Nobody has seen Richard Simmons for over 1,000 days
Richard Simmons is an American fitness icon. He’s worth over $15 million. He weighed 269 pounds at his high school graduation. He lost 123 of those pounds in his 20s. He is estimated to have helped Americans lose over 12 million pounds.
And he’s been missing for 1,095 days.
The podcast about his disappearance is #1 on the iTunes charts.
Since 2014, Simmons, now 68, has not been seen in public.
For decades, he courted constant media attention and bathed in the spotlight. He was a regular guest on “The David Letterman Show,” taught his loyal followers at weekly exercise classes at his Slimmins gym in Beverly Hills, California, and made hundreds of phone calls a week to Americans struggling with their weight.
“I don’t have a lot to offer to one person. I have a lot to offer to a lot of people,” he once famously said.
Dan Taberski was one of those people. He met Simmons while attending one of his famous exercise classes in LA in 2012, and they struck up an immediate friendship, as Simmons did with many of his clients.
They were friends for about a year — Taberski has been to Simmons’ house for dinner and the pair even discussed producing a documentary about Simmons’ life — but one day, Simmons just didn’t show up to teach his exercise class. And he stopped answering Taberski’s phone calls.
The following week, Simmons still didn’t show up to class. When he failed to turn up the week after, people started to get worried.
Friends tried calling, texting, driving to his house and knocking on the door. But they found nothing. It was just so out of character.
“He would wake up at 4 in the morning and reach out to 30, 40, 50 people with phone calls and emails,” Taberski told Yahoo News. “It was sustained relationships that lasted years, sometimes decades.”
“[Simmons] changed fitness forever. Before he came on the scene, fitness and aerobics was for people who had hard bodies and just wanted to get a little harder,” Taberski said.
“He remembered because he was overweight himself once that it’s really about the people who live in America, regular people.”
So why would he suddenly give all that up?
Taberski has set out to find the answer to that question in his new podcast, “Missing Richard Simmons.”