The following is a statement from Playboy founder Hugh Hefner on Anna Nicole Smith's sudden death.

"I am very saddened to learn about Anna Nicole's passing. She was a dear friend who meant a great deal to the Playboy family and to me personally. My thoughts and prayers are with her friends and loved ones during this difficult time."

Smith was on the cover of Playboy in March 1992, June 1993, February 1994 and February 2001.