A lot of buzzes has been going on regarding whether Richard Simmons is dead or still alive. If you are or were a follower of the fitness expert, you may have wondered about this.
Everyone is curious about Richard Simmons 2022.
That’s because he’s virtually been a recluse since 2014.
Avoiding public appearances and kept an unusually low profile for someone as flamboyant and showy as he previously was.
So, where is Richard Simmons these days? Is his net worth harmed by his absence from the spotlight?
Here’s a peek at Richard Simmons’ current life, as well as a recap of his decades-long career.
Who is Richard Simmons?
Milton Teagle “Richard” Simmons (born July 12, 1948) is an eccentric, colorful, and energetic American fitness celebrity and public figure.
He has pushed weight-loss regimens, most notably through his Sweatin’ to the Oldies aerobics DVD series.
Simmons began his weight-loss profession by creating Slimmons, a gym catering to the overweight, in Beverly Hills, California.
He became well known through media exposure and the success of his consumer goods.
Also, He was a frequent guest on late-night television and radio talk shows.
Shows like The Late Show with David Letterman and The Howard Stern Show.
And they frequently mimicked him.
Throughout his decades-long career, he promoted health and exercise and subsequently widened his efforts to include political advocacy.
Such as in 2008 in favor of a law mandating non-competitive physical education in public schools as part of the No Child Left Behind Act.
After his public retreat in February 2014, suspicion and expressions of concern about his well-being appeared in the media by March 2016.
Simmons and his spokesperson both stated that the fears were unfounded since he just wanted to be less visible in public.
During the COVID-19 pandemic of 2020, Simmons began uploading historical footage to his YouTube account.
(Recorded prior to his choice to withdraw from public life) to assist people in remaining active at home.
Personal Life of Richard Simmons
During his early youth and teens, he got fat.
He started overeating and becoming overweight as early as the age of four or five.
And by the age of five, he understood it was a problem.
Also, he weighed 182 pounds when he was 15 years old (83 kg).
However, he pondered on becoming a priest when he was younger.
He had acted in the Fellini films Satyricon (1968) and The Clowns (1970) as a young adult art student.
And he finally reached a high weight of 268 pounds (122 kg).
Simmons told the Tampa Bay Times he chose the name Richard after an uncle who helped pay for his college expenses.
His first employment in New Orleans was selling pralines at Leah’s Pralines when he was a kid.
Also, He claimed to have few friends, saying, “I don’t have a lot to offer to one person. I have a lot to offer to many people.”
While his sexual orientation has been the subject of much speculation, he never publicly discussed his sexuality.
Early Life of Richard Simmons
Milton Teagle Simmons was born on July 12, 1948, in New Orleans, Louisiana, to Leonard Douglas Simmons Sr. and Shirley May (née Satin).
He was born to “show business parents” and raised in New Orleans’ French Quarter.
He has an elder sibling.
His father was raised as a Methodist and worked as a master of ceremonies before moving on to work in thrift stores.
His mother was Russian Jewish and worked as a touring fan dancer before becoming a cosmetics saleswoman.
Simmons eventually became a Catholic and went to Cor Jesu High School.
He attended the University of Louisiana at Lafayette before earning a BA in Art from Florida State University.
During his childhood and teens, he gained weight.
He overate and gain weight as early as the age of four or earlier, and by the age of five, he knew it was regarded adversely.
Moreso, he weighed 182 pounds when he was 15 years old (83 kg).
He pondered becoming a priest as a young guy.
As a young adult art student, he played “freak show” roles in Fellini’s films, Satyricon (1968), and The Clowns (1970), and he finally weighed 268 pounds (122 kg).
Simmons said to the Tampa Bay Times that he chose the name Richard after an uncle who paid for his college expenses.
His first employment in New Orleans was selling pralines as a youngster at Leah’s Pralines.
Fitness Career of Richard Simmons
Simmons served as the maître d’hôtel at Derek’s, a Beverly Hills restaurant, after arriving in Los Angeles in the 1970s.
He became interested in exercise and keeping fit.
There was little aid for people who wanted to improve fitness from an otherwise ill state at the time because exercise studios valued the already fit customers.
He opened gyms, and his passion for exercise helped him drop 123 pounds (56 kg).
Later, he started his own workout facility, dubbed “The Anatomy Asylum,” emphasizing healthy food in quantities and pleasant exercise in a friendly environment.
Ruffage, a play on the word roughage (dietary fiber), was once part of the company.
But they subsequently withdrew it when the Asylum’s focus switched completely to exercise.
He then renamed the business “Slimmons,” and Simmons continued to teach motivational courses and aerobics throughout the week.
However, Slimmons closed its doors in November 2016.
Simmons declared in 2010 that he had kept off his own 100+ pound (45 kg) weight reduction for 42 years.
He had been helping people lose weight for 35 years.
And had helped humanity drop about 12 million pounds throughout the course of his fitness career (5.5 million kg)
Simmons has a membership-based website and official presence on various social networking sites.
Including Facebook, Twitter, MySpace, and YouTube, as well as a membership-based website.
From Fit to Fitness Star
When they featured Richard Simmons on the documentary show Real People, he went from being a fitness teacher to a world-renowned fitness guru.
For individuals who came to see Simmons, his diet and fitness routines were quite effective.
After visiting his gym five days a week for three weeks, one of his customers dropped 11 pounds.
People flocked to Simmons’ gym after hearing about how rapidly they could lose weight while exercising with him.
But he didn’t have the space or time to keep up with the tremendous rise in demand.
His restaurant, Ruffage, which was connected to his gym, was also witnessing an uptick in business.
Richard Simmons’ first published his exercise DVD in 1983.
(Every day With Richard Simmons: Family Fitness).
It lasted 90 minutes and included a warmup, a full-body workout, lower torso exercises, abdominal exercises, and neck and face exercises.
Simmons released his most successful exercise DVD, Sweatin’ to the Oldies, five years later.
The movie urges viewers to recreate their high school prom by dancing and working out to live band performances of music from the 1950s and 1960s.
This would be the start of a successful series for the fitness instructor, with three more home training videos to follow.
People enjoyed dancing along with Simmons to their favorite tunes.
So following fitness instructions like Groovin’ in the House, Broadway Sweat, and ’80s Blast Off used songs from the 1970s and 1980s.
Although Simmons has done a variety of things in his fitness career, he is most recognized for his senior-oriented training videos.
Becoming an Author
With his book Never Say Diet, Richard Simmons became a published author on October 1st, 1980.
The book outlines a weight-loss regimen and explains how it works without the need for calorie counting or medicines.
Simmons followed up with a cookbook based on Never Say Diet two years later.
On January 1, 1989, he released another cookbook, Deal-A-Meal Cookbook, which was full of balanced meals on various occasions.
He released Sweetie Pie: the Richard Simmons Private Collection of Dazzling Desserts.
Although people had learned plenty about Simmons’s health journey, they were dying to know about his life.
He told his life story in 1999 when he released the book Still Hungry After All These Years: My Story.
That same year, Richard Simmons published Cookin’ on Broadway.
The cookbook contained eight different chapters, which had recipes divided into breakfast, salads, sandwiches, pasta, soups, entrées, appetizers, and desserts.
To promote the Electronic Steamer, Simmons released Steam Away the Pounds in January 2006.
Every recipe in his final cookbook used the Electronic Steamer either and even includes desserts and meat-based dishes.
Is Richard Simmons Still In the Fitness World?
In 1974, Simmons launched his own health facility, Slimmons Studio.
It offered workout courses and a space to interact with other individuals on their health quests.
Became extremely popular and lasted for over 40 years.
Also, Simmons’ released his first book, Never Say Diet, in 1980 because of the studio’s success.
Throughout the 1980s, 1990s, and 2000s, he published 11 more books.
They include The Better Body Book, Farewell to Fat, Still Hungry After All These Years: My Story, and Steam Away the Pounds.
As a result of his achievements, Simmons gained a lot of media attention.
His colorful demeanor and optimistic attitude won him regular appearances on famous talk shows.
Including Larry King Live, The Howard Stern Show, Live with Regis and Kathie Lee, and Late Show With David Letterman.
By the early 1990s, Simmons had established himself as a popular television personality recognized for his cheery attitude and unconventional approach to health and fitness promotion.
The gym coach told People magazine, “It’s alright to be foolish, to be wild.” “It doesn’t matter what I do as long as I get my message out.”
Along with his TV appearances and publications, Simmons has launched a flood of successful workout videos and DVDs (over two dozen! ).
They include the hugely famous Sweating to the Oldies series.
Richard Simmons’s Disappearance in 2014
Richard Simmons abruptly stepped away from the public glare after more than four decades.
Initially, the fitness legend blamed his withdrawal on a knee problem and the operation he was still recovering from.
In a statement published by his management team in 2014, he remarked, “I am very overwhelmed by the outpouring of love and concern I have received today.
“I’ve had a difficult time dealing with this injury since it prevents me from doing what I really want to do, which is teaching classes all over the world.” Continue to sweat!”
But as the years passed and the vibrant TV personality remained away from the public eye, many believed something else was going on.
Simmons surprised the fitness industry when he announced the closure of his beloved studio after over 40 years of operation in 2016.
Soon after, suspicions about Simmons’ location circulated, including speculations he was being held against his will by his housekeeper.
The 2017 podcast Missing Richard Simmons, which devoted eight episodes to speculating about the fitness star’s whereabouts, brought this hypothesis to light.
While the message helped to calm some concerns about Simmons’ health, many individuals were quick to point out that it was given through spokespeople rather than Simmons personally.
More Details on Richard Simmons’ Disappearance in 2014
In 2020, the fitness icon re-released old exercise recordings on his YouTube page.
To urge his admirers to exercise during the COVID-19 lockdown, he voiced the same emotion.
The fitness expert did not promote the recordings in any public appearance that revealed proof of life.
He delivered the revelation to media outlets via a statement from a spokesperson.
Simmons responded to the podcast with a statement assuring his followers that he was OK.
“Hello to everyone who has expressed concern for me and given their best wishes,” the statement from 2017 said.
“You do not know how much this means to me.” Isn’t it enough to hear and read about me?!
LOL You already know I’m not missing, but I’m a touch under the weather.
I’m confident I’ll be feeling better and returning home in a few days.”
What Happened When Richard Simmons Disappeared in 2014
Simmons has made no large public appearances since 2014, and in February of that year, he ceased appearing in public entirely.
They reported in March 2016 that he was being held captive by his housekeeper.
Simmons responded by giving an audio interview on the Today Show on March 14, 2016, rejecting the rumors.
The Slimmons’ fitness facility shuttered in November, with no public notification from Simmons.
The podcast Missing Richard Simmons premiered in February 2017, and it investigated why Simmons abruptly left public life.
In March 2017, LAPD officers conducted a welfare check at Simmons’ residence.
They stated that he is “absolutely OK” and that “right now he is doing what he wants to do and that is his business.”
Following hospitalization for severe indigestion on April 19, 2017, Simmons made his first public statement in almost a year.
He uploaded a photo of himself on Facebook with the words.
“I’m not missing, just a little under the weather.”
However, because the photo in the post was taken in 2013, it’s possible that the person who uploaded it wasn’t actually Simmons.
More Details on What Happened in 2014
He sued the National Enquirer, Radar Online, and American Media, Inc. in May 2017 for libel and making false statements about his gender transformation.
Simmons lost the lawsuit in September 2017 and was forced to pay the defendant’s legal expenses.
“Because courts have long held that a misidentification of certain immutable characteristics rarely tends to injure one’s reputation.
Even if a sizable portion of the population holds prejudices against those characteristics.
Misidentification of a person as transgender is not actionable defamation absent special damages,” the judge wrote.
In June 2018, he sued a Los Angeles private investigator.
Alleging that he had installed a monitoring device on Simmons’ only car for transportation over a year before.
Although such tracking is illegal in California.
Simmons updated his lawsuit in July 2018 stating that the investigator was recruited by In Touch Weekly, and the prosecutors filed a criminal complaint.
A California appeal court confirmed a trial judge’s judgment in May 2020, allowing Simmons’ case to proceed.
The Real Reason Richard Simmons Vanished From Hollywood
Everyone appears to be curious as to what happened to Richard Simmons.
However, he has not and will not provide answers to his supporters, which is why they continue to seek him.
Despite the fact that Richard has remained silent, his brother, Lenny has opened up, according to People.
“He just decided that he wanted to rest after 40-some odd years,” Lenny told People Magazine.
“He’s now 73 years old and in fantastic condition, but all he wants is some alone time.”
So, it appears that we will never hear a straight response from Richard, so people will continue to wonder what happened to him.
Speculated Reasons Why We Rarely Hear About Richard
1. He Has Been Open About his Depression
Richard Simmons may be a national treasure who must be safeguarded at all costs.
But the world hasn’t always been kind to him.
“People like him become punch jokes,” longtime buddy Dan Taberski told Vogue in 2017.
Before he went, Simmons mentioned sadness, and when Taberski questioned his friends and family for his “Missing Richard Simmons” podcast (via MarketWatch).
He discovered that many of them believed his battle had persisted and was the reason for his absence.
Simmons writes about the wounds caused by bullying in his memoir (via Today).
“Some of that stuff never leaves you when you’re an overweight child and you’re made fun of and put down.”
“It’s usually a shadowy figure, like Peter Pan.”
In a 2012 interview with Men’s Health, Simmons discussed how committed he was to individuals.
He absorbed their misery and failures into himself, and he shared their joys and sorrows, just as he did their achievements.
That’s an enormous responsibility. “When the monarch is depressed, he does not summon his wife,” he explained.
“He doesn’t summon the chef, he summons the court jester.”
“When you need a good chuckle. Just pull me out of the box and wound me up.
“When you’re done with me, I’ll return to my box.”
2. Richard Simmons’ Fitness Studio/Gym Closed
Richard Simmons had his own Los Angeles fitness studio before he became a huge television celebrity.
According to ABC News, he founded Slimmons in 1974, and despite his fondness for proclaiming (through Men’s Health),
“If I have to die, I want to combust in the midst of one of my courses,” the studio closed in 2016.
There was no fanfare or celebration, and ET verifies that Simmons was not there to deliver the ultimate lesson.
Around 60 individuals showed up for the hour-long workout, and Simmons only spoke with them via Facebook with a message, read aloud by his agent, Michael Catalano, who was present.
It said, in part: “While people may not always be friendly to you, you must treat yourself with kindness.
I’m finally following my advice. I won’t be seeing you today since I’m terrible at endings… Please be assured that I am well and happy…
I can’t stand being depressed today. You shouldn’t be depressed either.”
Yes, it was Simmons’ choice and his alone to close the studio that had been such a vital part of his life for over 40 years.
According to Catalano. Why? “He hasn’t taught there for over two years.”
3. Richard Simmons Lost his Beloved Dog
It’s a distinct type of mourning for anyone who has lost a cherished pet.
The void they leave in our lives is raw and agonizing, and it doesn’t always heal.
According to National Purebred Dog Day, Richard Simmons was so attached to his Dalmatians that he felt bad when he had to be away from them.
He phoned them every day simply to sing and chat with them.
Hattie was his favorite. Every parent has one and anyone who claims differently is lying.
Moreso, it saddened him when the almost 20-year-old dog died in 2014.
However, Hattie was not just his favorite dog, but also his only surviving dog.
According to Dan Taberski, the presenter of the “Missing Richard Simmons” podcast.
Taberski claims Simmons contacted him through email following her death, which occurred just before he vanished from public view.
Simmons stated, “It’s quite difficult for me right now. We’ll talk again shortly.”
4. Richard Simmons had Court Issues
Although Richard Simmons began avoiding public appearances in 2014, he was involved in a court dispute in 2017.
According to The Hollywood Reporter, Simmons sued the National Enquirer and several other publications.
For publishing tales claiming he’d had a series of surgeries and was transitioning to a girl.
The lawsuit chastised the newspapers for profiting off a sensationalized article.
They claimed that;
“They may protect the right to insult and disparage the LGBTQ community under freedom of speech and press principles”
However, freedom of speech does not imply freedom of defamation.”
It seemed to have been a simple case. They had clearly disseminated false information.
Simmons, however, lost the lawsuit when the judge decided that being misdiagnosed as transgender.
And that it had not caused him enough injury to his image to merit a victory.
The lawsuit was dropped, and they eventually forced Simmons to pay $130,000 to the periodicals he had sued, to cover some of their legal bills, according to NBC News.
5. Richard Simmons had a Knee Replacement
“Thinking of my buddy Richard Simmons, who isn’t doing very well,”
Erin Murphy of “Bewitched” fame tweeted this a few months after Richard Simmons had been out of the public spotlight for a few months.
This sparked a flood of support, with many asking what was wrong with him.
According to ET, it all stemmed from a knee ailment that necessitated a knee replacement.
“I have actually just been taking it easy,” Simmons stated, adding that the procedure “was really challenging for me.”
There were also suspicions that this was only the beginning of Simmons’ knee difficulties.
And that he would require a second knee replacement for the other problematic joint.
Michael Catalano, his manager, and representative seemed to affirm that it had been a tremendous struggle for him.
“I have had a difficult time dealing with this ailment since it is preventing me from doing what I genuinely love to do. Which is teaching seminars across the world,” Simmons said on Facebook.
Frequently Asked Questions
Richard Simmons is a legend and a lot of people are concerned about him.
Although we can’t say if it’s for the gossip or genuineness.
But whatever the case, we wish him well wherever he is.
Do let us know what you think in the comments.