Richard Simmons is alive and well. He lives in the Hollywood Hills away from the public.
Richard Simmons is an American fitness personality who gained fame as one of the first people to explore the exercise and fitness world. The 74-year-old New Orleans-native was well known for his series of best-selling Sweatin’ to the Oldies workout VHS tapes that made exercise fun and accessible to everyone.
He spent decades promoting exercise and good health through fitness before suddenly taking a step back in 2014. He closed his famous workout studio and withdrew entirely from the public eye. This led to speculation about his well-being and whether he was actually still alive. Various documentaries, podcasts, and media reports have told different stories on the reason he chose to abandon his lifelong work, thus forcing Simmons to come out and reassure the public that he is alive and well.
Richard Simmons Got Into Fitness After Moving to Los Angeles in the 1970s
Richard Simmons was an obese child. He spoke about how he began overeating at around the age of 4 and weighed about 83 kg (182 lbs) when he was a teenager. As a young adult, he weighed as much as 122 kg (268 lbs) before realizing that something had to be done about his weight.
In the 1970s, when he was in his twenties, Simmons moved to Los Angeles, California, and it was there that he developed an interest in fitness. He would go on to lose about 56 kg (123 lbs) as he turned his interest in fitness into a business by establishing gyms.
Richard Simmons noticed that the exercise studios that existed at the time only accepted customers that were fit. They were not willing to take on people who wanted to lose weight or gain fitness, so he focused on those that needed to lose weight. The young entrepreneur achieved great success with this move.
His exercise studio was called The Anatomy Asylum, and it focused on enjoyable exercise routines in a supportive atmosphere. It also promoted healthy eating habits by featuring a salad bar restaurant.
Simmons’ exercise studio was later renamed Slimmons, a pun on his last name. The studio operated in Hollywood, where he also taught exercise classes in shopping malls and so was able to garner media attention.
He would go on to feature in many TV shows and series, including Battlestars, CHiPs, Price Is Right, Whose Line Is It Anyway?, Saturday Night Live, Hollywood Squares, etc. He also had a four-year recurring role as himself in General Hospital and hosted the Emmy Award-winning talk show, The Richard Simmons Show.
Richard Simmons has also been featured in numerous commercials for brands like ESPN, Sprint, Yoplait, and Herbal Essence Shampoos, among others. He was seemingly everywhere until 2014 when he disappeared.
What Happened To Richard Simmons?
Richard Simmons abruptly stopped appearing in public in February 2014. There were many speculations about what exactly prompted him to choose to live a secluded life, with some saying he had been kept as a hostage by his housekeeper. He refuted these claims in 2016 via a phone conversation on the Today Show.
Things later got serious in 2017 when the Slimmons fitness gym closed without any public announcement from the man behind the business. A podcast on him missing out in action was launched, and the LAPD conducted a welfare check on him at his home. They subsequently issued a statement revealing that Simmons was “perfectly fine” and was “doing what he wants to do, and it is his business.”
Many years later, in 2022, a TMZ documentary revealed that Richard Simmons was having problems with his knees, and this was the reason he disappeared. Years of working out and helping people lose weight appeared to have taken a toll on his knees. He also reportedly has a birth defect whereby he was born without a full set of bones in his foot, complicating the issues he had with his knees.
Simmons was required to get surgery. He was said to have gotten replacement surgery on his right knee, which left him in considerable pain. Doctors further recommended that he get replacement surgery on his left knee, but he opted not to due to the trauma of the first operation. He subsequently opted to retire, confining himself to his home.
Where is Richard Simmons Today?
Richard Simmons, who, according to various reports, has always been an introvert, continues to live away from the limelight in his home in the Hollywood Hills. From time to time, he makes public comments about his well-being but has largely withdrawn from public life.
He is able to live comfortably without working a day more in his life thanks to his decades-long career as a fitness personality through which he amassed an estimated net worth of $20 million.
Is Richard Simmons Still Alive?
At the time of the publication of this article, Richard Simmons was very much alive. His most recent social media post, made on Facebook on August 24, 2022, following the release of the TMZ documentary, stated that he was doing ok. He shared an image of a smiley face holding a Thank You with the caption: “Thank you, everyone, for your kindness and love! Love, Richard.”