1. Benedict Arnold
Benedict Arnold fought on the American side of the Revolutionary War but didn’t get the attention he felt he deserved so he switched to the British side. He went bankrupt after the war when a failed financial venture caused him to lose everything.

2. P.T. Barnum

P.T. Barnum is best known for being half of the “Barnum & Bailey Circus” but he actually didn’t get into that until he was 61-years-old. He first opened a museum in New York City showcasing nature’s oddities like Tom Thumb who was only 2 feet 9 inches tall. He also put a bunch of dough into the development of East Bridgeport, Connecticut and went bankrupt when that didn’t work out. He bounced back in four years and got into the circus business.

3. Kim Basinger
Kim Basinger had to file for bankruptcy in 1993 when a judge ordered the actress to pay Main Line Pictures $8.1 million because she had backed out of a verbal commitment to star in the film Boxing Helena. She had to sell her $20 million investment in Braselton, in her native Georgia and only received $1 million for it. She later appealed the ruling, reached an out-of-court settlement and went on to her well-known role in L.A. Confidential a few years later.

4. Ed McMahon

Friends attributed his financial downfall to a convergence of bad breaks and character flaws…booze +broads + blunders = bankruptcy.

5. John Wayne Bobbitt

John Wayne Bobbitt is best known for having his penis sliced off by his angry wife in 1993. Luckily, after a 12-hour surgery his penis was sewed back on but Bobbitt couldn’t handle the mounting doctors bills and had to declare bankruptcy. He made a come back by getting into porn but he can’t seem to stay out of trouble. (He’s been arrested more than seven times for offenses ranging from assault to grand larceny.)

6. Lorraine Bracco

Lorraine Bracco played the mob-psychiatrist Dr. Jennifer Melfi in the HBO hit The Sopranos. The popularity of the show helped her dig herself out of debt after she filed for bankruptcy in 1999. Bracco found herself in a five-year legal battle with ex-Harvey Keitel over custody of their daughter Stella. The legal fees and taxes were substantial and the cause for her bankruptcy.

7. Toni Braxton

Toni Braxton sold over 15 million albums in the years leading up to her 1998 filing for bankruptcy and some believe she filed so she could get out of her recording contract with record label LaFace. When she filed, Braxton was $3.9 million in debt and all of her household possessions, including the two Grammys she was awarded in 1997 were priced to sell so she could pay off her creditors. Despite her conflict with her label, she signed a new contract in 1999 worth $25 million with them.

8. Lenny Bruce

Lenny Bruce loved to shock audiences as a comedian and was constantly in trouble on obscenity charges. He was blacklisted from nearly every comedy club in the United States near the end of his life but it was the trial in 1961, in which he was in trouble for saying “c——–er”, that caused him to go bankrupt. He ended up dying at age 40 from a morphine overdose and in 2007, was granted a posthumous pardon for his obscenity conviction by New York Governor George Pataki. Bruce would be blown away by what people can get away with today.

9. Buffalo Bill

Buffalo Bill organized his “Wild West Show” in the late 1800’s and went on to become quite wealthy. Even though he made millions touring the country, he was also very generous and gave away so much money that he had to file for bankruptcy in 1914. He died bankrupt in 1917 and was buried on Lookout Mountain.

10. Francis Ford Coppola

Responsible for directing the Godfather trilogy and winner of five Academy Awards before he was 40, Francis Ford Coppola was $300,000 in debt before the first Godfather movie came out. He then was able to rebound, but began bankruptcy proceedings after his 1982 musical One From The Heart, tanked. Luckily, he borrowed the money from his mother to get into the wine business and again turned his financial future around.

Source: To read full article with pictures…Click here – Famous bankrupt people

About this entry