How Nicolas Cage Wildly Spent a $150 Million Fortune

Nicolas Cage Hollywood Star
Updated May 13, 2024
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You won't believe the things he bought.

Think your money troubles are bad? Trying blowing through $150 million, going broke, then owing the IRS $13 million. Yes, we're talking about Oscar-winning actor Nicolas Cage.

How did Nicolas Cage go broke? Let's find out.

Nicolas Cage made over $150 million acting between 1996 and 2011, including movies like Gone in Sixty Seconds ($20 million), National Treasure ($20 million), Snake Eyes ($16 million), and Windtalkers ($20 million).

Forbes listed him as one of the highest-paid actors of all time. It's said he made $40 million in 2009 alone. That's a lot of money!

Unfortunately, the fun was short-lived. As his income increased, so did his insane buying habits.

Related: 8 Clever Moves When You Have $1000 in the Bank

By the time he reached his mid-forties (he's now 58), Nicolas Cage spent so much cash that he put the King of Arabia to shame.

While he blamed his money manager for sending him "down a path toward financial ruin," others say it was his crazy personal spending.

In 2009, the IRS slapped the actor with a $6.2 million tax lien and Nicolas Cage ended up suing his money manager for fraud and negligence.

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Where did all the money go?

1. Dinosaur skulls

A self-proclaimed history buff, Cage allegedly outbid Leonardo DiCaprio for a 67-million-year-old Tarbosaurus skull valued at over $300,000. He also apparently had other dinosaur skulls.

2. Two albino king cobras

Allegedly Cage used the cobras for protection. Some others say he used it for sexual activities.

3. Two Bahamian Islands

Cage bought a 40-acre, $7 million island south of Nassau for his private use.

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4. The Shah of Iran's Lamborghini

Cage purchased a rare $450,000 Lamborghini Miura SVJ from the late Shah of Iran in 1997.

Related: 8 Brilliant Moves If You Make More Than $5,000 a Month

5. Exotic cars and motorcycles

He also spent millions on other dozens of specialty and vintage vehicles. In June 2004, he supposedly owned up to 30 motorcycles and 50 cars.

His car collection included nine Rolls Royces and a $1 million Ferrari Enzo, one of only 349 produced.

6. Luxury yachts

He bought four yachts, one of which he named Sarita. It cost $20 million and had 12 master bedrooms.

7. A famous haunted house

Cage bought this famed New Orleans house in 2006 for $3.45 million. Supposedly the house belonged to a socialite serial killer named Madame LaLaurie, who was the inspiration for the character of Kathy Bates in American Horror Story: Coven.

In the house that Madame LaLaurie would kill and torture slaves in the 1800s. Legend says it's haunted.

8. Shrunken Pymgy heads

According to visitors, Cage had a collection of heads in his house for unknown reasons.

9. A pyramid tombstone

Located in New Orleans, this 9 foot tall pyramid tombstone is engraved with "Omni Ab Uno," Latin for "Everything From One." Cage bought it.

10. The first Superman comic

Cage had a collection of comic books that included Action Comics #1 (the first appearance of Superman) and Detective Comics 38 (the first appearance of Robin, Batman's sidekick).

As a celebrity comic connection with an alternative ending, Anne Hathaway has appeared in a documentary with Nicolas Cage — Superheroes: From Page to Screen — only she got paid to play Catwoman and Cage had to pay to buy these comic books. This key difference in approach to money might be why even though how much Anne Hathaway makes in Hollywood is less than Nicolas Cage, she hasn't had to declare bankruptcy.

11. A crocodile

Cage had one. Because every American family should.

12. A shark

Again, standard pet for Cage.

13. An octopus

Supposedly Cage's house was like a zoo.

14. Fifteen estate homes around the world

He bought another multi-million dollar mansion in New Orleans, a $10 million Malibu beach home, a private getaway home on Paradise Island in the Bahamas, a $17.5 million palace in Bel Air, a mansion in Las Vegas, and a 24,000 square foot home in Rhode Island.

Other properties included a chalet in Aspen, Colorado and homes in San Francisco, New York, Newport Beach, and Venice Beach.

14. A private Gulfstream jet

Because how else would you travel between your fifteen estate homes?

16. Two European castles

He bought an $8 million castle in Bath, England, and spent millions on remodeling it.

Then he bought an 11th-century Bavarian castle in Etzelwang, Germany.

17. Rare art

Cage had almost 50 extremely expensive works of art.

18. High end jewelry

In addition to taking the women in his life on lavish vacations, he also bought them massive amounts of jewelry including diamonds and gems.

So where is Nicolas Cage now?

He was forced to foreclose on several properties. His money manager countersued him and though the lawsuits have been settled, Cage was still struggling to fix his finances and unload assets.

To pay off his debt and pay for his mother's medical bills, Cage started taking just about any role offered to him. This has led to him starring in several independent movies, some of which have received critical acclaim like 2021's Pig and 2018's Mandy. Other movies went straight to video. 

He also sold his prized Action Comics #1 for $2.16 million, a record-setting amount, to pay off his debt. 

Today, Nic Cage seems to have left his money troubles behind. His most recent film, The Unbearable Weight of Massive Talent, is an action-comedy and was Certified Fresh by Rotten Tomatoes. It stars Nic Cage as a fictionalized version of himself. 

Lessons learned:

  1. Don't be materialistic: It's tempting to "keep up with the Joneses" with expensive cars, fancy fashion, and larger homes. But getting caught up with the finer things in life can be devastating if your bank account can't support it. Compulsive buying is an addiction.
  2. Learn about money: Financial literacy is understanding budgetingways to make money, invest money, and how to manage your money. When you find success, you must educate yourself to make the right decisions. Be organized. Put some money away for a rainy day in one of the best savings accounts. Never rely solely on accountants, financial advisors, attorneys, or insurance agents.
  3. Don't assume success lasts forever: Every day is a hustle. Many people - from celebrities to Wall Street traders - fall victim to thinking their success will be long and everlasting. Always plan with emergency funds and saving at least 15% of your income.

Author Details

Christine Yaged

Christine writes about credit cards, travel, entrepreneurship, and business. She's been in digital marketing and technology for her entire career and loves it. She believes everyone has the power to achieve success on their own terms. Her expertise is in optimizing the heck out of credit card points, entrepreneurship, investing, and all things Internet. Christine and her husband have mastered credit card point hacking to travel and stay in exotic places around the world. They live with their crazy Goldendoodle, Nala Fancypants, in Delray Beach, FL and love to cook... and eat. Duh.