Fitness genius and former inspirational TV personality, widely known for “Sweatin’ to the Oldies” exercise routine, Richard Simmons is responsible for creating amazing exercise moves that still exist till date. Challenged by his own weight as a teen, the fitness guru proved that any weight is attainable no matter what you’ve gained.
His career as a fitness coach started in the 1970’s and by 80’s he was already making his mark as one of the most reliable coaches to follow. In the 2000s, he became even more prominent than he has ever been in the 1990s but despite his success, he made a hasty retreat from the public eye in 2014. Find out what he is up to now and why he has chosen to stay in his lane since then.
Richard Simmons’ Bio
Richard Simmons was born Milton Teagle Simmons on July 12, 1948, in New Orleans Louisiana to parents Leonard Douglas Simmons, Sr. and Shirley May. Both of his parents were in the show business with his father serving as master of ceremonies and his mother a traveling dancer. He has one sibling, an older brother known as Leonard Jr.
Simmons attended Cor Jesu High School which is today called Brother Martin High School. He furthered at the University of Louisiana located at Lafayette but obtained a degree in Art later on from Florida State University.
Weight Loss Journey
Simmons had weight challenges as a child. As a matter of fact, he was obese and weighed a whopping 182 lbs. At some point in his life, he realized that it was unhealthy having such huge weight. His original plan was to be a priest but when he gained more weight and reached 268 pounds (122 kg), he quickly considered his health and began a weight-loss journey.
He tried to use other people’s idea but wasn’t impressed by the unhealthy tips most of them offered. He had to develop his own guidelines that saw him shade off over 100 pounds. The success got him motivated to open his own gym that created a conducive and supportive environment for overweight people after he moved to Los Angeles. His commitment and prowess in the field helped him gain fame after he showcased his routines and products on TV.
As the number of people he has helped to shed off real-life weight grew, he burst into the limelight all the more and began making frequent TV appearances. According to reports, he has helped people lose over 10 million pounds in combination over the years. His career on media was excellent until 2014 when he suddenly left the public eye and has stayed away since then. His sudden absence has caused many rumors and despite offering random audio interviews in which he assured people that he was fine, the podcast Missing Richard Simmons was launched in 2017, which is investigating why Simmons left media without notice.
Is He Dead or Alive?
The 5 feet 7 inches tall trainer is very much alive despite the many death hoaxes he has suffered throughout the course of his career especially for deciding not to make any public appearance since 2014.
The rumors of his hostage, possible sickness, death or gender transformation have been on the air since his gym closed abruptly and he stopped appearing online. However, one time he shared an old picture on his social media platform and assured the world that he is happy, healthy and fine only that he decided to continue his business while being under the water. While everybody still wonders why he made such big move, Simmons is alive and healthy according to his sporadic audio statements.
Is Richard Simmons Gay?
Although speculations have been rife suggesting that Simmons is gay especially for his demeanor that allegedly gives a hint of the homosexual nature, the fitness star has never openly stated that he is gay. Also, his workout classes in his Beverly Hills studio have been described as super gay classes but the celebrity seems not to tolerate it when people form opinions over his sexuality. Most recently, he sued two news houses for writing that he was undergoing gender reassignment.
Sadly he lost the case and had to pay the appropriate legal fees since the judge cited that misidentification of some immutable characteristics doesn’t seem to cause harm to the reputation of the characteristics. Conclusively, it is assumed that Simmons is not gay since he has never owned up to being one.
For a vast majority of people, the idea of getting massively paid through fitness is impossible, but for Richard Simmons, a renowned fitness personality, this is his real life. The fitness legend has sold over 20 million copies of workout tapes and CDs in the 80’s and more than 65 million of those in total since starting out his coaching job. His diet plan titled Deal-A-Meal has also sold wonderfully with over 160 million sales recorded. The meal plan focuses basically on portion and calorie control and other health factors.
Also, Simmons has taught many classes which are usually not free since the beginning of the gym in 1974 and its closure in 2014. Recently, he held three workout classes every week and charged a total of $12/pop. Since he has spent quite a long time in the training and coaching business, the expert has gathered a net worth of about $15 million including the value of his property as well as his business at the aerobics studio which was closed without prior notice to the public in 2016.