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Reality TV star Anna Nicole Smith dies at 39

Story Highlights

• NEW: Evidence removed from Smith's hotel room
• NEW: Hearing on DNA in paternity dispute at 8:30 a.m. Friday
• Smith was found unconscious in her hotel room
• Former model, reality star involved in controversy
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(CNN) -- Anna Nicole Smith died Thursday at a South Florida hospital after being discovered unconscious in her hotel room.

The reality TV star, Playboy Playmate and former Guess model was 39.

She checked into the Seminole Hard Rock Hotel & Casino in Hollywood, Florida, on Monday with her lawyer and boyfriend, Howard K. Stern.

Smith's private nurse called hotel workers at 1:38 p.m. and security officials went to the room, Seminole Police Chief Charlie Tiger said. (Watch Chief Tiger describe the rescue effort Video)

Before rescue workers arrived, Smith's bodyguard performed CPR on her, he said.

She was taken to Memorial Regional Hospital in Hollywood at 2:10 p.m. where she died, Tiger said. (Watch how Smith's death leaves daughter's fate undecided Video)

An autopsy is scheduled for Friday, according to the Broward County Medical Examiner's Office. (Watch what might have led to Smith's death Video)

Late Thursday, police told CNN the hotel room where Smith was found had been cleared. Police carried bags of evidence out of the building.

Smith's attorney, Ron Rale, told reporters she had been suffering from flulike symptoms for the last couple of days.

"We are saddened and heartbroken by my sister's death. No matter what our differences have been over the years, Anna was still our blood and she will be missed terribly," Smith's sister, Donna Hogan, said in a statement Thursday.

"She was a woman who was determined to get out of her small town in Texas and make a name for herself." (Smith rose to fame after dropping out of school)

Hogan went on to say that the death of Smith's son, Daniel, last year "left her deeply saddened, a sadness she hid from everyone."

Dannielynn Hope, who Smith gave birth to a few days before Daniel, 20, died, "is now without a mother," Hogan wrote.

A life of celebrity and tribulations

Smith was known as much for her sometimes-turbulent life off-camera as she was for her tabloid celebrity. The former topless dancer in Houston made her first appearance in Playboy in 1992, was named Playmate of the Year in 1993, and appeared in Guess jeans ads and movies.

In 2002, Smith launched a reality television program, "The Anna Nicole Show," on the E! Entertainment network. At one point, it was the network's highest-rated program.

She shocked people by marrying 89-year-old Texas oil magnate Howard Marshall II, who had an estate valued at $1.6 billion. He died the next year, and Smith waged a 12-year feud with Marshall's son, E. Pierce Marshall, over the inheritance.

Earlier this week, Smith was included in a class-action lawsuit against a company, TrimSpa, for which she had worked as a spokesperson. (Watch Larry King say Smith's weight issues led to her depression Video)

TrimSpa makes a product it claims leads to substantial weight loss. The lawsuit alleges the marketing of the product, TrimSpa X32, was false or misleading. (Full storyexternal link)

Smith also was embroiled in a dispute over the paternity of Dannielynn Hope. (Full story)

Larry Birkhead, an entertainment reporter and photographer who has claimed to be Dannielynn's father, will be filing an emergency order to obtain DNA samples to determine paternity, his attorney, Debra Opri, told CNN's "Larry King Live."

Smith and Stern have both said that Stern is Dannielynn's father. Stern has said the couple planned to marry, but it was unclear whether they had. Rale said he would be in court to oppose the DNA order.

A hearing is set for 8:30 a.m.

"On the instructions of the experts, we had to move in for a DNA order tomorrow morning, and we're going in for that," Opri said. "We need the order ... Larry has to do what the doctors say, and I have to do what the doctors say."

On news of Smith's death, Opri said Birkhead was "inconsolable ... he has lost the mother of his child and he has lost a woman he loved very much."

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