For over twenty-five years, Richard Simmons has had the unique ability to deliver a serious message through laughter to millions of Americans via videos, personal appearances, daytime and late night television appearances, infomercials and books. Because of this, Richard Simmons has become the nation’s most revered fitness expert.
Born and raised in New Orleans, Simmons prevailed over his own weight problem before relocating to Los Angeles in 1973. There was no significant fitness movement in this country at the time, and to no avail, Simmons attempted to find a health club that wasn’t for people who were already in shape. In 1974, after consulting with doctors and nutritionists to ensure the safety of a program he tailored to the needs of the overweight, a determined Simmons established an innovative place where the overweight of the world were welcomed with open arms. This program was met with instant success. This unrivaled success continues today at SLIMMONS in Beverly Hills, where Richard still leads aerobic classes each week.
Simmons’ success as a fitness expert and advocate led to numerous local and national television and radio appearances, and in the mid- 70’s, Simmons began a four-year run on "GeneralHospital". Following that, Simmons hosted "The Richard Simmons Show", a nationally syndicated, Emmy Award-winning series that ran for four years.
Following the run of his own network television show, Simmons created two of the most successful weight-loss programs ever: Deal-A-Meal and FoodMover. Simmons has continued to find unparalleled success with the marketing of his products in infomercials and on QVC, where he has sold over 27 million units of his products over the past 15 years, beginning with his "Sweatin’ to the Oldies" infomercial which debuted in 1986. Currently you can see Simmons 16th infomercial for his "Blast Off the Pounds" program, which features a trio of original videos and revolutionary "cool weights".
One of the greatest attributes of Simmons’ success is his ability to meet the changing needs of his audience. Over the past 25 years, Simmons has released more than 30 videos. His latest releases include: "Platinum Sweat", a low-impact workout featuring participants 53-86 years young; and "Sit Tight", a workout done entirely from a chair aimed at the millions of people with chronic back pain, MS, Muscular Dystrophy, and other afflictions. In addition to the four-video "Sweating’ to the Oldies" series, you can also find other popular Simmons" videos such as "Disco Sweat", "Dance Your Pants Off", "Groovin’ in the House", and 16 other titles at major retailers nationwide.
As the author of nine books, including the New York Times Best Seller, "Never Say Diet", Richard released his autobiography, "Still Hungry- After All These Years" in 1998. He is also the author of three best-selling cookbooks. Additionally, this year Simmons will be leading his 21st Cruise to Lose program aboard Carnival Cruise Lines. The seven-night excursion, the only one of its kind on the high seas, treats cruisers to a daily regimen of exercise, motivation, and nutrition.
As a result of being a collector of one-of-a-kind contemporary dolls (there are over 300 original pieces on display in his Los Angeles home), Simmons has created "Collection of the Masters", an affordably priced line of limited edition reproductions, and featuring works of art by the very artists Richard collects. Available on QVC and at doll and collectible retailers, the line is distributed by Goebel.
Recognizing that his audience spans all across America, Simmons averages some 300 days on tour each year. Whether it be a women’s expo, a nursing home, a high school, children’s hospital, a shopping mall, a corporate seminar, or sales meeting, Simmons considers himself fortunate to come face to face with hundreds of thousands of people each year. Whether it be at an airport, a hotel, a restaurant, or a parking lot, those who feel they "know" him never hesitate to approach him, usually in search of encouragement. Simmons, who lives by the words of his father, Leonard, "Richard, know no strangers", never disappoints.