Picture a ‘cult’. Go on, any cult. Create a mental picture in your mind.
I’m willing to bet the leader isn’t a man dressed in a sparkly red fairy tutu.
Well, Richard Simmons was not exactly a cult leader, but at times he certainly ruled his exercise kingdom like one, according to his loyal followers.
Richard Simmons, now 68, was a fitness guru. Among other things.
The curly-haired, feminine-voiced, energy-laden ball of flamboyance made the world of aerobics his own in the 80s and 90s with a series of high intensity fitness videos. Most notable among them, Sweating to the Oldies.
He was filthy rich, and probably still is.
In an interview with David Letterman, Simmons revealed (with pride) his cut of the profit from Sweating to the Oldies was upwards of 40%. The at-home fitness video made more than $200 million.
And that was volume one of five...
As I said. Filthy rich.
However, his wealth never tainted his reputation. People more than loved him. They adored him.
Despite his fame and notoriety, Simmons continued to lead classes at his personal fitness studio in Beverley Hills - Slimmons.