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Celebrities Who Died Completely Broke

Hollywood celebrities score leading roles in box-office blockbusters or musicians make it big with a series of number-one singles. We think that they are set for life when it comes to their finances. Imagining mental image of them spending the remainder of their days sipping on fancy mix drinks on private beaches. They whip around town in their fancy-schmancy vehicles. These celebrities shower with praise and admiration by the media and their fan bases and take on this legendary status. So, it’s absolutely shocking when they end up broke as a joke and not able to cover their bills.

Yes, even the rich and famous can experience financial hardship. Sometimes stars waste all of their money while others invest in business ventures that end up depleting their bank accounts. Today’s video will be covering several stars who will up poor and destitute at the time of their deaths.

Our first star is famous for penning the lyrics and writing the music for calls the greatest R&B album.

Marvin Gaye

This singer-songwriter knows how to write chart-topping hit singles, and his album “What’s Going On”. It shows up in the top positions of lists of the best albums in musical history. He’s a musical celebrities who develops a following, managing his personal finances isn’t exactly one of his strong suits.

The bulk of his royalties goes towards his two failed marriages. Gaye haunts by his tax troubles which at one point sent him into exile in Europe. In order for Marvin to pay the 600 grand that he owed his wife in alimony, he had to sign away the rights to his album, Here, My Dear.

Troubles followed him seemingly wherever he went, and to cope, he turned to drugs and alcohol. These vices likewise didn’t do much to help his financial situation.

On April 1, 1984, Gaye involves in a fight between his parents in which things take a violent turn when his father, Marvin Gay Sr, shoots him twice in the chest. The first shot, in his heart, proves to be fatal, and he is dead just minutes after the shooting. Marvin was penniless, with a mountain of debt when he died just one day before his 45th birthday.

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Judy Garland

Everyone knows that growing up as a former child star is a rough business. The beloved actress who starred in The Wizard of Oz fell into alcoholism and drug abuse in her later years. Ultimately she ended up dying of an intentional drug overdose when she was just 47 years old. When she passed away, she was millions of dollars in debt. She was so broke that Frank Sinatra even had to cover the bill for her funeral expenses.

While Garland was once one of the biggest stars of her day, financial mismanagement and embezzlement depleted her bank accounts. By the late 1940s, any money she’s gone, and she owes the IRS hundreds of thousands of dollars in back taxes. This led her to be on the brink of homelessness, forcing her to sing at bars for reportedly just $100 a day to make ends meet. Before she finally succeeded in killing herself, Garland had previously made several suicide attempts, and much like Marvin Gaye, the only way she knew how to ease her troubled mind was through substance abuse.

Veronica Lake

After finding initial success in Hollywood, Lake’s fortune squanders by mental illness and several failed marriages. Even though she compensates for her iconic role in Sulivan’s Travels and made a great bit more like a pin-up girl, a celebrities that stream of success eventually ran dry. Much like so many other stars who finally threw away their fortunes by living a life of excess and hedonism, Lake depleted her cash pile while blowing money on frivolous things and alcohol. When she died at 50 years old, she lived in poverty without a dime to her name.

Gary Colemon

If you ever watched any of our videos covering Gary Colemon’s tragic life story, then you already know just how much of a train wreck in slow motion it was. He hands his first breakout role appearing on the sitcom Diff’rent Strokes, and although he is once NBC’s highest-paid comedic actor, he will up having to sue his parents, lawyers, and agents for grossly mismanaging his finances. After taking the matter to court, he awards a $1.3 million settlement, but a string of bad luck, health issues, and questionable investments eventually forced him into bankruptcy. In the end, he became desperate for work and took just about any role that came his way, regardless of how awful or demeaning it was. When he died at the age of 42, he had basically nothing left to his name.

Billie Holiday

Considers one of the greatest jazz singers of all time, Billie Holiday’s tragic life ruins by disaster and controversy. Her personal life was particularly turbulent which led her to turn to alcohol and drugs for solace. Out of her mind, her promoters and managers will routinely rip her off, robbing her of what little money she earns in her later years. When she passed away from cirrhosis of the liver in 1959, she reportedly only had $750 in her bank account.

Bobby Driscoll

Being one of the most famous child celebrities of the 40s and 50s, Driscoll appeared in hundreds of films and enjoyed a great deal of success thanks to his lucrative contract with Disney. By the mid-50s, however, Hollywood turned its back on him after Bobby fell into drug addiction.

Driscoll was hopelessly reliant upon narcotics and eventually found himself in jail for his substance abuse issues. This prevented him from landing any more parts, be it on TV or in films.

He spent most of his latter years drifting around attempting to revive his career in the Big Apple. Sadly, he died at the relatively young age of 31 in an abandoned building where he was squatting. He was absolutely broke, and when his body was discovered, he was found lying on a dirty cot surrounded by empty beer bottles.

A post-mortem examination determined that he died from heart failure likely caused by his years of drug use.

Andy Gibb

This star, who was reportedly millions of dollars in debt at the time of his death, was the youngest of the three band members that made up the Bee Gees. He experienced a bit of success as a solo musician, but that was sadly short-lived.

Depression and substance abuse led to many lost opportunities which in turn only fueled his binges even more. The young celebrities died bankrupt, drowning under an ocean of debt, at the age of 30 from myocarditis caused by his many years of stimulant drug use.

Anita Ekberg

If you’ve ever seen Fredrico Fellini’s La Dolce Vita, then you’re probably familiar with who Anita Ekberg is.

Ekberg was an Italian celebrities who was born in Sweden and rose to fame in the 50s and 60s for being a blonde bombshell with looks to kill. In 1951, she was signed to Universal after competing in the Miss Universe competition.

Some of her biggest films saw her starring alongside Hollywood hunks such as John Waye, Jerry Lewis, and Dean Martin.

In her later years, her life was anything but glamorous. She apparently lost all of her money to thieves, a house fire, and medical expenses.

Anita was reportedly living in poverty in Italy in her final days while applying to the charitable Fellini Foundation trying to receive some financial assistance. She died broke and destitute celebrities in 2011 at the age of 83.

Mickey Rooney

This celebrities career in show business spanned nine decades.

Rooney starred in hundreds of films throughout his prolific career, including the megahit Breakfast at Tiffanys. Laurence Olvier once called him the ‘best there has ever been’, but at the time of his death he was absolutely penniless.

Rooney battled with alcoholism and was addicted to prescription narcotics. The actor also had a propensity for getting himself into loveless marriages. In total, he was married eight times.

Despite having a largely successful career in the limelight, which banked him millions of dollars, Rooney was forced into bankruptcy in 1962 due to severe financial mismanagement.

The actor’s woes took a dark turn in 2014, shortly before his death at 93. Mickey ended up testifying before congress that several members of his family were exploiting him and also physically abusing him.

At his death, he owed thousands in medical bills and back taxes. His multi-million dollar estate had been diminished to just $18,000 which fell to his stepson. There wasn’t even enough cash to cover Rooney’s funeral expenses, so the family took to soliciting the public for contributions.

Dana Plato

In addition to the sad tale of Gary Colemon, Diff’rent Strokes, produced another particularly tragic trainwreck of a life story. In fact, fans of the series have begun to speculate that there might even be a Diff’rent Strokes cure’.

Dana Plato played the character, Kimberly Drummond, in the series. And for a while, it looked as if her career would only continue to grow and expand. But of course, things didn’t actually play out that way.

Plato struggled with drug and alcohol dependency at an extremely young age, and had already OD’d by the time she was 14.

After departing Diff’rent Strokes, Plato’s mother passed away, and she parted ways with her long-time lover. In a state of desperation and utter despair, Plato signed over power of attorney to a sketchy accountant who ended up stealing most of her money.

The accountant skipped town and was never seen or heard from again. Plato claims that he stole $11 million of other wealthy people’s money as well.

After losing it all, Plato was forced to work menial jobs and even robbed a video store with a BB gun.

When all of her options dried up, Plato appeared in adult videos to make ends meet before overdosing and dying in her Winnebego RV in 1999 at the age of 34.

That about wraps up this video, but can you think of any other stars who died in poverty? Let us know in the comments.

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