Richard Simmons was everywhere in the 1980s and 1990s. From talk show appearances to Sweating to the oldies Simmons was the most memorable training lawyer in the world … until he got out of sight.
In 2017, Simmons became the subject of Richard Simmons is missing Podcast that took the central imagination of serial number and dropped it into a group fitness class. The podcast told of filmmaker Dan Taberski’s attempts to force Simmons out of what appeared to be a three-year exile, but still left many Simmons traditions to think about. Check out 12 things that could help you better understand the man behind the sequin tank tops, who was born on July 1
1. Richard Simmons was almost Father Simmons.
Simmons was born in 1948 and grew up in a very religious household in the French Quarter of New Orleans. After graduating from high school, he entered a Dominican seminar in Iowa and stayed almost two years before leaving. “It was just not for me,” he said, citing his £ 240 food-addicted frame and his “noisy” personality as less suitable for the job. Simmons also tried to get into medicine, but found that “corpses [and] Blood ”were annoying. He also worked as a cosmetics manager and fashion illustrator before finding his niche in the fitness industry and opening the Anatomy Asylum exercise studio in 1975.
2. An anonymous note resulted in Richard Simmon’s body transformation.
After a 1981 feature in The New York TimesSimmons was working as a “fat model” in Europe in 1968 when he found a handwritten note on his car. “Fat people die young,” read the newspaper. “Please don’t die. Shocked by the news, the then 268 pound Simmons developed an eating disorder that survived more than two months on water and lettuce. Finally he recovered and developed a new philosophy: “Love yourself, move your body and watch yours Servings. “
3. Richard Simmons appeared in two films by Federico Fellini.
Before taking off, Simmons enjoyed the kitchen of Florence, Italy, where he studied art in the late 1960s. There Simmons snapped parts in two films by the renowned Italian filmmaker Federico Fellini: Satyricon and The clowns. The footage is apparently the only existing evidence of his previous frame: Simmons once said that he “burned” all other photos before losing weight.
4. Richard Simmons revolutionized the fitness tape craze of the 80s.
No video business in the 1980s was complete without a section on fitness. Industry stars like Jake Steinfeld and Tony Little shared the shelf space with tapes from Jane Fonda and Arnold Schwarzenegger. In almost all of these publications, perfectly proportioned motivators and models led viewers through rigorous training routines. When Simmons started his Sweating to the oldies In 1988, he decided to populate his stage with ordinary people who were still struggling with weight loss. Consumers estimated that Simmons didn’t stick to an ideal fitness magazine, and that sweat The series sold 25 million copies.
5. Richard Simmons is known to confront over-eaters.
At the start of his mission to get rid of excess fat, Simmons admitted confronting strangers with some of their eating habits. “I’m going to see an overweight woman eating a Butterscotch sundae,” he said People 1981 “and I’ll sit at your table and say,” What is this? “When he ran a trendy Los Angeles restaurant in 1975, which he called Ruffage, he also sat down with his customers and told them if they needed to lose weight.
6. Richard Simmons once replaced Alex Trebek.
In 1987, the syndicated TV distributor Lorimar tried to use the home shopping craze ValueTelevision, a one-hour show in which viewers could place orders over the phone for featured products. The series was moderated by Danger! Star Alex Trebek. When the ratings were lower than expected by Lorimar, they fired Trebek and replaced him with Simmons. Nothing seemed to work and the show was canceled in June.
7. Richard Simmons used to go to shopping centers.
From 1979 Simmons appeared in the ABC soap opera General hospital as a fitness trainer. With the cast, he performed personally in shopping centers: Simmons was so impressed with the number of people he could reach in this way that he continued after leaving the show in the early 1980s. “I travel almost 300 days a year,” he said in 1991. “I mainly do shopping centers because everyone comes to a mall, no matter how heavy it is, no matter how economical it is, no matter what it drives. The shopping centers are America’s meeting places. And there I go. “
8. Richard Simmons doesn’t like sarcasm.
Simmons was at Sky Harbor Airport in Phoenix in 2004 when a fellow traveler made a caustic comment about him Sweating to the oldies Series of tapes. According to the police, the man spotted Simmons and shouted, “Hey everyone, it’s Richard Simmons. Let’s drop our bags and rock into the 50s. “The call sign was not recognized by Simmons, who allegedly went over and slapped the man in the face. According to the Bangor Daily NewsThe police quoted him as an offense. The case was later settled and dropped.
9. David Letterman gave Richard Simmons an asthma attack.
Simmons was a frequent guest on David Letterman’s late night talk shows, with Letterman often playing the straight man against Simmons’ hyperposses. In 2000, Simmons paused from appearances after Letterman playfully sprayed him with a fire extinguisher, causing the asthmatic Simmons to have difficulty breathing that called for paramedics. Simmons, who usually seemed sociable, was so upset by the incident that he refused to appear on the show for six years.
10. Richard Simmons doesn’t like restaurants.
Talk to that Denver Post In 2008, Simmons said that he visits restaurants very rarely because people can’t stop crying out to see what the diet guru has ordered. To ensure a degree of privacy, Simmons usually receives room service when traveling. He also avoids grocery stores and raises concerns that people will call him and ask him to read the ingredient label to see if it is a healthy option.
11. Richard Simmons called his dogs on the phone.
Simmons described himself as a “loner” who doesn’t have many friends, and once showed a strong emotional bond with his three Dalmatians, whom he named after characters in Blown by the wind. When traveling, Simmons said he would call his house and sing to them over the phone.
12. Richard Simmons sensed his own exit in 1981.
As his fame and success increased, Simmons became an integral part on television and in print. Speak with People For a November 1981 profile, the fitness expert said he received 25,000 to 30,000 letters a day and tried to meet as many people as possible who asked for his help. “The day I don’t love any of it,” he said, “I’ll go away.”
This story was updated for 2020.