Celebrities Who Died Broke

Celebrities are often portrayed as living the high life. While it is true to some extent, there have been celebrities that were not as fortunate as others. From Oscar Wilde to Judy Garland, many celebrities died broke for various reasons. Bela Lugosi, for instance, died broke due to alcoholism.

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Also Known As: Vincent Willem van Gogh
Birthday: 30 March 1853
Born In: Zundert, Netherlands
Sun Sign: Aries
Died On: 29 July 1890
Famous As: Painter
Vincent van Gogh was considered a madman during his lifetime. He was also commercially unsuccessful as his works sold for millions of dollars only after his death. Throughout his life, Vincent sought financial help from his brother Theodorus van Gogh. He also spent money on alcohol, tobacco, and brothel which left him broke at the time of his death on 29 July 1890, at the age of 37.

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Also Known As: Joseph Louis Barrow, Brown Bomber
Birthday: 13 May 1914
Born In: Chambers County, Alabama, United States
Sun Sign: Taurus
Died On: 12 April 1981
Famous As: Professional Boxer
Although Joe Louis earned more than $4.6 million during his illustrious boxing career, he received only about $800,000 as most of the money went to his handlers. Nevertheless, he was generous to his family and invested in many businesses, a decision which he would go on to regret later. At the time of his death, Louis owed the IRS $1.25 million, which was never paid.

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Also Known As: Béla Ferenc Dezső Blaskó
Birthday: 20 October 1882
Born In: Lugoj, Romania
Sun Sign: Libra
Died On: 16 August 1956
Famous As: Actor
Bela Lugosi was addicted to alcohol, morphine, and methadone. He drank a bottle of Scotch daily and depended on his fifth wife Hope Lininger, who was 37 years his junior, for his financial needs. At the time of his death, the actor had only $1900 in the bank.

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Also Known As: Franz Schubert
Birthday: 31 January 1797
Born In: Himmelpfortgrund, Vienna, Austria
Sun Sign: Aquarius
Died On: 19 November 1828
Famous As: Composer
Although Franz Peter Schubert was popular, he was never rich and managed to make both ends meet by giving music lessons. At the time of his death, Schubert was living in his brother Ferdinand's apartment. It is said that he left about $12 when he died on 19 November 1828, at the age of 31.

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Also Known As: Samuel George Davis Jr.
Birthday: 08 December 1925
Born In: New York, New York, United States
Sun Sign: Sagittarius
Died On: 16 May 1990
Famous As: Singer
Although Sammy Davis Jr. made over $50 million during his illustrious career, he owed the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) $5.2 million which had increased to more than $7 million over the years. At the time of his death in 1990, his wife Altovise Davis inherited a bulk of his estate, which was valued at $4 million. However, she was liable for his debt and had to auction his real estate and personal possessions before reaching a settlement with the IRS in 1997.