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I have an obsession with Richard Simmons. Not unlike the terrible car crashes we can’t stop looking at, I cannot stop being amazed by Richard Simmons. Did you know he’s not gay?

Simmons was born Milton Teagle Simmons on July 12, 1948 in New Orleans, Louisiana, and was raised in the French Quarter. He was an overweight child, weighing 268 pounds at the time of his high school graduation. Simmons eventually went on a crash diet and lost 123 lb as a young adult. During an appearance on The Tonight Show and during other various media appearances, Simmons claimed that much of his hair fell out due to losing weight in an unhealthy manner. Simmons later had hair transplants, moving some of his own hair from the back of his head to the front.

123 lbs? That, ladies and gentlemen, is an incredible feat.

He moved to Los Angeles in the 1970s and worked as the maître d’ at a restaurant in Beverly Hills. He became interested in fitness, but was dissatisfied with the unhealthy fad diet methods and established gyms and exercise studios which, at the time, favored the already fit customer. Simmons later opened his own exercise studio, originally called The Anatomy Asylum, he emphasized the importance of healthy eating in proper portions and enjoyable exercise…for everyone…gay or straight (like himself).

So he becomes this fitness expert who promotes weight-loss programs…and gets lots of airtime. He cranks out the videos: remember the Sweatin’ to the Oldies series? In my opinion, he was the weight loss infomercial inventor, hawking videos and food plans such as The Deal-A-Meal program and FoodMover. He’s a sensation…because his videos actually have the people who want (need) to loose weight featured on them. Brilliant! Downside? If I were to be a fitness guru and have this incredible body, the last outfit I would choose to wear is the one that Richard has been wearing for the past thirty years. Did I mention he’s not gay?

Trainwreck…pure and simple. And I cannot stop looking. Seemed that others couldn’t stop either…

Richard drew national attention after an appearance on the TV show Real People during which he was shown at work and introducing customers who he had helped to lose weight. Simmons parlayed his Real People appearance into a recurring role on the soap opera General Hospital, where he played himself. This exposure led to further media focus, as well as personal appearances in shopping malls, where he taught exercise classes. For a time in the early 1980s, Simmons had a fairly successful talk show, The Richard Simmons Show, where he focused on personal health, fitness, exercise, and healthy cooking.

Simmons has appeared as himself on numerous TV shows over the years, including Whose Line Is It Anyway?, CHiPs, and Saturday Night Live. His appearance on Whose Line Is It Anyway? is famous for how unbelievably gay straight Richard was during his appearance, as one can clearly see in the clip below:

In his 1999 autobiography, Still Hungry After All These Years: My Story, Simmons admitted that he had an Barbie Doll collection as a child. Knock-knock…who’s there? Richard Simmons is not gay.

It has not always been easy for Richard and his fame.

He was often a guest on the David Letterman Show. However, on November 22, 2000, Simmons had a falling out. Richard (while dressed as a turkey) was sprayed in the face by Letterman with a fire extinguisher after he grabbed Letterman as if to hug or kiss him, causing him to have a severe asthma attack. Richard did not return to the show for six years.

Richards had more public trouble on March 24, 2004. Simmons was arrested and charged with assault after slapping Chris Farney, a motorcycle salesman, at Sky Harbor International Airport in Phoenix, Arizona. Farney had spotted Simmons in the crowd and said, “Look, Richard Simmons! Drop your bags, let’s rock to the ’50s.” Simmons replied, “It’s not nice to make fun of people with issues,” then lightly slapped Farney’s face. An embarrassed Farney called the police, despite not having suffered any injuries. All charges against Simmons were dropped. Obviously Farney has issues with gay overweight people…

Even though Simmons has amassed a large personal fortune from his weight loss empire (possibly in excess of $100 million), he still holds tight to his wardrobe and his sexuality. Instead of melting into the folds of obscurity he has worn his tight shorts and tank top proudly, even though it makes most of us cringe. He’s making a point, I think, that you should be proud of who you are, fat or thin, gay or straight (like himself), and I admire that…I just get a little confused with all that glitter during the presentation, but I cannot for one instant avert my eyes.

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52 Comments

  1. Mr. Richard Simmons… he is a sensation… yes, he is!!!!
    He is also notable for his high-energy, motivational demeanor, an attribute he often uses to help encourage people to lose weight.
    I could say he could be a model for many of us!
    Good post!!!

  2. LOL YES HE IS GAY

  3. NO! HE’S NOT GAY. HE’S COMPLETLY STRAGHT!

  4. Why call him a trainwreck? He’s weirdly fascinating, but hardly a disaster.

  5. So he lost 123lbs…but I don’t think anyone looks at him and says “I want a body just like his”, lol. Neither today, nor when he was younger.

  6. He is gay, but he is cool

    • Why even mention if he is gay or straight? Why not just say he is cool? I don’t understand ignorant people at all!! If he was a confirmed straight man you would have just said he is cool so why make sex orientation an issue?

  7. I love Richard and really miss his show which helped me and my nephew lose weight back in the day. As for his being gay, until or unless he decides to say any different, the only ones who know the truth about his sexuality are Richard and God.

      • Sweatin to the Oldies
      • Posted November 29, 2011 at 12:17 pm
      • Permalink
      • Reply

      And Richard’s (alleged) anonymous gay lovers, whoever they may be …

    • …and the hundreds of men he’s had sex with…

  8. i have always thought he was gay,but i guess not! i love his weight loss videos and everything..i remember me and my mom was trying to lose weight when i was probably 7 or 8 and we would ALWAYS exercise to his videos!

  9. people should nt judge other people when they have there own issues of there own who cares he is still one of god s chilldren

  10. Of course he’s gay, you fools!

    • And only a fool would make it a point!! Worry about your life and your issues. Who others do or don’t sleep with is of no concern to you. That is unless your life is insufficient you must make ignorant comments on others

  11. I loved when Letterman would always make fun of him on the show. So hilarious!

    • YES! If I knew he would make sure I watched the show! My husband & I would die laughing everytime! It was some of the funniest things on tv…Letterman’s reactions, not wanting Richard to touch him in any way, backing away, HILARIOUS! Miss those shows….I do like Richard, he has helped so many obese/overweight people, because he understands how hard it is to lose weight, alot of weight especially…He is odd for sure, but, I think his childhood may have something to do with it, issues with parents, how he was raised maybe.

  12. Your sarcasm…it kills me!

    • I agree, he’s just always himself all the time. He has helped mahy people in his lifetime . How many of us can say the same…WW

  13. who cares if he is gay or not. it does not add or take away from who he is.

  14. He is gay, but he’s still a nice person.

  15. He sure seems like he’s gay but ok whatever he wants to be is his choice. Be happy Richard thats all that matters

  16. I would love to meet Richard Simmons. He is an inspiration to me. I am the biggest I’ve ever been now. I am now using sweatin to the oldies. and hope I can over come the diseases and weight problem that I am experiencing. I wish to meet richard and have him teach and walk me through how to do it all correctly. I need to get healthy for my kids. I want to see the graduate and get married some day.

    • Just keep going and stay strong. :)

    • I wish Richard would open some of his exercise clinics in my state of Illinois! We could use the help and I don’t like the normal health clubs, it just doesn’t work for people who need to lose 100lbs etc. We need to be in a place we feel comfortable with others like us….he would succeed here and in every state!!

  17. I met Richard 12 years ago and I said to him “My son and I excersize to your videos all the time!” And do you know what he said to me? “Well, what happened?” LOL True story!

  18. ?!!

  19. Richard Simmon is Gay. People like Simmons (or Liberacci, Rock Hudson, Anderson Cooper, Barney Frank, Gorgeous Cary Grant, sniff, sniff….,and his two decade lover Randolf Scott, dear little Kate Hepburn, that one and only three-time Oscar winner and her alleged “boyfriend for life–who actually liked both men and women a lot, especially while he had been imbibbing. My prince and princecess of the old cinema, Clark Gable and Vivien Leigh, I’m sorry to say swung both ways on occasion. They were both big-time players who normally stuck to their traditional role models, but when the mood hit either of them, things were known to happen. Sorry to say, no one and nothing is like it seems in real life or in Hollywood fantasy. Remember how gorgeious Boy George was when HE first hit the scene. Or Tyrone Powers was when he came riding up on a white horse for the first time in the 1930s.I wish them all the best, especially the ones I love so very dearly. They were Giants, no matter what.

  20. why do ppl want to be so rude and his sexuality should not matter anyways, he is still who he is reguadless what sex he likes. so why is this even an isue. geez ppl, grow the fuck up…. yall just wish you had all the money he has. he is an ispiration to a lot of ppl. i remember watching him when i was a kid.. great guy!!! take care richard and don’t listen to these idiots that have nothing better to do then talk down on ppl bc they are not happy with who they are

    • …while others have nothing better to do than to address celebrities in the second person, as if they have time to read WordPress and revel in the praise of a semi-literate lunatic. I AM happy with who I am. I’m unhappy with who YOU are.

  21. Believe, I read that his mother has stated he’s not gay; Guess mothers may not count as “truthful” in this commentary; however, I remember shaking my head, no way, when reading it. He’s making money even today (March 19, 2012) doing jumping jacks for Geico Insurance.
    In a way, I’m paying him as that’s my auto insurer, too.
    It cracks me up when he appears on Letterman and Harasses David with his “flaming” act.

    What a team they make !!

    • I laughed when I saw him on the Geico commercial too! Especially the Geico lizards reaction to seeing Richard exercising in front of the tv….the lizard RUNS FAST, he even knows it’s just toooo weird…LOL. Gave me a laugh! I would like to see Richard on tv more often and to have another talk show too. He helps people alot….

  22. I have issues w/people that are flaming gay, but strangely for some reason I’ve always loved Richard Simmons. ( I could care less if he’s gay/straight). I’ve always admired how when he first came out w/Sweating to the oldies, a lot of people were still in the closet. Richard never tried to chg who he was and (take him or leave him) he didn’t specify either. He has helped the one group of people that are STILL discriminated against even way back then. He is a sweetheart and I respect him immensely.

  23. what a fucking fag. I’m so tired of hearing about him and it’s f****** shenanigans on TV. I wish David Letterman what I spray him some more the fire hydrant

    • So why read an article about him? Just to post an uneducated statement? How sad and pathetic. What a sad little life you live?

  24. Richard is amazing i love sweatin to the oldies

  25. Sure he doesn’t have issues a straight man acting gay? Doesn’t sound right to me that’s like a cat acting like a dog

  26. Does it really matter if he’s gay??? Gay or straight, he’s doing a huge service for good. And he may just enjoy a little mystery about his sex life because sometimes it’s fun making people wonder. He’s awesome & we love him no matter what!

  27. I love Richard Simmons, my oldest daughter used to work out with him in his studio in L.A. I wished I could of got her there more often but sue to work and my youngest always in surgery it was hard she is 25 now and still struggles with her weight.

  28. Gay, straight, asexual, whatever. I don’t care, it’s not my business, it’s his and his alone. He’s a good man and deserves love and happiness in this life.

  29. I am amazed that some people really still care about a person’s sexuality…get with the times, people!

  30. Thank you a bunch for sharing this with all of us you actually
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  31. Wonderful blog! I found it while surfing around on Yahoo News.

    Do you have any suggestions on how to get listed in Yahoo News?
    I’ve been trying for a while but I never seem to get there! Thank you

  32. Wow that was strange. I just wrote an very long
    comment but after I clicked submit my comment didn’t appear. Grrrr… well I’m not
    writing all that over again. Anyways, just wanted to say superb blog!

  33. Why is it such a big deal if you are gay or straight. Who really cares. Tell yourself this man named Richard Simmons is working his ass off to help other people. Get off the gay bandwagon. Richard is a man period

  34. Richard Simmons is fucking awesome! :)

  35. I really this post! I am kinda fascinated with Richard, too. Just recently heard him on Howard Stern so I’ve had Richard on my mind.

  36. That was an interesting article. And it answered the questions I had. Mr. Simmons is a blessing to many with very unique qualities. I grew up watching him and always thought he had the most upbeat attitude. I hope he has as much success in his personal life as he has had in his professional. Lovenpeace

    • Richard Simmons is a very good man, I used to go and take my daughter and workout with him, He helped her alot.

  37. Love you Richard


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