Ironically, being the original star of a $10 billion movie franchise doesn’t guarantee you’re financially set for life. Mark Hamill is the original Luke Skywalker, playing him in the first installment of the epic Star Wars saga, 1980’s The Empire Strikes Back. Unfortunately, after the following movie, 1983’s Return of the Jedi, Hamill had a hard time finding work.
For nearly 30 years, Hamill was seen by every director and producer out there as Luke Skywalker, and nothing more. After years of doing little more than voice-over work for some animated TV series and a few video games, Hamill got a lucky break in 2015, when he was asked to play Skywalker once again, in The Force Awakens. And judging by his role in subsequent Star Wars films, in 2017 and 2019, this celebrity’s paycheck may be rising to what it once was.
Natasha Lyonne is one of those actresses that you truly have to admire. Once the owner of a big, fat paycheck after scoring a role in American Pie, Lyonne suddenly found herself without a job and, due to a nasty illegal substance problem, without any money or a place to live. She was hospitalized and admitted to a rehab facility after suffering serious health issues.
But the strong redhead bounced back. Not only did she manage to kick the bad habit and stay clean, but she also made a fantastic comeback with the wildly popular TV series, Orange is the New Black. And in February 2019, she co-created and starred in Netflix's Russian Doll, a highly acclaimed, Emmy-nominated series.
After his debut in the 1984 Cold War drama, Red Dawn, Charlie Sheen rose to fame in a way any actor could only dream of. Being the son of legendary actor Martin Sheen surely didn't hurt, but Charlie definitely pulled his own weight after acting in epic films like Platoon, Wall Street, Major League, Young Guns, and many more. But his biggest break probably came in 2003, when he became one of the stars of the extremely popular TV show, Two and a Half Men.
This role made Sheen one of the highest-paid actors on network TV, being paid $1.8 million per episode! Unfortunately, the ride wouldn't last forever, as he was kicked off the show in 2011 for reckless and lewd behavior. Charlie's finances took a big hit - as the celebrity bad boy owed over $12 million in unpaid debts like legal fees, mortgages, and taxes. And things don't appear to be getting better, as Sheen apparently still owes $5 million in unpaid taxes!
For a very brief period in 1999, Mena Suvari was considered one of the most beautiful women in Hollywood. After achieving worldwide fame for her role in the American Pie films and the timeless classic, American Beauty, Suvari kind of went into hiding. By 2001, the beautiful blonde was having trouble securing acting roles, and unfortunately, things just got worse.
In 2010, Suvari got married, for the second time, to a promoter called Simone Sestito. A short 18 months later, they got divorced, but not before she was forced to pay a monthly stipend of $17,000 as spousal support. Combine that with a lack of a job and you can probably guess why this actress had to say goodbye to her once lavish lifestyle.
Another former Hollywood heartthrob was the puppy-eyed Josh Hartnett. After his massive and very profitable success in the '90s and 2000s, with big blockbusters like Black Hawk Down, Sin City, and Pearl Harbor, Hartnett pretty much disappeared.
Even though the six-figure checks have stopped, good old Josh has kept a steady (and much smaller) paycheck by acting in lower-budget indie films, such as Valley of the Gods, The Long Home, and She's Missing. Although we suspect he'll always miss the golden days of starring alongside Ben Affleck on the silver screen. And so does his pocket.