Extremely rich people who went broke

Spinks eventually worked for Mike Ditka as a Restaurant greeter. The company fired him. Most recently, he is stable and working at a gym again, only this time it is the YMCA, and he is the janitor.

Damn, that’s just heartbreaking.

He wasn’t Jewish, but you might be thinking of Robert Morris.

You might have seen his mansion recently without realizing it. It appeared in Scott Pilgrim vs the World. It was the movie set where Scott fought his second battle.

I don’t know the details but apparently a lot of Coleman’s money was gone before he ever had a chance to spend it. He was a minor and his parents had control of his money. They did not handle it wisely.

I’ve heard that the NFL now requires all new players to attend a mandatory seminar on money management. Obviously some of them are going to ignore what they’re hearing but the league is at least trying.

One unusual case of a famous actor going broke was Gabby Hayes. The reason it was unusual was that Hayes went broke first and then became famous.

George Hayes and his wife Olive had been successful vaudville stars. They were able to retire in their forties. Then a year later they lost everything in the 1929 stock market crash.

Hayes had to come out of retirement and go back to work. He was able to get a job in Hollywood playing a supporting role in a western as the star’s colorful sidekick. Hayes was an educated well-spoken New Yorker who had to learn how to ride a horse and say things like “consarnit” and “dadblamit”. But he did it so well that it became his trademark role and he appeared in dozens of movies and eventually had his own TV show.

Redd Foxx made millions of dollars every year at the height of his career. His house and cars were seized for unpaid taxes shortly before he died.

Thomas Gustav Plant, shoe manufacturer. He built his mansion Lucknow on Lake Winnipesaukee in New Hampshire, where it still exists and you can tour it. It’s now called Castle in the Clouds. It was sold to pay off plant’s debts, although he apparently was able to live there until his death. Plant lost his money, the tour guides tell you, by investing heavily in Russia just before the Revolution.


Will Smith admits he mad a lost the fortune he made as a rapper and from TV.

He is handling his movie money better.

I visited the Casa Loma in Toronto this summer. The tour features a short film of the life of Sir Henry Pellatt.

While I do not remember all the fine details, the main reason for his demise was that he heavily invested in the early development of electricity in the city of Toronto.

However, due to political pressure, the utility was taken over by the city and/or province apparently giving little compensation to Pellatt. The additional burden of maintaining the lavish castle force him into bankruptcy.

Professional football player Michael Ray Richardson was once in our office and had me call him a cab. This is a man who use to take limos.

Jackie Coogan earned millions as a child actor ($40 million plus in today’s terms), but since he was a minor, his parents took it all and spent it. He ended up broke and having to sue to get what was left (which wasn’t much). Because of his plight, California passed a law regulating the pay of minor actors (15% is put into trust). He eventually resumed acting and became a TV icon as Uncle Fester in The Addams Family

For athletes, Joe Louis is a major problem. Though he earned millions in purses over his career, nearly all of it went to his handlers. Nonetheless, he had a lavish lifestyle, spending what he had. His managers also neglected to pay income taxes, so Louis was hit with a tax bill of half a million dollars. With interest, this rose to a million. He eventually got an agreement with the IRS so they weren’t taking everything he made. In one of the best and saddest examples of celebrity endorsements, Louis did an ad for H. & R. Block, wishing they had been around when he was boxing.

Veronica Lake was a top movie star of the 40s, making over a quarter million a year. She was known to be difficult to work with, however, and took to drinking once her career faltered (due primarily by a request by the government to cut her long hair, falling in front of her face, which women workers were imitating and getting caught in machinery. She complied, but without the hair, she lacked the sex appeal that made her a star). Lake filed for bankruptcy and the alcoholism got worse. There was a minor scandal when it was discovered that she was working as a waitress.

CalMeacham, you stole my answer. Plant was the first person I thought of, mainly because I live in Castle in the Clouds.
Really, I do.

In my head.

I had been told since I first visited Toronto that you could buy Casa Loma for $1. You just ended up on the hook for all the back taxes and interest, which was over $27,000 in 1933.

Ivar Kreuger was one of the wealthiest men in Europe in 1930–he owned over 400 companies and was single-handedly bailing out several small nations’ economies. By 1932 his entire financial empire had collapsed, he was bankrupt, and he ended up committing suicide.

A lot of lottery winners go the same way.

He hasn’t died (yet), but Michael Carroll is a prime example:

$15 million isn’t “extremely rich”, perhaps, but it’s a lot more than he has now.

Sorry for the nit pick, but Michael Ray was a basketball player, not a football player. A pretty good one too.


Yeah, he fluctuates, depending on how many banks will lend him how much money.

It was not that long ago, when I personally had a couple hundred million MORE dollars than Trump was worth.

At the height of his success Alexandre Dumas, author of The Count of Monte Cristo and The Three Musketeers, along with countless other fiction and nonfiction works, was one of the wealthiest men in Europe and set out to live life the Count’s style, up to and including a mansion and extensive estate.

Of course, writers rarely maintain an income equal to finding a vast treasure trove on a deserted island, and he died destitute.