuit was reportedly settled.
Another facet of her life that was sort of expedited in the early-1990s was her finances. That is thanks in part to octogenarian oil tycoon J. Howard Marshall.
The two were married June 27, 1994 — with Marshall allegedly vocally gifting Smith a large portion of his billion-dollar estate (something she argued in court).
Smith and Howard reportedly never consummated the marriage — though pictures of Smith exist as she playfully lies on top of an obviously frail Marshall.
In September 2006, at the time of her daughter's birth, Smith suffered a crushing blow: the death of her son, Daniel, at the age of 20, from an accidental drug overdose.
Following this loss, in a horribly sad moment at Daniel's funeral, Smith allegedly tried to climb into the coffin with him, still shaken from the death.
Smith's last film appearance was in a direct-to-video B movie called "Illegal Aliens," featuring Smith as "Lucy." It was released posthumously, to negative reviews.
While she remained popular throughout the '90s, her onscreen appearances were largely maligned by critics. Smith also had a reality show on E! from 2002-04.