More than 1,000 days after he was last seen in public, friends still worry about Richard Simmons

NEW YORK, NY - OCTOBER 09: Actor Richard Simmons attends "Swim for Relief" Benefiting Hurricane Sandy Recovery - Day 2 at Herald Square on October 9, 2013 in New York City. (Photo by Ilya S. Savenok/Getty Images)

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In the three years since friends last saw Richard Simmons, much has been written and speculated about the legendary fitness guru.

Few could ever forget Simmons rise to public prominence in the 1980s. He helped bring exercise back into the mainstream and became a pop culture icon. With his wild outfits, curly hair and endless amount of energy, Simmons charmed his way into the hearts of people across the country.

And then in 2014 that all changed.

RELATED: After years out of the public eye, hear what Richard Simmons had to say in his first interview since 2013

Simmons cut off contact from his friends, stopped showing up at the exercise studio that he owned and regularly taught classes at and cut himself off from the outside world.

Rumors began to circulate that Simmons was being held against his will by an employee or was terminally ill. In 2016, Simmons called into “Today” to try and quell some of those fears.

“For all the people that were worrying about me, I want to tell them that I love them with my whole heart and soul and that not to worry, Richard’s fine,” Simmons said in 2016. “You haven’t seen the last of me. I’ll come back, and I’ll come back strong.”

The new podcast “Finding Richard Simmons”  tries to answer some of the questions surrounding Simmons’ disappearance and coax him back into the public eye. In the first weeks since it’s been out, the podcast has proven extremely popular and could lead to a conversation with Simmons.

What do you think?

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