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Facts About Richard Simmons

Fitness Guru Richard Simmons

A little History About Richard Simmons

Fitness Guru Richard Simmons was born on July 12, 1948, in Louisiana. He is known all over the world for his highly energetic health and fitness programs, and books associated with the same.  About 268-pound as a teenager, Richard Simmons opted for ineffective crash diets to lose weight. After learning proper dietary techniques, he created aerobics DVDs for weight loss and wrote books to shed those extra kilos and keep them off. He also toured various countries to teach people the same.

Number one, like yourself. Number two, you have to eat healthily. And number three, you’ve got to squeeze your buns. That’s my formula
– Richard Simmons.

Richard’s Early Life

Overweight in his younger days, Richard took a large number of dietary pills and adopted unhealthy nutritional programs. He lived in Italy for some time and then relocated to Los Angeles in 1973. There he opened an innovative exercise studio and helped obese people come into shape.

The Ultimate Fitness Guru

In 1979, Richard Simmons took to the television and appeared on the favorite soap opera General Hospital. He gave that up pretty early only to concentrate on building a fitness empire. Later, with The Richard Simmons Show, a talk show which was aired for four seasons he marketed himself as a fitness guru. His self-help books, food maintenance program – Deal-A-Meal and line of exercise videos "Sweatin to the Oldies," resonated with same.

Richard Simmons was loved as a comedian too. His irreverent humor and inexhaustible energy in The Tonight Show with Jay Leno and Late Night with David Letterman made him extremely famous. His touring schedule included 250 personal appearances every year and catered to millions of loyal followers.

Not only a fitness guru to health enthusiasts, but Richard Simmons also established exercise programs for the physically challenged, with his book – Reach for Fitness: A Special Book of Exercises for the Physically Challenged.

His other books included Never Say Diet Book and The Richard Simmons’ Farewell to Fat Cookbook: Homemade in the U.S.A.; Never Give Up: Inspirations, Reflections, Stories of Hope; to an autobiography, Still Hungry After All These Years: My Story.

Recent Years

Richard Simmons disappeared from the spotlight in 2014. He became reclusive, and his fans were worried about all the possible problems Simmons might be facing. In 2015, TMZ ran a story about how the Los Angeles Police did a welfare check on Simmons and found that the most loved celebrity was okay.

In 2016, there were speculations about Simmons being held hostage in his residence by his housekeeper. Simmons denied the claim in a telephone interview with the Today show in March. He said that he wanted to be alone for some time. Simmons also explained that he had been suffering from knee problems and since he has taught thousands and thousands of classes, he wanted to rest and take care of himself.

In June 2016, it was reported that Richard Simmons was admitted to the hospital due to dehydration. In 2017, Dan Taberski, a former producer of The Daily Show with Jon Stewart and a former student of Simmons, explored the fitness guru’s retreat from public life. He released Missing Richard Simmons, a weekly podcast that rekindled interest in Richard’s life.

People magazine published that the Los Angeles Police Department checked on Simmons and released the following statement –  "There was something about his housekeeper holding him hostage and not allowing people to see him and preventing him from making phone calls and it was all garbage, and that’s why we went out to see him. None of it is true," LAPD Detective Kevin Becker also stated that "Richard is fine, nobody is holding him hostage. He is doing exactly what he wants to do. If he wants to go out in public or see anybody, he will do that."

Simmons’ publicist also reported to CNN that "everything is fine."

In May 2017, Richard Simmons sued the National Enquirer, Radar Online and American Media, Inc. for false claims that he was undergoing a gender change. In September 2017, Simmons lost the lawsuit. He had to pay the defendants’ attorney’s fees. The case was rendered baseless as the judge mentioned that "Misidentification of certain immutable characteristics do not tend to injure one’s reputation, though there is a sizeable population that holds prejudices against those characteristics, misidentification of a person as transgender is not actionable defamation absent special damages."

Interesting facts about Richard Simmons

  1. In 2011, Simmons was filmed in a commercial for Air New Zealand. He lead a mock dance class on a plane as he explained safety procedures.
  2. In 2012, he flew from Los Angeles to Kansas City to attend the Move Into Fall event that was sponsored by North Kansas City Hospital. Mid Flight he chatted with fellow passengers and took selfies. He also cleaned a lavatory. Full of energy, he took a basket of snacks from the flight attendant and went down the aisle, telling people to eat healthily.
  3. Born in New Orleans to a Jewish mother and an Episcopalian father, Richard Simmons was raised religious. He converted to Catholicism at age 7 and spent a couple of years in a Dominican seminary in Iowa.
  4. Richard Simmons tried to become a Doctor and a Priest as he loved how doctors saved lives and priests saved souls.
  5. The fitness guru loved Dalmatians. In fact, he owns a bronze statue of a Dalmatian at his Hollywood Hills home.
  6. Apart from acting, Richard gave his voice to Disney’s animated Hercules and Fish Hooks series.
  7. Simmons said on The Howard Stern Show that helping people is his only mission in life.


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