Kevin Bacon Lost ‘Millions’ in Bernie Madoff’s Ponzi Scheme—How It Affected His Net Worth

Kevin Bacon was the “It” boy of the ‘80s and ‘90s. Starring in iconic movies like Footloose, Friday the 13th and Apollo 13, his filmography puts him at the center of the Hollywood universe—so much so that Six Degrees of Kevin Bacon can connect him to almost any screen star, living or dead, in six or fewer steps. You’d think because of his cult status that Kevin Bacon’s net worth would be considerable, but in an episode of the podcast Smartless, the Footloose star detailed losing “most” of his fortune to Bernie Madoff—the disgraced financier and fraudster orchestrated the biggest financial fraud in US history, worth about $64.8 billion. “We had most of our money in Madoff,” Bacon told hosts Jason Bateman, Sean Hayes and Will Arnett on the episode published October 10, 2022. “There’s obvious life lessons there – if something is too good to be true, it’s too good to be true.” How did all of this affect Kevin Bacon’s net worth? Read on.

How much did Kevin Bacon lose in Bernie Madoff’s Ponzi scheme?

How much did Kevin Bacon lose in Bernie Madoff’s Ponzi scheme? The 64-year-old actor has never detailed the exact figure, but various reports put it somewhere in the millions, maybe even as high as $30 million. In 2009, the once-chairman of the NASDAQ stock exchange, Bernie Madoff, pleaded guilty to 11 federal felonies including securities fraud, wire fraud, mail fraud, money laundering, making false statements, perjury, theft from an employee benefit plan, and making false filings with the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC). He had defrauded clients out of almost $65 billion in the largest Ponzi scheme in history and was sentenced to 150 years in federal prison. At age 82, the disgraced financier Bernie Madoff died behind bars.

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To date, the Madoff Victim Fund has returned more than $4 billion to more than 40,000 victims impacted by the scheme, according to its website. “When something like that happens, you look at each other and you go, ‘Well, that sucks and let’s roll up our sleeves and get to work,’” Bacon said on Shameless, detailing how he and his wife, actress Kyra Sedgwick, handled the financial stress. “We’ve made it this far, our kids are healthy, we’re healthy, you know? Let’s look at what we have that’s good. We can still both work.” Bacon said it was important to put his family’s losses into perspective and acknowledged that, contextually, he and his family were OK. “Certainly, you get angry and stuff, but I have to say, there were a lot of people who were much worse off than we were—old people, people whose retirement funds were completely decimated. So, there’s always going to be somebody that’s going to have it a lot worse than you,” Bacon added. “There’s the money that you put into something and there’s the money that you’ve, in theory, accrued with interest over years, but that’s not real. That’s just a number that was on a piece of paper,” Bacon said, adding: “I think people will be not happy to hear me whining about money. In a 2012 interview with infamous commentator Piers Morgan, Sedgwick expressed her resentment towards Madoff, who at the time was still alive serving his 150-year sentence. “I see him as a sick man,” she said. “And I see us as adults who made a choice. And I see a lot of people who are so much worse off than we are, and I think that shit happens.”

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Bacon and Sedgewick weren’t the only famous names to fall victim to the biggest fraud in US history. Hungarian-born actress Zsa Zsa Gabor had reportedly lost between $7 to $10 million, while Oscar-winning director Steven Spielberg’s Wunderkinder Foundation took a significant hit (the exact dollar amount was never disclosed). Dreamworks Animation chief executive Jefferey Katzenberg was also a victim, as was actor John Malkovich and broadcaster Larry King. “If I could interview one person on the planet, it’d be Bernie Madoff and the obvious would be ‘Why? Why did you do this to people?’” King said in 2011.

Paramount/courtesy Everett Collection
Paramount/courtesy Everett Collection

What is Kevin Bacon’s net worth?

What is Kevin Bacon’s net worth? Prior to losing considerably to the Madoff scam, the actor was estimated to be worth over $100 million. According to Celebrity Net Worth, it’s now somewhere around $45 million, though Bacon has refused to confirm how much they lost. As he mentioned in his Smartless interview, Bacon is still able to work and starred in the horror movie They/Them in 2022.

Bacon’s career began at the age of 17 when he traveled alone to New York to pursue the theater, eventually scoring a role in National Lampoon’s Animal House as his on-screen debut. But it wasn’t until 1984, at age 25, that his career took off with Footloose, playing the small-town rebel Ren McCormack. It’s estimated he was paid as much as $1 million for the film, which accounting for inflation is more than $2.8 million today. “I think that it was a great gift to be part of that movie,” Bacon told TODAY in July 2022. “I certainly took it very seriously when I was doing it and I love that people will still come up and say that they just showed it to their kids.” This enduring ‘80s classic aside, Bacon’s work on-screen has also been critically acclaimed, starring in A Few Good Men and Clint Eastwood’s film Mystic River. He gained superhero status as the villain, Sebastian Shaw, in X-Men: First Class opposite James McAvoy and Jennifer Lawrence.

As mentioned, his various acting credits connect him to almost every Hollywood star, living or dead, by six steps or fewer in a game called Six Degrees of Kevin Bacon. “I’ve worked with everybody in Hollywood or someone who’s worked with them,” he famously said. Initially “horrified” by the game, believing it was a “giant joke” at his expense, the actor has now embraced the sentiment. The Golden Globe winner even founded the Six Degrees Foundation, which is “a game-changing nonprofit aimed at using everyday activities to connect people and causes,” per the website. Bacon described Six Degrees as a “Netflix for charity”, saying it was born out of an idea to bring all his philanthropic goals together under one roof. “I felt a little spread out in terms of things that I was involved with in a charitable way,” he told Inc. “I was reading about things that were of concern to me, the environment, hunger, animals, human rights. I was constantly picking up the paper and saying, ‘I need to do something for this group and this group and this group and this group and this group.’ It was the feeling of helplessness that so many issues are facing the world and figuring out how to actually do something.” According to its 2020 impact report, Six Degrees has raised more than $12 million since its inception in 2007.

As part of his involvement with the LGBTQ+ horror movie They/Them, which takes place at a conversion camp, Bacon launched a campaign to raise funds for Born Perfect, a charity that seeks to end conversion “therapy” (that is, the disproven and harmful theory that LGBTQ+ people can be “cured” of their sexuality). “I remember thinking this is not only dumb it’s hurtful,” he told People. “To put anyone—especially a young person— through such a shameful, painful process when there is no chance of it working is terrible. Why? Where’s the threat? Why is anyone else’s sexual orientation your problem?” He continued: “People need to be left alone to be who they are. To love who they want to love and marry who they want to marry. That is the backbone of a strong and peaceful society.”

"Watch This Space" - Amazon Prime Video
"Watch This Space" - Amazon Prime Video

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