8 Celebrities Who Died With Massive Debt

Michael Jackson

Auction Of Michael Jackson Memorabilia In Los Angeles!The king of pop had millions of dollars in debt when he died in 2010. Michael Jackson sold more than 61 million albums in the U.S. alone, and had many other ways he was earning money, including an attraction at Disney theme parks. You’d think that Michael would have had a lump sum of money to leave behind, but he was reportedly $400 million in debt when he died. (Credit:Barcroft/FAMEFLYNET PICTURES)

Whitney Houston

Whitney Houston Passes Away In Beverly Hills ***FILE PHOTOS***Whitney Houston was one of the most successful artists in the past couple of decades. She signed a $100 million contract, earned an estimated $30 million a year touring, and had a net worth of $150 million at the peak of her career. Yet when she died in 2012, Whitney was $20 million in debt with her record label.


Judy Garland

7503445530_90a2d933f7_oJudy Garland owed the IRS and her interior decorator, among others, at the time of her death. There are no exact figures, but speculation exists that Garland was millions of dollars in debt. "The Wizard of Oz" star decided to take on the television series, “The Judy Garland Show,” after stating she would never work on a regular television series. This fueled speculation that she most likely agreed to the show in order to earn money to pay off her debts.

(Image via Flickr)

L'Wren Scott

L'Wren Scott Joins Mick For A Night On the TownThe tragic death of L’Wren Scott, also known as Mick Jagger’s girlfriend, committed suicide in March 2014 while the Rolling Stones were on tour in Australia.

It was discovered soon after her death that she was in massive debt. Scott had upwards of $6 million in debt.


Gary Coleman

Vanessa Williams at The 6th Annual "TV Land Awards" in LAAt one point in his career Gary Coleman had a fortune  of $7 million. Yet due to poor money management, he had to file for bankruptcy in 1999. He was unable to truly rebound after being bankrupt, and was left with very little when he passed in 2010. The only major asset he had in his possession was his home in Utah.


Joe Louis

2872092607_b565f318c0_oThe infamous boxer Joe Louis may have won the majority of his matches in the ring, but he did not fair well in the battle the manage his money. He was known to help family and friends with his earnings in the ring so that they may live comfortable lives. Joe Louis was also generous when it came to donations, especially after the events of Pearl Harbor. The boxer gave $65,200 to help the recover efforts for all of those impacted by the tragedy. Poor money management coupled with owing the IRS years of back taxes are what contributed to him being thousands in debt when he died.

(Image via Flickr)

Sammy Davis Jr.

2092747863_654a257fb9_oEarning around $50 million throughout his life,  famous Rat Pack singer Sammy Davis Jr. died with roughly $15 million in debt. He owed much of his debt to the IRS for unpaid taxes.

(Image via Flickr)

Bela Lugosi

1539319426_20c6c78fb8_oFamously known for his role as Dracula, Bela Lugosi was also apparently good at sucking his bank account dry. He may have cemented his fame as the first Dracula to appear on film, but it was difficult for Lugosi to find work after his role as the famous vampire. He would eventually die penniless. Take into account the five marriages and four divorces he went through before his passing at the age of 73, and it's not hard to figure out how he lost his fortune.

(Image via Flickr)

  • SantaFeJack

    I think anybody who suddenly makes giant incomes should immediately hire a tax lawyer to match up with a basic financial advisor. Taxes undo more celebs than almost any other bad financial move.