The top ten famous Irish bankrupts of all time

Richard Harris, as Dumbledore in "Harry Potter."

Richard Harris:

Harris's acting pedigree helped him get cast in many Hollywood films including Camelot, Cromwell, and in the American classic Unforgiven. Prior to making a name for himself on the big screen, Harris blew all his hard earned money in England as he pursued a career as a director.

As a result, Harris claimed he was homeless until he was able to scrape enough money on his own with roles in various West End productions. Others have claimed that the Limerick-man exaggerated such claims in order to play into the rags-to-riches Hollywood fairy tale. Multiple marriages and subsequent divorces as well as a alcohol and drug addiction also contributed to his money woes.

Oscar Wilde:

"When I was young I thought that money was the most important thing in life; now that I am old I know that it is." Wise words spoken by a man who experienced what it meant to have money and to suddenly lose it all.

The Irish playwright was born to an Anglo-Irish family in Dublin and had grown up with the luxury afforded to the upper class in Victorian Britain. His later career had brought him little money, although his earlier works had been commercial and popular successes. With his early success, Wilde accused blackmailers as trying to defame and extort him. With surmounting legal troubles and declining public opinion of him, Wilde found himself broke and exiled. His wife Constance, despite refusing to see him or even contact him, occasionally sent him money. What little he did have by the end of his life, he squandered on alcohol.  

Walt Disney:

The son of an Irish-Canadian who had roots in County Kilkenny, it may come as a surprise to many that the man who created one of the most vast and successful enterprises in American history had once declared bankruptcy.

Laugh-O-Gram studio, founded in 1922 by Disney himself, went bankrupt merely a year after being established. Furthermore, Walt Disney Productions as well as its predecessor Disney Brothers Cartoon Studio, came close to declaring bankruptcy several times. Walt was notorious for being unsuccessful in money management, and wound up being overwhelmed by debt on several occasions.

George Best:

Often referred to as one of the "Greatest Players of All Time" and certainly the creme de la creme of the Irish soccer world, George Best lost all he made in his prolific career. After struggling with alcohol addiction for most of adult life, Best filed for bankruptcy in 1982. A year before that, Best admitted to hitting a low when he stole money from an unidentified woman's purse in order to fuel his addiction. After being convicted of drunk driving in 1984, Best was incarcerated after being unable to post bail. The tragic nature of his later life culminated in 2002 when he received a liver transplant payed by the tax payers, as he was unable to afford it himself. He died less than three years later.

Henry Ford:

Ford, the son of an immigrant from County Cork, took a risk in the late 1800s when he invested his savings into expanding gasoline engines. Ford's first company the Detroit Automobile Company lost everything in 1901. Ford started over with the Henry Ford Company, but left a mere two years later. Continuing to overcome his financial struggles, Ford created the Ford Motor Company, which eventually went on to have a net worth of $188,000,000,000.00

Sean Fitzpatrick: