With the right management, investments, success and sometimes luck, celebrities are able to amass incredible fortunes. But for others, despite huge name recognition and years of hard work, they’re left with surprisingly low net worths.
Star Wars icon Mark Hamill may have put it best when he told an audience, “In Hollywood, remember kids, it’s not important if it’s of high quality … only if it makes money,” about the brutal nature of the business. While the original trilogy of films went on to earn over $1.8 billion globally, Mark reportedly earned just $650,000 for 1977’s original film.
Mark’s costar, Harrison Ford, went on to star in highly lucrative roles in the Indiana Jones franchise, iconic thrillers including Air Force One, The Fugitive and the Jack Ryan films Patriot Games and Clear and Present Danger. Today, the man who played Han Solo is worth $300 million. But his costar Mark is worth a small fraction of that financially.
His acting career didn’t take off the same way Harrison’s did after Star Wars, despite his Luke Skywalker being one of the most famous characters in Hollywood film history. He instead turned to a career in voice work, where he gave life to more than 20 years’ worth of animated projects. Mark has a net worth of $18 million today, which is a nice chunk of change. But it’s low considering what his Star Wars trilogy costar went on make.
Celebrities’ net worths can get knocked out by divorces, tax problems, career downturns or overspending. At the height of her Baywatch stardom, Pamela Anderson was making $300,000 per episode, which came to $6.6 million per season. She was once worth $35 million, but despite international sex symbol status, Pam made a series of personal expenses and decisions that drastically dented her fortune.
Pam bought a Malibu home in 2000 for $1.8 million, then proceeded to tear it down and build a new one at a cost of over $8 million. She eventually rented it out as an income property while living elsewhere and couldn’t even get the nearly $15 million she listed it for in 2021, eventually selling it for $11.8 million.
The blonde bombshell also had issues with the taxman. After it was revealed that Pam owed the state of California $493,000 in unpaid taxes, she tweeted in 2010, “Events occurred outside of my control which caused this temporary but embarrassing situation. All my tax obligations will be resolved in the very near future.”
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