GH Alum Richard Simmons Clarifies When He Battled Skin Cancer

Richard Simmons is clarifying his timeline on social media.
Richard Simmons is clarifying his timeline on social media.

Richard Simmons played himself on General Hospital for a few years starting in 1979, teaching workout classes to the ladies of Port Charles at the Campus Disco. Now, the fitness guru is making headlines again as he clarifies that his battle with skin cancer, while painful, was not recent.

Early Detection Is Key

Simmons had revealed on his Facebook page that he’s been dealing with skin cancer and has had a basal cell carcinoma removed from his face. The former GH star who has shined a light on fitness throughout his career shared that he’d noticed a “strange-looking bump” under his right eye. On the advice of his physician, Simmons saw a cancer doctor.

“I waited in his waiting room and said hello to all of these people who had skin cancer as well,” Simmons wrote. “I was shocked to see all of the skin cancers that they had. Some had cancer on top of their heads…their face…and neck.”

Simmons shared that he had a tear rolling down his cheek during the procedure but that his doctor wiped it away. “The burning [from the procedure] really hurt my skin,” he says. “It lasted about 30 minutes.”

However, Richard Simmons has recently clarified that his skin cancer diagnosis wasn’t recent; it was, in fact, a while ago. “I have had a tremendous amount of responses on my message regarding skin cancer,” he wrote. “It happened so many years ago. The reason I wrote these two messages is that if you see a spot on your body please go to your doctor…so they can diagnose it right away. I guess I should be more careful about what I write about. “

Simmons has been in the news a bit lately. GH viewers heard his name mentioned in Scotty’s (Kin Shriner) eulogy to Bobbie Spencer (Jacklyn Zeman) earlier this year. He made headlines more recently after sharing on social media that he was dying — but not imminently.

“I have some news to tell you. Please don’t be sad,” he wrote. “I am….dying. Oh I can see your faces now. The truth is we all are dying. Every day we live we are getting closer to our death. Why am I telling you this? Because I want you to enjoy your life to the fullest every single day. Get up in the morning and look at the sky… count your blessings and enjoy.

“Sorry many of you have gotten upset about my message today,” Simmons wrote in a follow-up post. “Even the press has gotten in touch with me. I am not dying. It was a message about saying how we should embrace every day that we have. Sorry for this confusion.”

Simmons has also gone on the record stating he doesn’t support an announced biopic that’s being done about his life, which is set to star Pauly Shore.