Famously Bankrupt: Celebrities Who Died Broke

When Hollywood’s elite land a leading role in a box office hit or pen the words to a No. 1 song, we automatically think they’re financially set for life. These celebrities become instant world-class stars, never again worrying about bills or the dollar amounts in their banks.

Some celebrities do get everything they ever dreamed of. But even the richest of the rich fall victim to financial faux pas. And some celebrities leave behind tragic legacies of hardship and misfortune. For these 15 celebrities, their monetary missteps were too deep to come back from, and they died broke.

1. Marvin Gaye

Marvin Gaye

Marvin Gaye died broke after making millions as a singer. | Evening Standard/Getty Images

R&B hit maker Marvin Gaye definitely knew how to belt out chart-toppers, but successfully managing his personal finances was a different story. Much of his professional royalties went toward his two failed marriages and tax troubles that briefly exiled him to Europe. In order to cover the $600,000 Gaye owed his wife in alimony, he gave her the rights to his album “Here, My Dear.” A serious drug addiction also wiped out his bank account, so when he died Gaye was penniless.

Next: Judy Garland followed the yellow brick road to debt.

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