Famous Bankruptcies - People

If you’re feeling alone or depressed because of financial problems, cheer up! You’re in good company. Below is a list of some of the famous people who have filed for bankruptcy or had severe financial problems before the modern bankruptcy code was adopted. Please note that most of these folks had their great success and fame after their bankruptcies.


B

Lionel Bart . . . British composer-lyricist-playwright (1972).

Kim Basinger . . . Oscar-winning actress (1993) due to $8 million judgment after backing out of a movie

Jay Black . . . rock star; lead member of "Jay and the Americans" (1986).

Lorraine Bracco . . . Oscar-nominated actress (1999).

Matthew Brady . . . portrait/U.S. Civil War photographer (1872).

Toni Braxton . . . rock star (1998).

Anita Bryant . . . singer; American author; 1958 Miss America 2nd runner-up (1997 and 2001).

P. T. Barnum . . . Founder of Barnum & Bailey Circus

C

George Clinton . . . rock star (1984) (note: this is not the composer George S. Clinton).

Samuel L. Clemens ("Mark Twain") . . . best-selling American author-humorist (1894).

Natalie Cole . . . singer (19__) (sources: People magazine, February 24, 1997 / Dateline NBC, September 29, 1996 / et al.).

Gary Coleman . . . actor (1999).

Concrete Blonde . . . rock group (19__) (source: LA Weekly, March 26-April 1, 1999).

John Connally . . . former Texas governor; wounded in 1963 Kennedy assassination in Dallas (1987).

Francis Ford Coppola . . . Oscar-winning film writer-director-producer (1990).

Cathy Lee Crosby . . . actress; American author (1992).


D

Vic Damone . . . singer (1971).

Dorothy Dandridge . . . Oscar-nominated actress-singer (1963).

Lee de Forest . . . Oscar-winning film/sound synchronization pioneer; producer (1937).

Dino De Laurentis . . . Oscar-winning film producer (1988).

Walt Disney . . . Oscar-winning film producer; animation & theme park pioneer (1923).

William Durant . . . Founder of General Motors

E

Eddy "the Eagle" Edwards (Eddy Edwards) . . . Great Britain's first Olympic ski jumper (1991).

F

Keith Famie . . . Survivor II: The Australian Outback contestant; chef-restauranteur; American author (19__; 1996/97) (source: interview, CBS special Survivor: Back from the Outback, May 10, 2001).

Mick Fleetwood . . . rock star; lead member of "Fleetwood Mac" (1984).

Heidi Fleiss . . . Clothing line founder; American author (1999).

William Fox . . . co-founder of 20th Century Fox Film Corporation (1936).

Henry Ford . . . Founder of Ford Motor Company

William Fox . . . Founder of 20th Century Fox Film Corporation


G

Marvin Gaye . . . singer (19__;mid-late 1970s).

Andy Gibb . . . rock star (1987).

Ulysses S. Grant . . . 18th U.S. President; Civil War general;best-selling American author; face is pictured on the U.S. fifty dollar bill (1884, after leaving office).

Elizabeth Ward Gracen . . . actress; model; Miss America 1982 (1999).

Bob Guccione . . . publisher and founder of Penthouse magazine (see General Media below) (2003).

Charles Goodyear . . . inventor of vulcanized rubber

H

Merle Haggard . . . country music star (1993).

Corey Haim . . . actor (1997).

Dorothy Hamill . . . Olympic gold-medal ice-skater (1996).

M.C. Hammer . . . rock star (1996).

Richard Harris . . . Oscar-nominated actor-producer-director; Irish-born author ("twice bankrupt") source: BBC World News).

Robert Harris . . . $275 million Mega Millions lottery winner on February 23, 2008, Georgia USA (1994 and 2000).

Isaac Hayes . . . Oscar-winning songwriter-composer-musician-singer (1976).

Sherman Hemsley . . . actor (2002).

H.J. Heinz . . . Founder of the H.J. Heinz Ketchup Company

I

Ron Isley . . . rhythm-and-blues singer (19__; mid-late 1990s).

J

La Toya Jackson . . . rock star (1995).

Don Johnson . . . actor-producer (2204).

Janice-Marie Johnson . . . rock star/disco diva (19__;1980s) (source: interview segment, Extra TV show, June 9, 2000).

Kacey Jones . . . country music star; musical humorist (19__) (sources: KaceyJones.com / Dish magazine, October 2000).

Clay Jordan . . . Survivor V: Thailand contestant; restauranteur (2001).

Thomas Jefferson . . . U.S. President, filed several times, including after leaving office due to large debt.


K

Chaka Kahn . . . rock star (19__) (source: People magazine, February 24, 1997).

Larry King . . . talk-show host; best-selling American author (1971) and again (1978).

Bowie Kuhn . . . former U.S. baseball commissioner (19__).

Gary Kurtz . . . Oscar-nominated film producer (Star Wars, American Graffiti, etc.) (19__).

L

Veronica Lake . . . actress (1951).

Lorenzo Lamas . . . actor (2004).

Cyndi Lauper . . . rock star (1983).

Stan Lee . . . comic book industry pioneer; co-creator of "Spider Man," "The Incredible Hulk," "The X-Men," etc. (2001).

Joanne Lopes and Jorge Lopes . . . Big Game multistate Lotto jackpot winners in 2002 in the U.S.; won a $110.3 million jackpot, which they took as a lump sum of $58.9 million before taxes; had debts of nearly $600,000 when they filed for chapter 13 bankruptcy protection; their petition was dismissed by a judge due to their failure to appear at their hearing (2001).

Abraham Lincoln . . . American President filed several times, due to business failures.

Jerry Lee Lewis . . . filed in the 70's after losing stage bookings



M

Meat Loaf . . . rock star (1983).

Ashley MacIsaac . . . musician-fiddler (2000).

Mindy McCready . . . country music star (1997).

Melba Moore . . . singer-actress (19__; 1990s).

Debelah Morgan . . . singer-songwriter-producer (2000).

Lorrie Morgan . . . country music star; American author (19__) (source: Current Biography Yearbook 2000).

Motor City Five/MC5 . . . rock group of the 1960s (1970).

William McKinley . . . 25th US President.

Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart . . . composer

N

Willie Nelson . . . singer-songwriter-actor; American author (19__; est. 1990) (source: Sunday Morning, CBS-TV news program, September 30, 2001, interview conducted by Dan Rather).

Wayne Newton . . . singer-actor-entertainer (1992).

Jimmie Nicol . . . drummer who became a member of the music group "The Beatles" for 10 days in 1964 during a worldwide tour while Ringo Starr was being treated for tonsillitis (1965).

Immanuel Nobel . . . father of manufacturer-philanthropist Alfred Nobel, who founded the Nobel Prizes (twice: 1833/year Alfred was born; 1856/when Alfred was 23).

Mary Nolan . . . actress (1931).

O

Jennings Osborne . . . Arkansas businessman; Christmas light sponsor, including at DisneyWorld (1995).

P

Johnny Paycheck . . . country music star (1976).

Tom Petty . . . rock star (1979).

Susan Powter . . . exercise/fitness expert; talk-show host; best-selling American author (1995).

Burt Prelutsky . . . American television writer; screenwriter (1997).


R

Noreen Renier . . . Psychic (claimed); American author (2007).

Burt Reynolds . . . Oscar-nominated actor-director; American author (1995) after owing more than 8 million in debts.

Debbie Reynolds . . . Oscar-nominated actress-singer; American author (1997).

Juan Rodriguez . . . $149 million Mega Millions lottery winner, New York City (2004, filed bankruptcy just before winning).

Mickey Rooney . . . Oscar-nominated actor; American author (1962).

Rembrandt . . . famous painter


S

Harry Saltzman . . . film producer (James Bond movies) (1975).

Ray Sawyer . . . rock star; member of "Dr. Hook and the Medicine Show" (1973).

Shenandoah . . . country music band (1991).

Anna Nicole Smith . . . model-actress; 1993 Playboy magazine "Playmate of the Year" (1996).

Lynne Spears . . . American author; mother of rock star Britney Spears (1998; filed with husband James prior to Britney's stardom).

J. Fife Symington . . . Governor of Arizona (1995, while still in office).

T

TLC . . . rock group (1995).

Donald Trump . . . businessman (casinos: Trump Hotels & Casino Resorts Inc.) (1992; 2004).

Mike Tyson . . . boxer (2003).

Mark Twain (Samuel Clemens) . . . filed in 1894 due to failed investments

W

Tammy Wynette . . . country music star; American author (1988).

Oscar Wilde . . . acclaimed poet, author and playwright

While there are many reasons people choose to file, one thing is certain: Bankruptcy allows an individual or a corporation to attempt a fresh start. An entire book could be written about all the accomplishments the above noted individuals, as well as a lot of others not mentioned, have achieved after choosing to file for bankruptcy relief and start over debt free.