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Richard Simmons Thanks Fans for Support After Documentary on his Disappearance Airs

Supporters were pleasantly surprised when Richard wrote to them on Facebook.

Though Richard Simmons is famous for getting his fans Sweatin’ to the Oldies, he also had them sweating about his mysterious disappearance in 2014, as detailed in the documentary TMZ Investigates: What Really Happened to Richard Simmons. After the documentary’s Hulu release on August 22, there was an outpouring of fan support for the colorful and spunky fitness instructor.

According to the documentary, which aired on both Hulu and Fox, Simmons, 74, stopped teaching at his workout studio and vanished from the public eye in February 2014. Fans quickly became concerned when the fitness guru went radio silent, especially because his presence was typically so vibrant and involved. His disappearance spurred a variety of conspiracy theories and wild speculation. One theory was that Simmons was being held against his will by his housekeeper, a theory explored in the popular podcast “Missing Richard Simmons.”

In 2016, Simmons debunked this theory and many others when he called into the Today show, stating that he was simply taking a well-earned break from traveling and wanted to focus on self-care, something he became famous for encouraging in others. Simmons is known for saying, “If I don’t take care of myself, if I don’t feel good about myself, how can I help others?”

However, fans had cause for concern again in 2017, when Simmons was hospitalized for “severe indigestion.” After receiving treatment, he returned safely to his Hollywood home and has continued to remain largely private ever since.

Due to his now-reserved persona, supporters were pleasantly surprised on Wednesday when Richard took to his Facebook page, where he usually only shares workout videos, to write: “Thank you everyone, for your kindness and love! <3 Love, Richard.”

Michael Catalano, Simmons’ manager, verified the authenticity of this post, and explained to People that Simmons “was encouraged by the kindness” and good wishes he’d received in response to the documentary.

At this time, there are over 6,000 comments on his post, including well-wishes, fan photos with the star, and gratitude for the impact he has made. “Love you Richard Simmons <3 So happy you are who you are. You make a difference in so many lives. Bless you,” wrote one Facebook user. “Thank YOU. I always felt I had a pal growing up because of you,” wrote another.  

This deluge of admiration serves as a testament to the global community Richard Simmons has built by interacting with fans throughout his career. As he told ABC News in 2009, “People treat me like family, ‘cause I’ve always treated them like family.”

While it is unclear what the future holds for Simmons’ career, you can always dance alongside him on Facebook and YouTube.

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