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Celebrity Legacies (TV-14)

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Farrah Fawcett

After shooting to stardom in the late 1970s as a pin-up girl, Fawcett secured her status as one of Hollywood’s hottest heroines by starring on the classic TV series Charlie’s Angels. After leaving the series at the peak of it’s popularity, Fawcett reinvented herself as a serious actress, known for portraying tough women in terrible situations. Tragically, it was a persona that would mirror itself in real life after Fawcett was diagnosed with cancer in 2006. Following her death, the men in her life continued to fight – not just over her possession, but over her legacy.

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John Wayne

Few stars of Hollywood’s golden age are more iconic than the man born Marion Morrison. With his deep voice, strong jaw and all-American values, John Wayne came to define not just the archetypal Hollywood hero, but America itself. Starring in over 170 films over the course of his long career, The Duke developed a passionate fan base that, to this day, clamours for John Wayne-related merchandise. But following his death from cancer in 1979, attempts to cash-in on that demand has led to numerous lawsuits over not just his image, but his name.

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Marlon Brando

Perhaps the finest screen actor of the twentieth century, Marlon Brando changed the face of Hollywood and took a stand against racism. But when he died of respiratory failure he was a recluse who left behind a troubled legacy. He also left a multi-million dollar fortune, about a dozen children, 5 baby mommas and a handful of dubious advisors who made the battle for Brando's fortune more cutthroat than a mob deal.

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George Harrison

As one of the Fab Four who comprised The Beatles, George Harrison reinvented rock and roll and, in the process, became one of the biggest rock stars of all time. After developing an interest in Indian culture and mysticism, his attention turned to charity as he organized numerous benefits to help those less fortunate and promote Eastern ideas of peacefulness. After dying at age 58 due to lung cancer, however, his desire for peace and love appeared lost on those who scrambled to grab a piece of the fortune he left behind.

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Elizabeth Taylor

One of the greatest Hollywood stars of all time, Elizabeth Taylor wasn’t just a beauty – she was a talent. The winner of two Academy Awards, Taylor lit up the screen from the 1940s through to the ‘70s, when she began devoting less time to acting, and more to the philanthropic work that truly captured her heart. After her death in 2011, following years of illness, her legacy remains – as does a simmering controversy over the division of estate.

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Tupac Shakur

The famed ‘90s rapper was a prolific talent and a triple threat - he acted, sang and got in trouble with the law. When he died in a drive by shooting at just 25 he left a legacy that can be heard in every rapper who grew up in the nineties and a 5 million dollar debt to his heirs. He also left hours of unpublished music and a litany of lawsuits longer than a gangsta's rap sheet.

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Heath Ledger

Hailed as perhaps the greatest young actor of his generation, Australian actor and heart throb Heath Ledger headed to America in the late 1990s to take a shot at Hollywood stardom. In just a few years, he established himself as a bonafide superstar, winning an Academy Award for Best Actor for his role in Brokeback Mountain and delivering an iconic performance as the Joker in The Dark Knight. But when he died of a drug overdose at just 28-years-of-age, he left behind a small fortune – and even more scandalously, a possible love child.

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Ray Charles

Ray Charles revolutionized American music and was catapulted to legendary status as a music pioneer. The blind piano man with the distinctive voice is credited with virtually inventing soul music. His tumultuous personal life left him with 12 children by 10 different women. When he died at age 73 Ray left a messy estate that had loved ones dragging his name through the courts for years. He was the first major recording artist to get control over his recordings with a big label creating a lifetime of valuable intellectual property. It earned him a fortune that keeps growing to this day.

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Bob Marley

Bob Marley - the king of reggae - revolutionized music and had an everlasting affect on society. When he died at 36 he'd changed the world with his music - and created a multi-million dollar legacy. But without a will and with 11 children, 7 baby mommas, and 21 ex band members, the battle for his name and fortune was dirtier than he could have ever imagined. Though Marley cared little for money, in the years since his death, his fortune grew larger than life. With his empowering message came a powerful fortune.

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Kurt Cobain

Kurt Cobain, front man, guitarist and primary songwriter for the multi-platinum grunge band Nirvana, is credited with bringing punk rock into the mainstream during the 80s and 90s. But after disappearing for a week Kurt is found dead from a gunshot blast. He’s just 27. He leaves behind a daughter, a huge legacy and no will. Kurt could never have predicted where his music would end up and how many people would be profiting from his legacy.

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Aaron Spelling

For nearly 50 years, Aaron Spelling helped shape American prime time TV. The iconic producer created a massive number of hit series like Charlie’s Angels, The Love Boat and Beverly Hills 90210. By the time he died at 83 years old, he left behind a monumental fortune, and a raging family feud that refused to die down. The plot twists are worthy of one of his best-known shows - Dynasty.

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John F. Kennedy Jr.

John F. Kennedy Jr., was a New York socialite, the media crowned prince of America's royal family and heir to its most famous name. When his plane crashed into the Atlantic, he left his entire multi-million dollar estate to his wife, Carolyn Bessette. The problem is, she also went down with him, and so did her sister. Fueled by grief and despair the Bessette family goes after the Kennedy’s seeking retribution.

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Elvis Presley

Elvis Presley, the pelvis-whirling rock 'n roll icon was at one point one of the highest-paid entertainers in the world. But his lavish lifestyle and over-the-top generosity with friends and family whittled away his fortune. When he died suddenly at age 42 his legacy ends up in the hands of the person who had manipulated and controlled his world when he was alive. But his family battles to put it where it belongs – in the hands of his beloved daughter Lisa Marie Presley.

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Marilyn Monroe

Perhaps the greatest sexy symbol of the 20th century, Marilyn Monroe was more than a Hollywood star – she was an icon. Yet the story of Norma Jeane Mortenson is a tragedy about a young woman who dreamed of being loved by the world, achieved stardom, and yet died alone, the victim of her addictions and loneliness. But in death, the legend of Marilyn Monroe only grew and with it, the demand for her image – and the willingness of strangers to exploit it.

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Jim Morrison

Charismatic lead singer of The Doors, was a legendary rock and roll idol, a poet and a visionary. When he died in a Paris bathtub at just 27 he left a musical legacy that would endure for decades and all his worldly possessions to his girlfriend. But when she died shortly after, Morrison's fortune and legacy went to the last two people he'd ever want controlling it - her parents. And not many – including Jim’s parents – are happy about it.

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James Gandolfini

James Gandolfini’s portrayal of brutal yet sensitive mob boss Tony Soprano on HBO’s The Sopranos made him a household name and one of the highest paid actors on TV. The world was in shock when he died at just 51 years old. His very public last will and testament caused a media frenzy that had the press pouring over all the details of his estate. Leaving two young children from two different marriages, Gandolfini’s legacy may see battles for years to come.

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Anna Nicole Smith

Former Guess Girl, playboy Playmate, Marilyn Monroe lookalike and Reality TV star Anna Nicole Smith was a tabloid sensation in the 90s and early 2000s. Smith was as famous for her addictions and lavish lifestyle as she was for her curves and charisma. But when she died of an accidental overdose at age 39, she left behind a legacy of unresolved legal battles and a 5 - month old baby girl with an uncertain inheritance and several men claiming paternity.

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Whitney Houston

One of the biggest and groundbreaking female pop stars of all time, Whitney Houston’s legacy as a best-selling artist is huge. Her second album alone racked up a record-breaking 7 consecutive number one hits. But she blew millions on the high life and when she died suddenly at just 48 years old, she left behind her a mess of epic proportions with her family scrambling to clean it up.

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John Lennon

John Lennon, founding member of The Beatles, was one of the greatest singers and songwriters of all time. A peace activist and multi millionaire Lennon was shot dead by a crazed fan. He left a legacy that will live forever and a giant fortune to his wife Yoko Ono. He also left a disgruntled son, Julian, who wages a battle lasting almost two decades for his share of his father's fortune and history.

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James Brown

The hardest working man in show-business, James Brown was arguably more essential to the development of modern music than any other man – including Elvis. But he was also a hard man to love, notorious for his numerous addictions, as well the numerous women he loved – and children he fathered. Upon his death in 2006, those he loved – either for years or for just a little while – began turning on one another, in a rough and tumble battle for the money he’d left behind.

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Dennis Hopper

A Hollywood rebel with dangerous predilections for drugs, booze and violence, Dennis Hopper was a true original. Though he constantly skirted the line between star and outcast, for more than four decades he maintained a career that any actor would envy. But upon the public announcement that he was dying, Hopper shocked the world – and his family – by announcing his desire for a divorce. And the ugly battle that followed his passing would rival any of the dust-ups he started while he was alive.

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Marvin Gaye

The Prince of Soul, Marvin Gaye pushed the limits of rhythm and blues like no artist before him. When he was shot dead by his father he left a legacy that can be heard in the most successful black singers that came after him and more than 9 million dollars debt. When Gaye was alive he was too busy spending his fortune on his addictions to make a will, leaving 3 children, 2 ex-wives and more than 20 creditors hell bent on getting their share.

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James Dean

Forever remembered as the teenage rebel who died too young, James Dean only made three films before his early, untimely demise in 1955. Nonetheless, the legend that grew from his story turned him into an even bigger star in death than he had ever been in life. The irony of his posthumous fame is that though he died with little money in the bank, in the decades that followed, his name and his face came to be worth millions… Provoking an endless fight over who controlled his legacy and who got to pocket those millions.

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Jimi Hendrix

Undoubtedly the greatest guitarist in the history of rock and roll, Jimi Hendrix was a prolific talent whose music blew people's minds. When he choked to death on his own vomit at just 27 he left a legacy that can be heard in all the greatest guitarists that succeeded him and a mountain of debt to his heirs. But with no will, a record company stealing from him, decades of family infighting and a number of baby mommas eager for their piece of the pie, the battle for his estate was one of the most expensive in rock and roll history.