Being rich doesn’t always mean that your life is set. On most days, it does but every now and then, we come across people who had made it big only to end up penniless on their deathbeds. 

1. Marvin Gaye

Gaye knew how to produce one chart-topper after another but the knowledge of managing his own finances was a whole different ball game, as the R&B singer would later find out. Most of his money went into his two failed marriages and the rest of his bank account fell prey to his drug addiction. Gaye was $9 million in debt at the time of his death. 

Rolling Stone

2. Gary Coleman

Coleman was the breakout star of Diff’rent Strokes and at one point was NBC’s highest-paid comic with $30,000 per episode. The actor had sued his parents, agents, and lawyers for mismanaging his wealth and was awarded $1.3 million for his troubles but continued financial blunders forced him into bankruptcy. He was down to his last penny when he passed away at 42. 


3. Judy Garland

At the time of her death in 1969 at the age of 47 due to a drug overdose, actress Judy Garland owed money to almost everyone. She even owed the IRS thousands of dollars. Despite being one the best-paid actresses of her generation, Garland’s bad business sense, drug habits and lavish lifestyle meant that the money went faster than it came. There was a point, where Garland was singing at bars for $100 a night. 


4. Michael Jackson

The late King of Pop sold over 750 million albums and won 13 Grammy awards. But when he died in 2009, he reportedly owed $500 million in debt, mostly due to the legal fees he was paying, and his estate had gone bankrupt. To put this in context, with earnings of $825 million, Jackson is one of the highest-paid artists of all time. 

Smooth Radio

5. Mickey Rooney

Rooney made his film debut in 1926 and would go on to appear alongside stars like Audrey Hepburn and Judy Garland. He won many awards for his talents along with 2 Golden Globes. But he married 8 times and by the time of his death, there wasn’t even enough money to pay for his funeral service. 


6. Sammy David Jr. 

In the ’60s, Sammy David Jr. was a member of a group known as the Rat Pack, along with Frank Sinatra, Dean Martin, Peter Lawford and Joey Bishop. But when he passed away in 1990, his estate reportedly had to be sold off for his keepsakes due to a $5.2 million tax bill and thousands of dollars in debts. 


7. George Best

One of the greatest men to ever play Football, George Best had a drinking problem. Shortly before his death in 2005, he had himself checked into a private clinic. The hospital treated him for free, as he was completely penniless. To put this into perspective, Best, in his hay days was making in excess of $1 million per year. 

Mount Royal Soccer

8. Anita Ekberg

The Swedish American actress’ finances were in such bad condition that in 2011, it was reported that she was living in poverty in Italy. She had lost all her wealth to thieves, medical bills and a house fire. 


9. Veronica Lake

The actress started big in the 1940s with some massive hits but those films were soon overshadowed by her appearances in a lot of films that weren’t very well appreciated. After struggling with alcoholism, she died in poverty shortly before her 51st birthday. 

NY Post

10. Dana Plato

Plato is also known to have suffered from the Diff’rent Strokes curse. Following her exit from the show, all her money was stolen by a crooked accountant. By the time of her demise, she was living in a motorhome. 


So, the lesson to be learnt here is kids, if you ever manage to get rich, don’t get complacent. It too shall pass.