INDIANAPOLIS — A spirited crowd of 300 women could be heard chanting, ‘We want Richard,” inside the Hyatt Regency in downtown Indianapolis on Jan. 9, 1981.
Richard Simmons was in town to promote his new book, “Never Say Diet,” which was sold out at most local bookstores.
Simmons had become a household name making regular appearances on ABC’s General Hospital as well as his own syndicated talk show.
The health and fitness guru rose to notoriety through sharing his own weight loss story, one that nearly took his life. Simmons said he lost more than 100 pounds in two months through a starvation diet. That experience drove Simmons to educate others on the proper way to lose weight.
Simmons told former WRTV reporter Tracey Horth that his goal was to make losing weight fun.
“You had fun putting the weight on and you can have fun taking the weight off, but you’ve got to be real, real positive,” said Simmons. “You have to believe you can do it. It’s not that most people fail, it’s that most people quit. What I want to do is not make them quitters. I want to keep them motivated, if it takes everything I’ve got.”
Simmons greeted dozens of women signing books and puckering up to anyone offering up a smooch. He also made sure to keep his fans honest.
“There better not be a candy bar in that purse, girl,” said Simmons to a woman in the crowd.
She responded, “No candy bar. I had quiche for lunch.”
To which Simmons replied, “Oh, my lord! My thighs are quivering!”