43 Things You Didn’t Know About Richard Simmons


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Richard Simmons, circa 1980. Michael Ochs Archives / Getty Images

1. Richard was born (and subsequently baptized as) Milton Teagle Simmons.

2. He lived with that name for about 11 years, when he sat his relatives down to tell them that he couldn’t live with a name. He suspicion a name was “too serious.”

3. When he started to go by Richard, his relatives would call him “Dicky,” that he didn’t like, either.

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Simmons as his “Weight Saint” character.

4. He was raised in a French Quarter of New Orleans by his mother, a fan dancer, and father, a thespian and dancer. Richard described it as “a loving, low-pitched place” that “wasn’t perfect.”

5. He was raised Catholic and didn’t find out his relatives were Jewish until he was 19 years old.

6. He was in seminary school for a year and 9 months though left given he felt his “pulpit could be bigger.”

7. Richard complicated in Florence, Italy and spent time in Palermo, Sicily, as a fashion illustrator.

8. He stopped operative that pursuit given he felt “there was something missing,” saying, “I was alone in a room with a dress, and it wasn’t for me — we indispensable to be around people!”

9. While in Italy, Richard wound adult with small parts in Fellini’s Satyricon and The Clowns.

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Simmons while filming General Hospital in Aug 1980. Michael Ochs Archives / Getty Images

10. At his heaviest, Richard Simmons weighed 268 pounds. While in Italy, an unknown chairman left a note on Richard’s automobile that read, “Fat people die. Please don’t die, Richard.”

11. This prompted Richard to pierce to California, where he became anorexic, losing 137 pounds distant too fast and alighting in a hospital. Said Richard of this time in his life: “My hair fell out and we roughly died.”

12. Richard has been traffic with eating disorders given he was a child. He told Wendy Williams in 2011, “I have eating disorders, we can’t distortion about that. I’ve always talked about that. we took diet pills, we threw up, we starved, we suspicion that people would like me improved if we were skinny — given we was a kid.”

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Michael Ochs Archives

13. Richard spoke about his childhood plumpness with Katie Couric in 2013. He said, “There was 5 stores from my residence to a Catholic propagandize and we stopped in all 5 of them. And we ate, and we didn’t wish anyone to know that we ate, so we would take a wrappers and censor them in Kotex boxes. You consider it’s funny, though we don’t wish your relatives to know.”

14. Richard told Regis and Kathie Lee in 1995 that he visited Rome any 10 years.

15. Simmons’ first job in Los Angeles was that of a maître d’ during a grill called Derrick’s, where he pronounced he done fettuccine Alfredo and Caesar salads.

16. He also done a lot of luminary friends working there, like Phyllis Diller, of whom he pronounced “She and we strike it off instantly. we theory she could tell that we was only as stupid and laughed only as tough as she did.”

17. LA is also where he found the gym for a initial time. His initial examination was with an ex-policeman who betrothed him a “new body.” It didn’t work out that way: “I was in bed for 4 days, given we overdid it. So we motionless then, we need to open a gym for people like me. A place for a overweight and out of shape. And I’m only going to act stupid and dance and get them sweating. we saved my tip income from watchful tables, and it took me a year and dual months to save $25,000.”

18. He afterwards non-stop his iconic examination studio Slimmons — that was named a Anatomy Asylum to start.

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Alan Levenson / Getty Images

19. It was open for 42 years before closing in late 2016.

20. In a ’90s Richard claimed to receive “25,000 to 30,000 letters a day.”

21. Richard responded to many of these letters, even roving opposite a nation to accommodate a writers and assistance start their weight detriment journey. Of this, Richard said, “The reason we transport a lot is to accommodate these people, who are partial of my family. we don’t consider of myself as a celebrity. we fundamentally describe to people like myself, who don’t use some-more than 3 syllables.”

22. Richard Simmons said in a 1998 interview that he called adult to “40 or 50” people per day, and that he kissed and hugged “more people than a pope.”

23. Richard once owned a salad bar in Beverly Hills called Ruffage that sold “400 to 500 salads a day.”

24. Simmons said his nonjudgmental proceed to weight detriment appeals to fans: that he’d “They know I’m a compulsive eater and we would arm-wrestle Mother Teresa for an ice cream bar. “

25. Richard is said to have sole over 20 million dollars of his intensely renouned Sweatin’ To a Oldies examination tapes in a ’80s.

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Simmons during his Cruise to Lose. Evan Hurd Photography / Getty Images

26. Richard owns over 400 pairs of his heading Dolfin shorts — that are no longer being made, though people know to send them to him when they find them: “People write to me all a time and say, “Dear Richard, we was cleaning out my garage and you’re only never going to theory what we found. I’ve got dual pair[s] of Dolfin shorts!” And they send them to me.”

27. Back in a 80s, Simmons rounded adult a parents of famous people — Al Pacino’s father, Farrah Fawcett’s mother, Sylvester Stallone’s mother, Dustin Hoffman’s father, and his possess mom — and available a first-ever practice module for people aged 55 and comparison called Richard and a Silver Foxes.

28. Richard used to debate by as many as 100 malls per year.

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Simmons with Dalmatian puppies in 1985. Donaldson Collection / Getty Images

29. Richard has played himself on TV many times, including stints on Arrested Development, The Larry Sanders Show, Johnny Bravo, All My Children, Saturday Night Live, Dinosaurs, and CHiPs.

30. He voiced an “aerobics instructor” on Rocko’s Modern Life.

31. He was always sincerely private and indifferent about his amicable life. In 1981 he said, “I don’t go to discos, bars or parties. What’s some-more important, a one-to-one kid-and-family conditions or assisting 60 million people get their act together?”

32. Richard was a partner of Dalmatians and had many of them over a years. He named all of his Dalmatians after characters from Gone With a Wind.

33. Before his final dalmatian Hattie died in 2013, he would call home to sing a strain to his dogs any night when he was traveling.

34. Many of Richard’s many best-selling books are ghost-written because — as he says — “mine is not always a best English.”

35. At one point, Richard sole a line of dolls on HSN with names like “Lillian, Belle of a Ball” and “Smooch a Elf.”

36. And they’re not only for sale — Richard is a gourmet and says he has over 400 dolls in his house.

37. Richard once stopped during Tiffany’s and bought a diamond ring for Barbara Streisand, notwithstanding carrying never met her. He told David Letterman it was given “she’s desirous me for 30 years.” Barbara returned a ring.

38. In 2008, Richard testified before a Committee on Education and Labor during a conference concerning childhood plumpness and earthy health and education.

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Simmons on a Late Show With David Letterman in 2000. CBS Photo Archive / Getty Images

39. Richard was famous for being an interesting and over-the-top speak uncover guest, though in Nov 2000 it went too far when David Letterman hosed him down with a glow extinguisher and gave Simmons an asthma attack. He described a occurrence in 2002 like so: “Last time we was on and [Letterman] sprayed me with that things out of a glow extinguisher, we had an asthma attack, and they had to call a paramedic. we have serious asthma, and we panicked.”

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Simmons posing in his dalmatian room. Alan Levenson / Getty Images

40. He didn’t go behind on The Late Show for a full six years.

41. Richard even had his possess talk show in a ’80s — The Richard Simmons uncover aired from 1980 to 1984.

42. In 2012, he non-stop adult in Men’s Health about a romantic fee operative with so many people can take: “After we speak to so many people who are so unfortunate about their weight and so vexed that they don’t see any rainbows in their life, after we speak to about 30 of those, afterwards we try to travel divided and pet my dog, only do something that creates me happy. But I’ll tell you, it’s hard. we take it all really personally. I’m only that kind of guy.”

43. While there are many theories (and a podcast) about because Richard has private himself from a open eye for a past 3 years, there’s a quote Richard gave to People in 1981 that might strew light on a romantic fee Richard’s work has taken on him: “I work genuine tough to make people giggle and to make them think. The day we don’t adore any of this, I’ll travel away.”