As the winner of an Academy Award and star of blockbusters like National Treasure, Face/Off, and Gone in 60 Seconds, it’s not too surprising that Nicolas Cage amassed a fortune of $150 million. What is shocking, however, is that his wealth has dwindled away to nothing. Bizarre purchases and poor decisions have left Nic as the most cash-strapped eccentric in Hollywood.
Perhaps because he loved the way his hair flowed in Con Air, Nicolas went out and got his own plane: a state-of-the-art Gulfstream Jet. These speed machines cost tens of millions of dollars, and Cage also invested plenty in exotic passengers to keep him company.
Goldfish make for affordable pets, but Cage took that notion to the extreme by adorning his aquarium with a $150,000 octopus. He reported it would “help him with his acting,” but we are still eagerly awaiting the film where Cage plays an angsty sea monster.
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More dangerously, the leading man also bought a pair of albino king cobras for his personal zoo — because regular king cobras are a total snooze-fest. It’s too bad Cage returned these reptiles after they repeatedly tried to attack him. But he’s always planning for his ultimate demise.
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Like the pharaohs of old, Cage will die in style. He built a nine-foot-tall pyramid in a historic New Orleans cemetery that will one day be his tomb, though the plaque has to be frequently replaced due to tourists with sticky fingers. And that’s not his only Big Easy investment.
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In 2007, the Ghost Rider star bought the stately LaLaurie House in the French Quarter. Its beauty stands in stark contrast to its former owner, who brutally tortured and killed many slaves. This grotesque property was just one regrettable buy Cage made before the Great Recession.
Cage is an avid meditator and claims he needs to find places that match his mindset. That’s supposedly why he purchased European castles in both Germany and Britain. Meanwhile, he also sought out homes for when he entered a more modern state-of-mind.
The actor treated himself to mansions all over the U.S., including this Bel Air mansion that he once shared with Patricia Arquette. Cage foreclosed on a number of properties during the financial crisis, though he struggled to rid himself of some.
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In 2006, Cage purchased his very own private island in the Bahamas. The 40-acre spit of land cost him a cool $7 million, made more burdensome by the fact that it came with no buildings or utilities. Naturally, Nic had to travel there in style…
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At his peak, the actor owned no fewer than four yachts, though it was the Sarita that was the flagship of his luxury fleet. The $20 million vessel boasted six master bedrooms and a length of 42 yards. Cage had to sell off the Sarita to make ends meet.
Nic drives pretty darn fast in both Gone in 60 Seconds and in real life! His vast collection included a number of Ferraris, Porsches, and Rolls-Royces. Unafraid to buy used vehicles, Cage also bought the Lamborghini that once belonged to the Shah of Iran.
As an artist himself, Cage appreciates fine art. In addition to his personal collection of paintings and sculptures, he owns a number of pieces that not every dealer would be thrilled to buy.
Photo by J. Vespa/WireImage
After working on The Wicker Man, Nic should know it’s no fun having your head shoved in a box (especially when it’s filled with bees). But that hasn’t stopped him from amassing a vast collection of shrunken pygmy heads, which were once popular as grotesque trophies.
When Cage sees something he likes, he just has to have it. In 2007 the skull of a large dinosaur called the Tarbosaurus went on auction, and he was bidding against the likes of Leonardo DiCaprio for the treasure
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Nic won the skull at a price tag of almost 300 grand! Sadly, a few years later, the Mongolian government disclosed that the bones had been stolen from them. The actor begrudgingly ate the cost and returned his Tarbosaurus.
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How much does Nic Cage love Superman? He spent a small fortune on Action Comics No 1., which debuted the Man of Steel. The book was stolen from him in 2000 before being recovered 11 years after.
Rarely seen without an accessory or three, Cage owns a staggering amount of jewelry. Besides weighing down his hands with massive rings, he’s shelled out millions on sparkly baubles over the years for his four ex-wives. Speaking of which…
Having gone through multiple divorces, Cage is no stranger to the concept of spousal support. In 2019, he was married to Erika Koike for four whole days before she left him — and demanded a share of his remaining fortune.
Nic’s eye-popping spending led to a string of foreclosures and a $6.2 million tax lien from the IRS. He sued his financial manager for “sending Cage down a path toward financial ruin,” though the manager then countersued the actor. Still, the Oscar-winner accepts some of the blame.
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Analyzing his reckless money habits, Cage stated it all goes back to his childhood. He grew up middle-class, but had an ultra-wealthy uncle in director Francis Ford Coppola. Spending summers with Coppola, Cage realized, “I wanted to be him. I wanted to have the mansions. That was driving me.”
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But Cage is far from the only star to hit it big and immediately blow his first paycheck. Jack Sparrow knows how to spend his treasure wisely. When Johnny Depp hit it big on 21 Jump Street, he played the dutiful son and bought his mom a horse farm in Kentucky!
2. Brad Pitt: Quite a few struggling actors have to sleep on air mattresses. Maybe that’s why Brad Pitt used his first movie paycheck to upgrade his apartment furnishings. He got a Craftsman chair, a stereo, and a “Frank Lloyd Wright-wannabe lamp.”
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3. Serena Williams: A true champion Like Serena knows not to waste all your energy — or money — in the opening round. When she collected her first tennis winnings, she put them straight in the bank. Her only error was trying to deposit her seven-figure check in the drive-through window!
4. Matt LeBlanc: Before the actor received his first Friends check, Matt had only $11 in the bank. In a move that would make Joey Tribbiani proud, he simply decided to sit down to a nice hot meal.
5. Courteney Cox: However, not all Friends stars made such simple purchases. Right after the pilot aired, Courtney bought a new car. We can only assume she blasted “Dancing in the Dark” on the stereo as she drove home.
6. Chris Rock: Taking a page out of his pal Jerry Seinfeld’s book, Chris splurged on a sports car. While he adored his new Corvette, he didn’t realize he also had to pay taxes on the vehicle. The purchase put him in debt, but he paid it off before too long.
7. Shaquille O’Neal: After signing his first contract in 1992, Shaq blew through $1 million in a couple hours. All it took was buying cars for his entire family, paying off his parents’ debt, and stocking up on lots of jewelry.
8. Rupert Grint: While shooting the first Harry Potter film, Rupert promised himself he’d buy an ice cream truck. He made good on those plans and even brought it on set on the series’ final day of filming.
9. Brie Larson: Though we know her today as an award-winning actress, Brie Larson started her career as a hopeful pop singer. She’s got legitimate musical chops, which is why she spent her first real payday on an electric guitar.
10. Kerry Washington: Just like the rest of us, Kerry can’t live without her electronic devices. At first, she hid her entire salary from Save the Last Dance under her mattress, but she later went out and bought herself a nice laptop.
11. Nicole Kidman: Who says movie stars aren’t practical? Nicole didn’t get blinded by the lights when she hit the big-time. Instead, she sensibly put her wages toward a new washing machine. By the looks of it, she invested in a new hairdo as well!
12. Jennifer Lopez: Back in the early 1990s, J-Lo’s boyfriend gifted her a Honda, but she couldn’t bear to keep the car after they split up. Fortunately, she landed a regular role on In Living Color and used her first paycheck to purchase a Mercedes.
13. Selena Gomez: In order for Selena to accept roles on Barney and Friends and The Disney channel, her entire family had to move from Texas to Los Angeles. That’s why her first wages went entirely toward covering their rent.
14. Tiffany Haddish: It turns out that Tiffany’s got a big appetite. Her first showbiz check only amounted to $120, but she still was over the moon. Feeling as giddy as a little kid, she spent the entire thing on candy!
15. Dave Grohl: When Nirvana had their breakout with Nevermind, Dave Grohl had his mind on drumsticks — of both the musical and meat variety. He bought a house in North Carolina, where he spent a few years eating nothing but barbecue.
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16. Kelly Rowland: When Destiny’s Child hit it big, Kelly wasn’t too worried about “Bills, Bills, Bills.” Instead, she went to the grocery store and splurged on fancy food that her family couldn’t afford when she was younger. She hosted a bunch of friends that night for an extravagant feast.
17. Rami Malek: The Bohemian Rhapsody star always looks quite alert, probably because he absolutely loves coffee. Once his first payment from Mr. Robot arrived, Rami treated himself to an espresso machine. Hopefully, he’s gotten some sleep since then!
18. Ariel Winter: This Modern Family star managed to legally emancipate herself from her parents as a teenager. As a result, she had full access to all her earnings. Ariel made good use of her first payday, filling up her closet with all kinds of shoes.
19. Colin Kaepernick: During his 2011 rookie season, Kaepernick realized he didn’t want to blow his entire paycheck on himself. Instead, he gave away the lion’s share to Camp Taylor, a charity that aids children with heart disease.
20. America Ferrera: Before she owned a car, America had to make her way to auditions by catching a string of buses or just walking. Once her first paycheck finally came in, she sprung for a used Mitsubishi, which finally allowed her to get around L.A.
First paycheck splurges are cute and all, but once you’ve been in the game for a minute things change. Stars can even spend their hard-earned dough on items others might consider odd, because, well, it’s their money and they do what they want!
1. Move over Ghostbusters, we can call Lady Gaga now. Gaga believes firmly in paranormal activity and is deadly afraid of ghosts, particularly one simply named Ryan, so she drags her ghost-detecting machine (a $47,000 Electro Magnetic Field detector) on the road with her to stay safe at all times.
2. Contrary to popular belief, Flavor Flav didn’t actually steal or buy his life-size statue of O.J. Simpson; it was gifted to him by radio host Mancow Muller (who actually got a fairly good deal on it). Still, the piece is worth a lot of money these days; Flav is trying to sell it for at least 6 figures.
3. Have you ever dropped your smartphone and dreaded shelling out $100 to get the screen replaced? You probably won’t be able to relate to Victoria Beckham, whose gold-plated iPhone set her back $33,000. Now imagine dropping THAT.
4. Despite the Christian meaning behind her stage name, Madonna’s spirituality is focused more towards the wisdom of Kabbalah these days. She insists on drinking only Kabbalah-blessed water, which sells for $5 per bottle. The Vogue-singer must be pretty thirsty because she orders $17,000 worth of the holy water every month.
5. Nicolas Cage’s real name is Nicolas Coppola, but as a kid, he wanted to be a superhero and named himself after his idol, Luke Cage. As an adult, he spent hundreds of thousands on comics, including the ultra-rare Action Comics No. 1 (which he later sold for $2.1 million)! But those aren’t his only extravagant purchases…
6. Nic Cage must be making some serious bank because aside from growing his comic book collection, he still had money left to spend on two albino cobras, an octopus, a Gulfstream jet, a private island, and a $276,000 dinosaur skull.
7. Bono is often spotted wearing hats, but his most prominent one is a sand-colored woven cowboy hat. In fact, he is so fond of this particular headgear, he paid $1,700 so it could have its own seat on an airplane.
8. Tyrese Gibson purchased a whole island as a Christmas present for his daughter. He called it “Love Island.” It sounds like we’ve got to start being nicer to Santa.
9. Gibson is not the only one buying odd gifts for his loved ones. When Katie Holmes was pregnant, Tom Cruise bought her an ultrasound machine so they could look at their unborn child from the comfort of their own home.
10. Expensive sneakers are a pretty common phenomenon, but shoes that cost nearly $38,00o are hard to believe. Still, that’s how much Tinie Tempah spent on his Nike Air MAGs from the movie Back To The Future. They are supposed to lace themselves, but we’re not sure that price tag is worth the luxury of not having to bend down.
11. Most rich people just buy diamonds, but that wasn’t enough for Akon, who purchased a whole diamond mine but wouldn’t tell anyone how or why. Maybe he’s just trying to meet more “beautiful girls” since diamonds are a girl’s best friend.
12. We know Beyoncé is always stunting when it comes to her outfits, so regular leggings simply won’t do for this R&B Royalty. In fact, Queen Bey spent $100,000 on her pair of gold tights. Still, they’re not even her most extravagant purchase…
13. Beyoncé may treat herself hard (as she should), but her daughter Blue Ivy isn’t left wanting more either. For her first birthday, she received a Barbie doll that cost her parents $85,000. What’s so special about this doll? Barbie is covered in diamonds and white gold jewelry. Life in plastic must really be fantastic.
14. With mother and child happily spoiled, Dad can’t be left behind! Jay-Z does not really ride horses, but he apparently loves to see them race. He bought a famous champion of the Kentucky Derby, California Chrome, for a whopping $55 million.
15. Amanda Seyfried owns a stuffed mini horse. And a stuffed zebra. And a lion. And dozens of other dead animals. Seyfried has a love for taxidermy and has collected quite a few beasts. Hopefully, she’ll stick to animals and won’t go full Norman Bates on us…
16. People might confuse Celine Dion’s previous home for a hotel or a waterpark. She used her land to install an enormous pool in her backyard complete with gazebos, slides, a fire pit, and a lazy river. When she was done splashing around she could also go inside and turn on her $2 million humidification system.
17. Daniel Radcliffe doesn’t have the need to show off his wealth, but he does prefer luxury when it comes to the comfort of his home: he spent $17,000 on a mattress. For that price, it must be pretty magical, and a lot more comfy than sleeping under the stairs.
18. For those of us who aren’t Harry Potter but are a big fan of the series, a movie prop will probably do. Liam Payne purchased the Weasley family’s Ford Anglia for at least 6 figures. For that kind of money, it better be able to fly (just not into the Whomping Willow).
19. It may take a village to raise a child, but it takes $20 million to buy that village. That is how much Kim Basinger paid for the town of Braselton, Georgia. Her plans to make it a tourist attraction failed, and she sold it for only $1 million. Real estate is a tough business.
20. Mike Tyson might not look like it, but he’s a man who loves a bubble bath! In fact, he loves ’em so much that he spent $2.2 MILLION on a solid gold bathtub. Hey, if you’ve got it, why not?