12 Actors Who Struck Gold, Then Lost Their Fortune

Given the glamorous lives celebrities lead, it’s surprising to think they could run out of money. However, without proper financial management, even the biggest fortunes can disappear quickly.

Even if they invest in real estate, there’s no guarantee of profit when buying homes worth millions—after all, not many people can afford such pricey properties. Some celebrities ride the wave of success a bit too hard and end up penniless despite their massive appeal. Let’s dive into their stories and see how many you recognize.

1. Michael Jackson

Michael Jackson
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The legendary “Billie Jean” and “Man in the Mirror” singer, Michael Jackson, amassed a staggering $2 billion fortune from 1964 to 2017. Known as the King of Pop, he was recognized twice by Forbes as the highest-paid entertainer. However, his estate faced numerous lawsuits and extravagant spending before his death in 2009. Despite this, his estate has since managed to settle his debts, which were at least $400 million. Remarkably, he has been the highest-paid deceased celebrity for eleven consecutive years at the time of this writing.

2. Lindsay Lohan

Lindsay Lohan
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While Lindsay Lohan, the “Mean Girls” actress, may not have the net worth of some of her peers, she still earned an impressive $27 million. Recently, she signed a two-picture deal with Netflix. However, Lohan’s life hasn’t always been sunshine and rainbows. Stints in rehab and lavish spending, such as $103,000 monthly rent on a luxury flat in London, have severely impacted her finances.

3. Wayne Newton

Wayne Newton
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In 1983, Wayne Newton became a household name as a famed Las Vegas lounge singer. He won a libel suit against NBC, which had alleged his involvement with the Gambino crime family and claimed he was funding their operations through a casino and hotel he co-owned. Initially awarded $19 million, the settlement was later reduced to $5 million.

In 1990, a judge overturned the case, citing insufficient evidence that NBC knowingly lied. That same year, Newton filed for bankruptcy, claiming $20 million in debt. In 2005, the Internal Revenue Service sued him for failing to pay $1.8 million in taxes on a house he sold.

4. Kim Basinger

Kim Basinger
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Academy Award winner Kim Basinger is celebrated for her acting talent and animal rights activism. However, she’s also known for facing significant financial turmoil.

While her net worth now ranges between $45 and $60 million, Basinger’s journey wasn’t always smooth. In the early ’90s, the “Batman” actress was embroiled in several lawsuits that quickly drained her finances. She invested $20 million into a small Georgia town, intending to turn it into a tourist attraction or production studio, but the venture failed. When she filed for bankruptcy, she had to sell the property as part of the settlement. Additionally, she settled a dispute with Main Line studios over an “oral contract” she had made to star in “Boxing Helena,” a role she later backed out of.

5. Stephen Baldwin

Stephen Baldwin
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Stephen Baldwin, the youngest of the Baldwin brothers, has faced significant financial troubles due to his habit of not paying taxes. This led to his arrest and five years of probation for failing to pay taxes for three consecutive years. In 2009, he filed for bankruptcy to address his debts, including back taxes. Baldwin’s financial issues also resulted in the loss of his home in 2017 after six consecutive years of missed mortgage payments.

6. Toni Braxton

Toni Braxton
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Seven-time Grammy Award winner Toni Braxton has a reported net worth of $10 million. Despite this, she’s known for her lavish spending on houses, cars, clothes, and more. However, her financial troubles go beyond her spending habits. In 1998, Braxton filed for bankruptcy, citing poor royalty payments of just $2,000. In 2008, she filed for bankruptcy again after health issues forced her to cancel her Las Vegas residency.

7. Burt Reynolds

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The “Smokey and the Bandit” star Burt Reynolds was earning a hefty $10 million annually at the peak of his career. However, poor financial decisions took a toll. After a costly divorce from Loni Anderson in 1994 and the purchase of several mansions, Reynolds found himself in financial trouble. Additionally, he owed $4 million to CBS for a show idea that never made it to syndication.

8. Dionne Warwick

Dionne Warwick
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The iconic “Walk on By” singer Dionne Warwick has sold millions of records and celebrated her 50th anniversary in the music business in 2012. However, in 2013, she filed for bankruptcy, claiming only $1,000 in her bank account and $2,000 in personal property. Despite her induction into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, Warwick seems unfazed, comfortable with a net worth of $500,000. She now focuses on charity work and her skincare and fragrance endeavors.

9. Gary Coleman

Gary Coleman
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Child star Gary Coleman faced financial struggles due to mismanagement by his parents and business advisor. Despite suing them, he had to file for bankruptcy in 1999. In the early 2000s, he worked as a security guard but never regained financial stability before his death in 2010.

10. Sheryl Swoopes

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WNBA star Sheryl Swoopes, once worth $50 million, saw her net worth plummet to $200,000 due to bad investments. She now focuses on family, supporting her son and helping women’s sports through initiatives like the It’s Her Shot fundraiser.

11. Johnny Depp

Johnny Depp
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Actor Johnny Depp, known for his roles in “Pirates of the Caribbean” and “Edward Scissorhands,” faced financial troubles due to extravagant spending. Despite earning over $650 million, his net worth is now around $200 million. Legal fees from personal issues and high monthly expenses have contributed to his financial challenges.

12. Warren Sapp

Warren Sapp
Image © Wiki Commons.

Former NFL star Warren Sapp, once worth $82 million, found himself with only $826 in his bank account in 2012. Overspending on his mansion, sneakers, and child support payments for his six children contributed to his financial decline. Despite this, Sapp now spends his time fishing, golfing, and supporting his children’s endeavors.

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