We all remember Richard Simmons as the quintessential ‘80s exercise guru. Simmons had a long and very full career—but where is he now? Read on to learn more about how he built his net worth as a fitness icon.
Simmons’ Early Life
While it may come as a surprise, Simmons struggled with his weight as a teenager. He weighed 268 pounds at his heaviest at only 5 feet 6 inches tall.
Simmons made it his mission to lose weight in 1968 after he found an anonymous note on his windshield that read: “Fat people die young; please don’t die.” In just two and a half months, Simmons lost a shocking 112 pounds by starving himself, taking diet pills, purging, and taking laxatives. His weight loss methods were so extreme and rapid that he ended up in the hospital. Eventually, Simmons realized there was a healthier way to keep the weight off: portion control and exercise.
In 1975, Simmons opened Ruffage, a salad-focused restaurant. He also opened a gym and an exercise studio called Slimmons.
Simmons was dedicated to helping others lose weight, especially those who hated working out and eating healthy. “When I opened Slimmons in 1974, I simply couldn’t wait to tell everyone that food could be healthy AND delicious or that exercise could be fun!” he wrote on Facebook. “I worked my little striped shorts off to spread the message that you must move your body every day, that portion size matters and that while others may not always be kind to you, you must be kind to yourself.”
He taught at the studio for over 40 years before closing it in 2016.
How His Career Skyrocketed
Soon enough, Simmons’ unique style and successful studio started to get him media attention. This prompted Simmons to write a book about his methodology called Never Say Diet. The book was released in 1980 and equipped readers with a way to drop pounds without calorie counting or diet pills (a lesson Simmons learned the hard way). He went on to write an impressive 11 more books throughout his career including The Better Body Book, Farewell to Fat, Still Hungry After All These Years: My Story, Steam Away the Pounds, and Remember to Sparkle!: The Wit & Wisdom of Richard Simmons. He also released his iconic at-home workout tapes, including his famous Sweatin’ to the Oldies series.
Simmons’ rising fame and unique personality landed him on many talk shows and game shows. He went on to host two television shows: Slim Cookin‘ and the Emmy-Award winning talk show The Richard Simmons Show.
Simmons’ persona became so well-known and beloved that he appeared on many TV shows playing himself. He even had a four-year recurring role on General Hospital as himself. He also appeared on Saturday Night Live, The Larry Sanders Show, and even Arrested Development. He even tried his hand at podcast hosting with his show on Sirius Stars, Lighten Up with Richard Simmons, which ran from 2006 to 2008.
Though Simmons enjoyed a successful—and lucrative—career in the health and fitness industry, he eventually slowed down and stopped making public appearances in 2014. His disappearance was so alarming that it sparked conspiracy theories he was being held hostage against his will. Since then, LAPD has conducted multiple wellness checks on Simmons, and despite the rumors, they report he is “perfectly fine.”
Richard Simmons’ Net Worth
Despite disappearing from public life, Richard Simmons’ net worth is estimated to be a whopping $20 million as of 2022.
In 1982 Simmons purchased a mansion in the Hollywood Hills for $670,000. As of 2020, it’s worth an estimated $6.07 million. Between the many books he’s written, his presence in the media, the shows he’s hosted, and the businesses he’s owned, it’s really no wonder that Simmons is so successful. Of course, his at-home workout videos were the most lucrative of all his business ventures, having released more than 20 videos over the course of his career.
We hope despite his privateness, Simmons is doing well and enjoying the rewards of his successful career.