While celebrities might live very different lives than the average person, they are still just people. That means that, like the rest of us, they need to pay attention to their finances. Even if they’re making billions, it behooves them to be smart with their money.
For most big-earning celebrities, this means hiring a money manager—and not living a life of extravagance, of course. But not every celebrity out there is so diligent. Nicolas Cage was once a millionaire, but now the IRS is after him for spending his fortune on the craziest things—here’s why.
Hollywood actors don’t often hurt for cash. Between their killer salaries and all of the swag they receive, they aren’t all that worried about just how much cheddar they happen to have in their bank accounts.
Nicolas Cage, however, is an exception to the rule. Between 1996 and 2011, the actor earned over $150 million. But by 2009, Cage had blown through his finances! What exactly was he buying? Well…
1. Lamborghini Miura SVJ ($450,000): Plenty of rich celebs have a passion for collecting sports cars, but Cage takes it to another level entirely. This Lambo was actually purchased from the late Shah of Iran in 1997.
2. Superman #1 ($3,200,000): Cage has never made it a secret that, when it comes to comics, he adores Superman. (He named his second son Kal-El, for Pete’s sake!) When he had a chance to add this multimillion-dollar first edition of the book to his collection, he just couldn’t say no.
3. Two islands ($7,000,000): Honestly, paying $7 million for not one but two small islands in the Bahamas actually sounds like a steal! For all that cash, Cage got more than 40 acres of private island living.
4. Luxury yachts ($20,000,000): If you’re going to own more than one island, it might makes sense to have more than one luxury yacht in your possession, right? Cage took it to the extreme, buying a total of four yachts.
5. A haunted house ($3,450,000): Cage really digs the supernatural. He digs it so much that he bought this house in New Orleans that once belonged to a socialite serial killer named Madame LaLaurie. Her victims are said to haunt the place. Hopefully, he got a discount…
6. Dinosaur skulls ($300,000): Cage is a huge fan of both dinosaurs and skulls. Knowing this, it’s not exactly surprising that he beat out other A-listers (including Leonardo DiCaprio) for a 67-million-year-old Tarbosaurus skull. It’s not the only dino skull he’s reported to own, either!
7. A private jet ($2,000,000): When you’re a celebrity you spend a lot of time on planes traveling around the world to different film locations. For some, traveling first class is perfection, but for Nicolas Cage nothing but his own plane will do.
8. Houses and mansions ($45,000,000): Cage invested in a lot of real estate—15 homes and mansions, to be exact. He’s got house keys for digs in Aspen, San Francisco, New York, Newport Beach, Rhode Island, New Orleans, and Venice Beach, just to name a few!
9. Two castles ($24,000,000): When you have 15 palatial estates all over the world, you might think that you’re done buying property. Not if you’re Nicolas Cage. The actor bought an $8,000,000 castle in Bath, England, and spent millions remodeling it. He also bought an 11th-century Bavarian castle in Germany, just because!
10. Albino king cobras (value unknown): The actor also happens to love snakes. He loves them so much that he somehow managed to acquire two gigantic albino king cobras! Rumors abound that he uses the literally priceless (and illegal) snakes as protection… or to enhance his prowess in the bedroom. You do you, man.
11. Cars and motorcycles (value unknown): Cage is such a massive collector of all things automobile-related that it’s impossible to calculate how much he has spent on cars. That said…
His collection includes nine Rolls Royces and even an ultra-rare Ferrari Enzo worth more than a million dollars. It’s clear that even for a collector, Cage has a special place in his heart for cars.
12. A shark ($1,000): Here’s something fun: if you ever plan on buying an animal that is large enough to kill a human being, its price point will always be set at a thousand dollars or higher to dissuade you from doing it. It did not dissuade Cage.
13. A tomb (value unknown): Cage loves the city of New Orleans. During one visit to the place, he actually impulse-bought a massive (we’re talking nine feet here) pyramid tomb in a local cemetery. “Impulse buy” usually means gum, but this works, too.
14. Rare art (value unknown): Although the grand total of their value is unknown, Cage is rumored to have had an art collection that boasted more than 50 pieces that most museums would drool over.
15. Shrunken heads (value unknown): According to an anonymous source who visited one of Cage’s homes, the actor owns a large collection of shrunken Pygmy heads. Items like that are so rare that most of those in existence are actually kept in museums.
16. A crocodile ($1,000): Cage used a part of his vast fortune to buy a single crocodile. Why? Because he’s Nicolas Cage. And also probably because there weren’t any shrunken heads on eBay that week.
17. An octopus ($1,000): At this point, it’s probably not surprising to learn that Cage considered turning one of his homes into a zoo. He never got there, thank goodness, but this octopus was still a beloved pet—with a hefty price tag!
Knowing just how much money Nicolas Cage spent on such over-the-top items, it’s no wonder that he lost his fortune as quickly as he did! Hopefully he’s learned a valuable lesson.
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