The Hunger Games: Celebs Who Went From Star Status To Starving Artist

March 8, 2013 ‐ By Kelly Franklin

The rise to fame is exhilarating. Stars are bombarded by fans, photographed by paparazzi, and suited and booted to be red-carpet ready, which all come with the territory of being a celeb. And so does the millions of dollars rolling in for starring in a new blockbuster film or creating a sultry new song. But it’s maintaining fame that proves to be quite difficult for some stars. Ironically, many wash-uped celebrities find their way to quirky reality TV shows that exploit them just to make a quick buck. To you we say, give it a rest. Embrace your has-been, or in some cases, never-should-have-been status. These are the people we’re talking to.

"Arsenio Hall PF"


Arsenio Hall is known for his roles in Coming to America and Harlem Nights, but he also had a talk show  that was axed in 1994 after five years. Arsenio made a recent cameo appearance on the Dave Chappell show in March 2004, but he also recently filed for bankruptcy, listing $765 in assets and debts in excess of $190,000. That joker-grin and signature finger-wagging can only get you so far.

MadameNoire Video

Comment Disclaimer: Comments that contain profane or derogatory language, video links or exceed 200 words will require approval by a moderator before appearing in the comment section. XOXO-MN
  • dialogue1

    This is why it’s good to be humble throughout it all as you can be up today and down tomorrow. Regular folks too can experience the loss of a good job and find ourselves having to downgrade.

  • shellie

    lil kim is a business woman doing it independently. No she is No Longer selling out big venues and tons of records. let’s Not forget that Nikki Minaj definately followed in LIL Kim’s footsteps….i love kim

    but she is out here hustlin hard on the independent mix tape & touring grind. since she is independent she has more control and able to keep money in her pocket and not having to pay it to those over her because there is NO one over her.

    think about it and stop being so caught up in these lights and cameras.

    kim still got money how else could she travel to paris for all the fashion weeks!

  • toni

    Calling Bobby Brown ashy was so not necessary!!

  • Guest

    Toni Braxton does not have “pipes”. She mumbles like Janet Jackson

  • hanalei

    Takes sooooo long to get through the list, stopped, sorry for some, others not so much. I really don’t want anyone to hurt, but sometimes you gotta plan.

  • Lakeside

    Jaleel White has a college degree. I call that on-going success.

  • NSimonefan

    Kelly, you were wrong for putting Jackee Harry in this article.

  • rdw

    Ummm, Kelly I think you need to take Aresno Hall off this list, he’s show is coming back to late night this fall (September 2013) on CBS.

  • nikki

    Todd Bridges was on everybody hates chris a few times.

  • marcia milbanks

    ?! Robin Givens didn’t just have a “relationship” with Mike Tyson. They were MARRIED! Who’s writing this stuff?!

  • Nazghul

    Tara Reid looks like a prayin mantis….. Very scary

    • emc8

      She should never been seen in public half dressed. Makes me want to throw up in my mouth!

  • Guest

    Toni Braxton has an excuse. One of my old high school classmates had Lupus. The medical bills for that and an autistic child (Toni) is no joke. Your celebrity status may get you a free meal or two but two to three visits to the hospital a week @about $2500 a pop, you are coming out of the pocket and that was just for her alone. My classmate unfortunately lost the battle about 2yrs ago, but if she were here today, I’m sure she would be happy to inform people that no debt can equal the amount life that you have and to wake up everyday is a blessing

  • Guess

    Kinda surprised at MN – this article was not well researched & very disingenuous. Mostly all of these people are well off financially & aren’t making any headlines as far as social issues or drugs. Karmen E has been in a srs relation with Simon Cowell of AI for some time; Ms. Viv is definitely paid as is MC Hammer as a result of his Web business – & at 50ish years old, he can still dance his ash off. Leave it to Black folks to try to denigrate their own instead of choosing to uplift… SMH

  • middge24

    Stars are fleeting, save your money. But a lot of these people are still making money off their old projects and shows in syndication.

  • yo

    What these ‘reality people’ don’t realize is that you are NOT famous….the viewing audiance has a fleeting fascination with some aspect of your life…being drunk, stupid,loose,rich for no reason, big booty etc. and in your case a mutant reproductive system.

    • Guess

      However (with all due respect) these people are not reality stars. Many of them have some serious accomplishments under their belts & established themselves in their chosen genres. True, they’ve become tabloid fodder for whatever reason, but there are celebs & actual reality “stars” who haven’t worked hard or accomplished a dayum thing who get more respect from Black folk & others. The self-loathing & hatred in our community has to stop… This is so very sad.

    • lateshia

      That I have to agree on with your statement.

  • yo

    Tara Reid looks like an insect on the attack..

  • Taj

    There’s no doubt that some of these people belong on the list. However, just because someone is no longer in the spotlight, does not mean that they are a starving artist. If that was the case, this list would be much longer.

    • Guess

      Agreed! I’d also like to add that just because they’re not putting on a dog & pony show for dollars doesn’t mean they’re not successful or happy.

  • Janay

    50 cent tarnished vivica fox’s image.

  • Gingerbread31

    I stopped reading this article at Arsenio Hall. “That joker-grin and signature finger-wagging can only get you so far.” Are you serious? Mr. Hall wanted to have Louis Farakhan on his show and the network told him that if he did this, he would no longer be on the air. Well, Aresnio had Louis as a guest and like that he vanished.
    This man stood up for what he believed and I am glad that he will be returning to late night. He is by far a person of color who did not allow himself to be conformed into “their” image.

  • sammi_lu

    Yesss Vivica needs to stop with the cosmetic surgery..I don’t understand why oh why she or Lil Kim chose to get a lip augmentation!

    • Gingerbread31

      You are right! They were so naturally beautiful. It’s funny how we look at people and they seem perfect to us, but ugly to themselves.

  • KJ23

    This kind of depressed me when I read this…

  • CoCo Lee

    Well Atleast Vivica still has a job… she the host 4 Lifetimes “Prank My Mom/Kid”

    • Guess

      Viv not only has a “job” but she is a well-paid successful movie producer. Thing is, she’s chosen fortune over fame by securing her ow distribution deals & endorsements. While most of her endorsements ,& products aren’t mainstream, she has made a fortune off her movies, Hair sales & hair care products. The funny thing is that while some moderately successful stars are paid a flat rate for an ad campaign, she has long-term, open-ended signature products. While I do hate the plastic surgery & sometimes mediocre movies, Ms. Viv was a pioneer in striking out on her own with Two Can Play That Game, Trois I, II, etc. Can we see an article on something like that or is MN just hum PING for hits like the rest.of the Black go sip sites??

      • CoCo Lee

        Exactly!! smh

      • Gidget Hrobowski

        And, she has her on wig and extensions business. I love her and I hate to hear people talking about her and other actor and actresses. Man, people just love to talk about people when they are perceived to be down…

  • bigdede

    Even though Jaleel White isn’t really working alot, that man is racking in money with that syndication money. But most importantly, how you going have a picture of Todd Bridges with darn Stoney Jackson and only mention Todd Bridges!!!!????? Where is Stoney!

    • Stoney is that irrelevant he doesn’t even make the has-been list. LOL that is just low.

      • Guess

        Why attack Stony tho? Or even Todd for that matter?

    • Ebby

      Jaleel white is working a lot. He was on dances with stars then after that total darkness. He’s doing good.

      • Joe Smith

        Did I do that?!?