Special Report

20 Celebrities Who Died Broke

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11. Frances Farmer
> Died: 1970
> Circumstances at death: Penniless

A stage and screen actress who struggled with mental health and alcohol addiction, Farmer was eventually diagnosed with paranoid schizophrenia and institutionalized. She died of esophageal cancer after a life of heavy smoking.

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12. Sammy Davis Jr.
> Died: 1990
> Circumstances at death: $5.2 million in debt to the IRS, many personal debts

This legendary singer’s fortune could not support his lavish spending habits. When Davis died from complications due to throat cancer, his $4 million estate wasn’t enough to cover his tax debts, forcing his widow to auction off his personal possessions.

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13. Gary Coleman
> Died: 2010
> Circumstances at death: Reportedly penniless

Once one of the highest paid actors on television, Coleman declared bankruptcy after legal battles with his adoptive parents, agents, and lawyers. He died at 42 after a series of seizures and an accidental fall down a staircase.

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14. Whitney Houston
> Died: 2012
> Circumstances at death: Reportedly almost penniless

After years of drug and alcohol abuse, stints in rehab, and an epic legal battle with her stepmother, Houston — one of the best selling singers of all time — was millions in debt when she drowned in a hotel bathtub at the age of 48.

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15. Cliff “Ukelele Ike” Edwards
> Died: 1971
> Circumstances at death: Penniless, charity patient in a hospital

The singer and Broadway star famous for voicing Disney’s Jiminy Cricket declared bankruptcy four times after three divorces with hefty alimony payments. Edwards, who struggled with alcoholism and a gambling habit, died of a heart attack at 71.