Playboy magazine boss Hugh Hefner has paid tribute to his former Playmate, Anna Nicole Smith, after hearing the actress/model had passed away in Florida. Smith was found unconscious in her hotel room at the Seminole Hard Rock Hotel + Casino by her nurse yesterday (08FEB07). She died shortly after arriving at the Memorial Regional Hospital in Hollywood, Florida. She was 39. In a statement released yesterday (08FEB07), Hefner wrote, "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 me personally. "My thoughts and prayers are with her friends and loved ones during this difficult time." Smith was named Playboy Playmate of the Month in May 1992 and Playboy Playmate of the Year in 1993.