- NAME: Richard Simmons
- OCCUPATION: Activist, Athlete, Dancer, Television Personality
- BIRTH DATE: July 12, 1948 (Age: 65)
- EDUCATION: University of Southwestern Louisiana, Florida State University
- PLACE OF BIRTH: New Orleans, Louisiana
- Originally: Milton Teagle Simmons
- AKA: Richard Simmons
- AKA: Milton Simmons
- AKA: Milton T. Simmons
- ZODIAC SIGN: Cancer
Best Known For
Overweight as a child, Richard Simmons is now an American fitness personality best known for his high-energy and eccentric aerobic videos and DVDs.
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Born in Louisiana in 1948, Richard Simmons has motivated thousands of people to lose weight with his eccentric and highly energetic approach to exercise. Overweight as a child and frustrated by fad dieting, Simmons has created a number of aerobics DVDs and written cookbooks to help others lose weight and keep it off. He is a frequent guest on television talk shows and has become an often parodied cultural icon.
"I don't have a lot to offer one person. I have a lot to offer to a lot of people."
Born Milton Teagle Simmons on July 12, 1948, in New Orleans, Louisiana, Richard Simmons was a severely overweight child. He battled obesity for a number of years, becoming dependent on diet pills and adopting unhealthy weight loss programs. He briefly lived in Italy before relocating in 1973 to Los Angeles, California, where he opened an innovative exercise studio that catered to the severely overweight.
In 1979, Simmons enjoyed a brief stint on the popular daytime soap opera General Hospital, but soon decided to concentrate solely on building a fitness empire. The following year, he launched his own talk show, The Richard Simmons Show, which enjoyed four seasons on the air. He successfully marketed his image to the public while writing self-help books, creating the "Deal-A-Meal" food maintenance program and producing the Sweatin' to the Oldies line of exercise videos.
Over the years, Simmons has become a staple on late night television, bringing his irreverent humor and indefatigable energy to The Tonight Show with Jay Leno and Late Night with David Letterman. With a rigorous touring schedule that includes 250 personal appearances each year, he continues to promote physical well-being to millions of loyal followers.
Simmons also established exercise programs for the physically challenged, which he documented in the book Reach for Fitness: A Special Book of Exercises for the Physically Challenged. His other writings range from cookbooks Richard Simmons: Never Say Diet Book and The Richard Simmons' Farewell to Fat Cookbook: Homemade in the U.S.A.; to self-help guides such as Richard Simmons' Never Give Up: Inspirations, Reflections, Stories of Hope; to an autobiography, Still Hungry After All These Years: My Story.
Today, Simmons continues to promote health. Recently, he supported a bill mandating non-competitive physical education in public schools.
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