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Celebrity investments gone sour

Investing » Celebrity Investments Gone Sour

Burt Reynolds
Burt Reynolds

The Investment: Burt Reynolds, the world's most popular movie star in the 1970s, invested in a restaurant chain ironically called PoFolks, opening outlets throughout California, Texas and Florida. By the late '80s, that investment made Reynolds a po' folk himself, costing him $15 million.

Combined with other bad investments, his diminished luster as a star and a costly divorce from Loni Anderson, the investment drove him toward a 1996 bankruptcy filing, at which time he was more than $10 million in debt.

The dive (or lack thereof): The Bandit always had a certain charm for lucking out of tough situations, and that didn't stop offscreen. Despite the bankruptcy, Reynolds was allowed to keep his $2.5 million mansion and all his personal property.

In August 2011, Merrill Lynch Credit Corp. filed a foreclosure lawsuit against Reynolds for failure to pay his mortgage since 2010 on his 4-acre Florida waterfront estate. Despite the price being lowered by more than half, as of 2013, the home was still unsold.

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