There was a time when celebrity fitness guru Richard Simmons was everywhere. He made appearances on talk shows, participated in episodes of the sketch comedy show Whose Line Is It Anyway? and even starred in infomercials for his wide range of at-home workout tapes and product lines. Today is his 70th birthday, and we’re a little sad to say we haven’t seen Simmons in a long, long time.
Entertainment Tonight caught up with a friend of Simmons before his birthday to check in on the star and get an update on what he’s been up to. Rather than darting around the world, teaching workshops and recording workout tapes, his friend told ET, “He’s doing very well. He’s his jovial self. He spends most of his time at home and in his yard.”
That sounds like the ideal peaceful retirement we all aspire to — and suggests that for some celebrities, it’s totally possible to leave the spotlight and just relax when the time comes. Simmons’ friend also told ET, “He keeps up with his reading and does what he wants to do. He deserves this time to himself. Seventy years is a milestone but he doesn’t look at it that way.”
It’s been at least four years since anyone saw Simmons in public, per ET. He was hospitalized in April 2017 for “severe indigestion” after which he wrote to his fans on Facebook to assure them that, contrary to the rumors, he wasn’t missing. “By now you know that I’m not ‘missing,’ just a little under the weather. I’m sure I will be feeling good and back home in a couple of days,” he wrote.
Simmons seems to use his Facebook presence to continue promoting his products, although he sparingly deals with more personal topics. In May, he used the platform to say goodbye to his late friend Gerry Sinclair. “You always held a special place in my life, Gerry,” he wrote. “I am so glad I got to share so many dances with you. Slimmons wouldn’t have been Slimmons without you. Thank you for being a part of my life. I know you’re dancing, and laughing, with the angels now.”
We’re glad to hear that Simmons is as jovial as ever, and we hope his 70th birthday — whether he recognizes it as a milestone or not — is enjoyable for him and whatever loved ones he chooses to spend it with.