Richard Simmons was once one of television's biggest, loudest and most excitable personalities. Known for his incredibly successful weight-loss videos, his popular Beverly Hills gym 'Slimmons' and for regularly appearing on shows such as Whose Line Is It Anyway and the Late Show with David Letterman, the fitness guru was at the top of his game, incredibly wealthy and well loved. However, in 2014 and seemingly without any reason, the star withdrew from the spotlight. Ignoring emails, phone calls and messages from friends and loved ones, he built a wall around his home and hasn't been seen since.
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Richard disappeared from the public eye in 2014
A brand new podcast based on finding out what happened to the recluse, Missing Richard Simmons, has hit the top of the podcast charts after just two episodes, and it's easy to see why. The strange circumstances behind Richard's disappearance get even more bizarre when the podcast's narrator (and friend of the star) Dan Taberski speaks to those closest to Richard, who all have their own theories – each odder than the next – as to what could have happened. Their theories include that he was in mourning over death of his beloved Dalmatian, he was struggling with knee problems, he withdrew under the instruction of his housekeeper, Theresa, and one person even suggested that the Richard was under a spell.
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Fans have been quick to discuss the new hit podcast on Twitter, with many comparing it to the incredibly popular crime podcast, Serial. One fan tweeted: "Missing Richard Simmons is FASCINATING." Another added: "Even if you don't care about Richard Simmons the new podcast Missing Richard Simmons is honestly so great." In an interview with Vogue, Dan spoke about why he decided to make the podcast about such an unusual subject. He said: "In 2012 I was living in Los Angeles and I heard that Richard was still teaching. You could still take his class in Beverly Hills for 12 bucks. I couldn’t believe it." He recalled that he'd asked Richard if he could make a documentary about his life, continuing: "He said no, but he said it with a wink. I said, 'Alright, I'll keep coming.' And then, all of a sudden, Richard stopped returning my calls. I realised he had stopped returning everyone's calls."