Richard Simmons turns 71 on July 12, 2019. The exercise entrepreneur, who launched his career in the fitness industry in 1974 when he opened his first health club in Los Angeles, has been a household name for four decades. (By the early '80s, he'd become a television personality and even scored his own talk show!) Wonderwall.com is celebrating Richard's big day by taking a look back at more of our all-time favorite Hollywood fitness icons and how they've changed over the years. Keep reading to catch up on Richard, Olivia Newton-John, Arnold Schwarzenegger and more!
Richard Simmons' fitness empire includes countless books, tapes, DVDs and a calorie-tracking system. He made a pair of very public appearances in 2013 — first at the MTV Video Music Awards and then at the Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade — and attended a January 2014 charity event in Los Angeles, but has become reclusive in recent years, promoting rumors that he may be unwell. In early 2016, the beloved fitness guru participated in a pair of phone interviews with "Entertainment Tonight" and the "Today" show to clear up the rumors that he was sick or being held hostage. But then in June 2016, he was mysteriously hospitalized. He landed in the hospital again in April 2017 after suffering "discomfort while eating" and filed a lawsuit against the National Enquirer the following month accusing the tabloid of defamation and invasion of privacy for printing "cruel and malicious" stories about him — specifically a June 2016 report that he'd undergone a sex change and was living as a woman.
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Jane Fonda launched her acting career in the early '60s before branching into the world of fitness in 1982 with "Jane Fonda's Workout," the first in a series of exercise videos hosted by the blonde beauty.
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In 1987, a few years after she launched her fitness empire, Jane Fonda earned her seventh Academy Award nomination for her performance in "The Morning After." She's appeared in more than a dozen films since then and earned Emmy nominations in 2013 and 2014 for her work on "The Newsroom" and in 2017 for her performance on Netflix's "Grace and Frankie." The two-time Oscar winner is still a fitness guru too! In 2010, she released her "Prime Time" series: a book and five fitness DVDs. In 2017, music producer Richard Perry confirmed that he and the thrice-married actress-activist and mother of three had called it quits after eight years as a couple.
Lou Ferrigno started weight training as a teen and launched his career as a bodybuilder after he graduated from high school. He achieved stardom when he was featured in the 1977 documentary "Pumping Iron," which chronicled his attempt to steal the Mr. Olympia competition from reigning champ Arnold Schwarzenegger. Not long after, he was cast as the titular hero in "The Incredible Hulk."
Lou Ferrigno's acting career took off in the '80s with the help of "The Incredible Hulk." He continues to voice the iconic character in various television and film projects, including in 2015's "Avengers: Age of Ultron," and has also played versions of himself on "The King of Queens" and in "I Love You, Man." Additionally, Lou competed on Season 5 of "The Celebrity Apprentice" in 2012. In the '90s, he briefly returned to bodybuilding before retiring from the sport. But his fitness empire lives on: In early 2016, Lou and his family launched Ferrigno FIT, an online health and fitness community where they hawk Ferrigno Fuel vitamins, the subscription-based Ferrigno Fit Box and Incredibly Fit, Lou's 12-week fitness program. In 1980, he wed psychotherapist Carla Green, who serves as his manager and is now a personal trainer. They have three children, including daughter Shanna, who co-founded Ferrigno Fit with her dad.
Former gymnast Denise Austin studied physical education and exercise physiology in college and taught aerobic exercise classes in Los Angeles after graduation. In 1981, she began co-hosting "The Jack LaLanne Show," and within a year, she'd released her first two workout videos and scored her own show. Denise then served as the resident fitness expert on the "Today" show from 1984 to 1988.
Denise Austin has since released 12 books and more than 100 fitness tapes and DVDs. She's also starred on several fitness shows, including ESPN's "Getting Fit," Lifetime's "Denise Austin's Daily Workout" and "Fit Life." In 2012, she launched Forever Fit, a line of exercise equipment sold exclusively at Rite Aid. She also runs a 10-week fitness program and a monthly fitness program at her eponymous website. She wed sports attorney Jeff Austin, with whom she shares daughters Kelly and Katie, in 1983.
Billy Blanks' childhood passion for martial arts led to his creation of Tae Bo Fitness, a combination of Tae Kwon Do and boxing, during the late '80s. The martial artist and aspiring actor — who reportedly scored a bit part in 1989's "Driving Force" when he impressed filmmakers while serving as actress Catherine Bach's personal bodyguard on set — had small roles in several late '90s films, including "Kiss the Girls" and "The Last Boy Scout." He then put his acting career on the back burner to focus on Tae Bo, opening fitness centers in Boston and Los Angeles. Billy made millions selling his workout tapes during the '90s.
Billy Blanks stepped out of the Hollywood spotlight after the '90s. He played a version of himself in the 2011 Adam Sandler comedy "Jack and Jill" and popped up in the 2015 B-movie "Dark Moon Rising" before staging a bit of a comeback in 2017. He's since launched a new infomercial, appeared in the indie rom-com "Almost Amazing" and portrayed a version of himself in the comedy "The Clapper." In 2008, Billy's wife, Gayle, filed to legally separate from the fitness star after more than three decades of marriage. Their two children, daughter Shellie (Gayle's child from a previous relationship whom Billy adopted) and son Billy Jr., have both starred in fitness videos of their own and taught Tae Bo. (Shellie is considered the world's only master Tae Bo fitness instructor.) Billy Sr., who currently runs the Tae Bo studio in Dana Point, California, married his second wife, Tomoko Sato, in 2009. They had a daughter, Angelika, and moved to Japan, where he launched Billy's Bootcamp.
Suzanne Somers launched her acting career in the '60s but didn't score her first big break until 1977 when "Three's Company" debuted. The beautiful blonde became the spokesperson for the ThighMaster in the '80s, and the rest is history!
Suzanne Somers went on to star on "She's the Sheriff" and "Step by Step" before retiring from acting in 2001 following an uncredited appearance in the sex comedy "Say It Isn't So" — and after she'd been diagnosed with breast cancer. She's yet to return to acting but regularly makes media appearances and competed on the 20th season of "Dancing With the Stars" in 2015. Her fitness empire — which includes countless books, DVDs, workout tools and dietary supplements — lives on too! The blonde beauty, who has a son from her first marriage, has been wed to second husband Alan Hamel since 1977.
In 2004, Jackie Warner opened Sky Sport and Spa in Beverly Hills. Two years later, Bravo launched "Work Out," which chronicled the personal trainer's love life and the daily activity at her business. The reality TV series ended in 2008 after three seasons when Jackie was caught bad-mouthing a client and breast cancer survivor, and the following year, she sold Sky Sport and Spa. She returned to Bravo in 2010 with one season of "Thintervention with Jackie Warner."
After she said goodbye to Bravo, Jackie Warner stepped out of the spotlight and underwent a major life overhaul. The personal trainer, who's struggled with depression since she was a child, quit partying and refocused on her career. She released three health and fitness books: 2010's "This Is Why You're Fat (And How to Get Thin Forever)," 2012's "10 Pounds in 10 Days: The Secret Celebrity Program for Losing Weight Fast" and 2015's "This Is Why You're Sick & Tired (And How to Look and Feel Amazing)." She's also released four fitness DVDs and a 2014 five-song EP of dance music. Though Jackie keeps her love life under wraps these days, in early 2015, she opened up about her desire to become a mom, which included undergoing fertility treatments that caused her to gain 20 pounds. The fitness star landed behind bars in February 2017 after she crashed her car into a pole and then backed into a cop car, narrowly missing a police office, while "sleep driving" after taking an Ambien pill. In June 2017, she reached a plea deal and all of the charges against her (two counts of DUI, one count of assault with a deadly weapon and one count of hit and run) were dismissed.
Jake Steinfeld, who's often credited as the founder of the personal training industry, started working as a trainer to the stars around the same time that he booked his first acting gig in the late '70s. He launched Body By Jake — and subsequently became one of the biggest names in the fitness industry — in 1981.
Jake Steinfeld went on to host "Fitness Break by Jake" and launched FitTV, the first 24-hour fitness network. He continued acting in small roles — and even starred as a stuntman on sitcom "Big Brother Jake" from 1990 to 1994 — as his fitness empire expanded to include books, DVDs and workout machines. Though he hasn't acted much since then, he's appeared as a version of himself on two episodes of "Lopez" since mid-2016. Jake reportedly married wife Tracey, with whom he shares four children, in 1988. (His niece is actress Hailee Steinfeld.) Since late 2016, he's been opening Don't Quit! Fitness Centers at various elementary and middle schools across the country.
Arnold Schwarzenegger started bodybuilding as a teenager in his native Austria. At age 20, he became the youngest person ever to win the Mr. Universe title. He then relocated to the United States to launch his acting career. He made his feature-film debut in "Hercules in New York" in 1970.
Arnold Schwarzenegger became a household name in the '80s after he starred in a series of franchise-making hits, including "Conan the Barbarian," "The Terminator" and "Predator." His film career was equally successful during the '90s, though he took an extended hiatus from Hollywood during the aughts to serve as the governor of California between 2003 and 2010. Arnold returned to acting in 2012's "The Expendables 2" and has since appeared in a number of films, including 2015's "Terminator Genisys." In 1986, the international superstar wed journalist Maria Shriver, with whom he shares four children — though they haven't always been the picture of domestic bliss: Early in their relationship, Arnold had an affair with "Red Sonja" co-star Brigitte Nielsen, and in 2011, it was revealed that he'd fathered a son, Joseph Baena, with his family's housekeeper of 20 years. Though Maria filed for divorce shortly after the story went public, she and Arnold, who's also been accused of sexual assault, are technically still married. The former bodybuilder, who's been dating physical therapist Heather Milligan since early 2013 (though they haven't been spotted together publicly since January 2017), briefly took over as the host of "The New Celebrity Apprentice" in January 2017 but officially quit the show that March. A year later in 2018, the fitness icon underwent emergency open-heart surgery to replace an aging pulmonic valve but has since recovered.
Olivia Newton-John made her feature film debut in 1965. Her debut studio album arrived six years later. But it wasn't until 1981, when the English-Australian singer-actress and "Grease" star released her album "Physical" — which included the titular workout anthem — that she became an unofficial fitness icon.
Olivia Newton-John has acted predominantly on television since the '80s, though her most recent acting credit is the 2011 Australian comedy "A Few Best Men." She's also set to appear on "Sharknado 5: Global Swarming" in August 2017 and continues to release new albums, including 2016's "Friends for Christmas," which she collaborated on with Australian singer John Farnham. Olivia and longtime love Matt Lattanzi wed in 1984, welcomed daughter Chloe in 1986 and divorced in 1995. She moved on with cameraman Patrick McDermott in 1996. They were still together when he mysteriously disappeared in 2005. Three years later, Olivia married hubby No. 2, John Easterling. On May 30, 2017, the singer-actress revealed that she was putting her North American tour on hold to battle breast cancer for a second time and sadly confirmed in the fall of 2018 that her cancer had returned again. (She first fought the disease during the '90s.)