The life of a celebrity is something few of us will ever know. Most working folks know the realities of living paycheque to paycheque and how a simple emergency like an unexpected car repair can break a budget. The US Census Bureau data from 2014 confirmed that the average American household income was $73,298. While this is nothing to sneeze at, it certainly isn’t even a shell of what celebs bring home each year.
That being said, some celebrities aren’t bankrolling the way they’d like us to believe. Fabulous designer clothes are often on loan, and big incomes can bring mismanagement and huge debts to the IRS, leaving these celebs as cash-poor as they can get (particularly when they try to maintain their high rolling lifestyles). Inflation and expensive real estate in high demand areas like New York, London, and LA have made it so being a millionaire isn’t quite the feat that it once was in the days of old Hollywood.
Stephen Hawking, an academic and astrophysicist, may not appear to live the lifestyle of the rich and famous, but with a net worth of 20 million dollars, Hawking’s financial portfolio is quite impressive. Here are 15 celebs that you won’t believe are poor next to the riches of Stephen Hawking.
15 Mike Tyson - $3 Million
Mike Tyson is a lightweight when it comes to the cash in his bank account. He has been flashing his star power since 1985 as the youngest boxer ever to win a heavyweight title at just 20 years old. Although he was an active and successful boxer for more than 20 years, he doesn’t have much to show for it. The athlete earned over 400 million dollars in two decades, however, careless spending found him trying to fight his way out of 38 million dollars of debt all before his 40th birthday. Tyson spent like crazy and has been
Tyson spent like crazy and has been rumored to have around 200 staff on his payroll, including bodyguards, chefs, gardeners, and he spent around a quarter of a million dollars for a pair of white Bengal tigers and their trainers. Today, Tyson is hardly where he was, with his net worth hovering around the 3 million dollar mark.
14 Natasha Lyonne - $3 Million
Natasha Lyonne was an indie darling in the 1990’s, earning her living in cult hits like The Slums of Beverly Hills and But I’m A Cheerleader in addition to her childhood role on the widely popular TV show Pee-Wee’s Playhouse. More mainstream roles included no-nonsense Vicki in the American Pie series. Unfortunately, heroin addiction took over Lyonne’s life and eventually led to her hospitalization in a New York hospital for a collapsed lung and hepatitis C. Lyonne doesn’t take her recovery and role on the hit series Orange is the New Black lightly. She is thankful and told Entertainment Weekly, “It’s weird to talk about. I was definitely as good as dead, you know? A lot of people don’t come back. That makes me feel wary and self-conscious. I wouldn’t want to feel prideful about it. People really rallied around me and pulled me up by my f—ing bootstraps.”
Today she is worth 3 million dollars and is starting to rebuild her reputation and bank account.
13 Dennis Rodman - Less Than $1 Million
With a life story as colorful as his hairstyles, Dennis Rodman has lived an existence that is truly larger than life. The NBA star was just as speedy at spending his money as he was on the basketball court. It’s estimated that Rodman made somewhere around 20 million dollars during his professional career in contract earnings alone, although he doesn’t have much to show for it. In 2012, he owed $860,376 in spousal and child support, and in 2014 he entered treatment for alcoholism.
Despite being a best-selling author of the book Bad as I Want to Be, and an attempted comeback in 2005, the star power and ability was missing – he officially retired from basketball in 2006. It’s estimated that Rodman has a net worth of negative-one million dollars.
12 Pamela Anderson - $5 Million
This Baywatch babe is practically broke for someone with such intense star power. Best known for her rocking curves and as the former wife of two rockers, Tommy Lee and Kid Rock, she should have some cash to spare, but she doesn’t. In 2009, Pamela Anderson was said to owe almost 1.7 million dollars in back taxes, substantial funds owed to contractors who worked on her home, and another $137,000 in 2012. Some blame the lack of liquid funds on her diva lifestyle.
Anderson has addressed the news reports of all of her debts, thanking people for their concern, saying, “Mistakes may have been made in calculating taxes owed and we are now in the process of ensuring that any taxes owed are paid.” Anderson currently has 5 million dollars in the bank and assures everyone she’s doing just fine.
11 Amanda Bynes - $6 Million
Being a child actor should give someone the funds to last a lifetime, but too often that doesn’t happen thanks to the pressures of stardom at such a young age. People were shocked when Amanda Bynes announced her retirement from acting at just 24 years old, and they were even more stunned when the young actress began behaving erratically and set fire to a stranger’s driveway. The young star has been in and out of treatment for mental health woes for years now, which has dwindled both her bank account and her star power. Bynes is currently worth around 5.7 million
Bynes is currently worth around 5.7 million dollars and is poised for a comeback. Bynes recently said, “I do miss acting, and I have something surprising to tell you: I'm going to start acting again … I want to do TV. Maybe a few guest spots on some shows that I'm a fan of and maybe another TV show where I'm the star of it."
10 Megan Fox - $5 Milion
Megan Fox is sizzling hot. Despite being a well-known name who has been in blockbuster films and hit TV shows, with credits including the Transformers franchise, Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles, and New Girl, her bank account balance isn’t as hefty as many other celebs her age. Perhaps part of this has to do with the time she’s taken off for her family, or maybe this is an example of the staggeringly unfair pay gap that female actors struggle with compared to their male actor counterparts.
Megan Fox has a net worth estimated at 5 million dollars. In 2016, Megan Fox and hubby Brian Austin Green sold their mansion to singer Meghan Trainor for a cool 4.9 million dollars.
9 Lindsay Lohan - $500,000
No matter how much money the tabloids make off of your exploits, it doesn’t mean that you’re going to profit from your own bad behavior. Such is the case for Lindsay Lohan, who considers partying hard a full-time job. This former Mean Girl should probably be called a broke girl instead. Lindsay found most of her success early in life, bringing in 92.1 million dollars in box office sales for her role as twins in the remake of The Parent Trap. In 2007, legal troubles began for the star when she was arrested and forced to complete community service. While her roles slowed, her spending didn’t. In 2007, it was reported that she spent around a million dollars on her wardrobe alone, and $350,000 on fancy cars.
As of 2017, Lilo’s net worth is a paltry $500,000.
8 Ariel Winter - $7 Million
The stars playing parents on the hit show Modern Family fought hard to earn big bucks to stick with their contracts (all earning around half a million dollars per episode), but unfortunately for the kids on the show, the paychecks didn’t quite experience the same boost. The cast of kids had been earning around $100,000 per episode recently, and are due to get a raise this season, but there are little details on this amount.
Ariel Winter has had her fair share of drama, having to emancipate herself from her abusive mother in addition to earning her own living as an actor. While being a millionaire at 19 is a huge feat, Winter has a relatively low net worth of 7 million dollars. That being said, her career is just getting started.
7 Corey Feldman - $2 Million
Corey Feldman was once applauded for his acting abilities from such a young age. He was a shining star in huge Hollywood hits including Stand by Me and The Lost Boys. Despite winning Best Performance by a Young Actor Saturn Award for his work on Gremlins and a Jackie Coogan Award for Stand By Me, that hasn’t put money into the now D-list actor’s bank account. His parents reportedly stole about a million dollars from the young star, which led to his seeking emancipation. After battling addiction issues the actor moved onto reality TV, and get-rich-quick schemes including ‘pay to party with Corey Feldman' events.
Today the star is focusing on his music career with his band “Corey’s Angels” and has 2 million dollars in the bank.
6 Lena Headey - $9 Million
Just because she plays a queen who sits atop the iron throne doesn’t mean that she’s rolling in Lannister level gold. In 2013, Lena Headey announced that she was broke and on the verge of bankruptcy thanks to a long and heated divorce. At the time, Headey was earning $150,000 per episode, and that still wasn’t enough to pay the bills. Before her time on Game of Thrones, Headey had a respectable portfolio filled with supporting roles in films including The Jungle Book, Mrs. Dalloway, and The Brothers Grimm.
Today she’s bringing in 1.1 million dollars per episode, which is slowly helping her regain some of the money she lost a few years ago. That being said, Lena Headey can make good on a lot of her debts with a net worth of 9 million dollars.
5 O.J. Simpson - $250,000
The Juice was once an icon whose poster was placed on the wall of sports fans everywhere, then an epic court battle and murder accusations changed everything. O.J. Simpson was reported to have a respectable 10.8 million dollars in the bank when he and his now deceased ex-wife Nicole Brown Simpson divorced in 1992. Even though Simpson was found innocent in the criminal case, he lost the civil suit and had to pony up 33.5 million dollars to the Brown and Goldman families. It’s been reported that Simpson has paid very little of that amount as of 2014, and defaulted on his mortgage in 1997.
In 2007, O.J. was convicted of robbing a sports memorabilia collector at gunpoint and sentenced to nine to 33 years in prison. He was just approved for parole in fall 2017. O.J. has an estimated net worth of $250,000 to live off of with the addition of his NHL pension.
4 Heidi Montag and Spencer Pratt - $200,000 Together
Heidi Montag and Spencer Pratt are a prime example of ‘trying to keep up with the Joneses’; that is, if the Joneses are other celebrities who have a lot of money to blow on frivolous things. The couple ended up moving to the rent free Santa Barbara vacation house owned by Spencer’s folks after admitting to spending 2 million dollars a year on fancy clothes and crystals. While they won’t dish exactly when it was that they went flat broke, many speculate it was sometime around 2010. Today, the duo earns their cash through reality TV, but it’s nothing compared to their previous big The Hills earnings.
The two say they’ve learned their lessons and rarely eat out, saving their pennies. They have realized what’s more important than money and image saying, "We're doing fine. Each show is like an audition for the next. Life is so short. And what matters is being happy with family and marriage and with personal progress. We're in a really good place."
3 Gary Busey - $500,000
Gary Busey is as broke as he is strange. In the 1980’s and 1990’s, the star was known for roles in blockbusters including Lethal Weapon, Point Break, and Predator 2. Despite a successful career, Busey was over a million dollars in debt when he declared bankruptcy in 2012, with less than $50,000 in assets. Busey’s manager said on the matter, "The bankruptcy follows past unfortunate choices, associations, events, and circumstances that visited themselves upon this great American icon.”
Perhaps the stress of being broke is what led Busey to some of his most outrageous behavior, like kicking other actors in the stomach, spraying interviewers with a hose, and screaming at fans and children. Today, this loose cannon has around $500,000, which he uses to finance projects like designing erotic toys (I wish I was joking).
2 Mark Twain - Bankrupt
Mark Twain is one of the most talked about authors in the world. He had all the success of J.K. Rowling with none of the money to match. Twain’s real name was Samuel Clemens, and he wrote the famous books: The Adventures of Tom Sawyer, The Adventures of Huckleberry Fin, and Pudd’n Head Wilson. While he was known as the voice of the working class and the underdog, Twain’s life was one of decadence. Twain fancied himself a keen businessman (he was not) and invested in many businesses that didn’t pan out. Twain lost 10 million dollars because of bad investments. He’s said to have turned down an opportunity to invest in the telephone, and ended up filing for bankruptcy. Twain had to go on speaking tours towards the end of his life just to pay off his bad debts.
1 Burt Reynolds - $5 Million
Burt Reynolds is a Hollywood icon. He’s someone that our grandparents spoke about, so most would think that with a lifetime of success and notoriety he’d have plenty of cash to spare. When interviewed, Reynolds candidly told Vanity Fair, “I’ve lost more money than is possible because I just haven’t watched it, I’ve still done well in terms of owning property and things like that. But I haven’t been somebody who’s been smart about his money. There are a couple of actors who are quite brilliant with the way they’ve handled their money, but they’re not very good actors.”
In 1996, he filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy and declared over 10 million dollars in debts. There have even been rumors of the star auctioning off his memorabilia to keep afloat. Today he is worth 5 million dollars.