The ’80s were a spectacular time. Music was at its peak, fashion was brilliant, and even the fitness stars were getting their time to shine. Here, we show the best of these ’80s fitness stars and where there are now.
Heather Locklear: 1980s
Heather Locklear is perhaps one of the most famous stars to come from the 1980s. For the most part, this fame has come from her extraordinarily successful acting career — she won four Golden Globes for her performance on the TV show Melrose Place, for instance.
But other than her acting, Locklear diversified into the expanding world of home fitness. After acquiring a bright pink and blue leotard (complete with colorfully striped headband), she was ready to go. She ran her own personal training videos. So where is she now?
Heather Locklear: Now
Heather Locklear has not withered away after her peak stardom in the ‘80s. Rather, she has just moved onto other things. While she hasn’t released any recent workout videos, for instance, she is still keeping in good health and working around Hollywood.
One of Locklear’s recent acting endeavors, for instance, is the show Too Close to Home, where she stars as First Lady Katlynn Christian. Anyway you spin it, Locklear’s career is far from over. Let’s hope she releases another workout video soon.
Cher is one of the most recognizable names in the world of singing and acting. She’s so recognizable, in fact, that she doesn’t even need to present a last name. Few performers have gleaned such immense stardom. Few also know that Cher had a very successful career in fitness.
During the ‘80s, as Cher climbed the ladders of fame, she quietly worked away on her fitness regime. Then, come the early ‘90s, she released a string of videos and documents that inspired others to join the health. Her work was an immense success. But where is she now?
Cher, now in her 70s, has never left the spotlight. While her career has moved from leading roles, sold out arenas and a healthy lifestyle have not left her sight. And while she hasn’t released any new fitness videos, this doesn’t mean she’s lost her health.
In recent history, Cher performed at the 2017 Billboard Music Awards with her songs “Believe” and “If I Could Turn Back Time.” Needless to say, her performances were well-received. The career of Cher is not over, and we look forward to what she brings us next.
Jake Steinfeld: 1980s
Not to be confused with the also popular Seinfeld, Jake Steinfeld was a fitness guru of the 1980s. Much of his success has to do with his extremely successful marketing campaign, which sold clothing that read: “Body by Jake.”
Steinfeld’s fitness career perhaps reached its peak when he received a contract for a fitness show called FitTV. The program ran 24 hours a day and helped him to form a dynasty of self-help personal fitness for his fans. But where is he now?
Jake Steinfeld: Now
Like many other ‘80s fitness gurus, Steinfeld never stopped practicing fitness. And because of this, his early career and brand only continued to blossom. His show FitTV turned into ExerciseTV, he took his Body by Jake brand global, and made numerous other changes to continue his empire.
Now, he has opened up many other business endeavors, including FitOrbit, a weight loss program, a podcast oriented around health and fitness, and was even the first to found the professional outdoor lacrosse league. The man’s accolades are impressive. But are they as impressive as this ‘80s fitness star?
Olivia Newton-John: 1980s
Olivia Newton-John was, as many of you likely know, the leading actor alongside John Travolta in the hit ‘80s classic, Grease. And in this movie she shined. But it wasn’t just this movie that made her career in the ‘80s.
In 1981, for instance, she released the immediate classic Physical, hosting lyrics impossible to get out of your head (in a good way). In the music video for the song, she strutted around in the typical ‘80s workout attire — brightly colored leotards and headbands. But where is she now?
Olivia Newton-John: Now
Olivia Newton-John is now well beyond her affiliation to Grease. She has recently released a Christmas themed album with the Australian singer-songwriter John Farnham. The album topped the charts on the Australian billboards.
She has also made guest appearances on some of today’s most popular TV shows, including RuPaul’s Drag Race and Dancing With the Stars. Ultimately, if you’ve seen TV today you know that Newton-John is still thriving. We look forward to what she has to show us in the future.
Tony Little: 1980s
Tony Little is anything but little. It takes merely one slight look at his arms to balk at the ironic last name. And it’s in part this norm-defying personality that helped shoot him into the stratosphere of popular ‘80s workout icons.
He gave himself the nickname “America’s Personal Trainer,” which speaks to the marketing he tried to produce. He is perhaps best known for the device he brought to the world called the “Gazelle,” an instrument built to give superb cardio training. But after this, where did he end up?
Tony Little: Now
Tony Little has continued to thrive in the world of commercial fitness. His products have in total grossed over $4 billion in revenue, making him one of the most successful fitness entrepreneurs in the world.
Nowadays, you can see Little on various TV shows, attempting to inspire and bring positive health. He keeps up with the practices himself as well, maintaining a core health fitness that keeps him in superb physical health. We look forward to what he shows us in the next few years.
Jamie Lee Curtis: 1980s
Jamie Lee Curtis is one of the best known on this list — but not necessarily for her role in the ‘80s fitness community. Rather, Curtis is best known for her acting. Having starred alongside the likes of everyone from Arnold Schwarzenegger to the machete-wielding serial killer Jason, this makes sense.
But, like many other successful actors of the ‘80s, she dipped into the fitness world as well. Much of this was brought on by her role in the movie Perfect, which (appropriately) followed the rise of fitness centers in the 1980s. After this she could easily brand her own fitness videos.
Jamie Lee Curtis: Now
It’s no surprise that Curtis’s acting career has continued well into the current decade. Considering her immense stardom, her fame is only likely to continue. She has, for instance, starred in numerous roles much akin to her original casting in Halloween.
While her prominence in the world of ‘80s aerobic fitness has steadfastly declined, this doesn’t mean that her general stardom or health have taken the same path. She is, for instance, signed to commit two more parts to the Halloween series in the next few years.
Fabio, like Cher, is another of those people for whom a last name is not even necessary. The American-Italian actor/model has won our hearts with his beautiful long locks and charismatic lilt. He also had a sterling ‘80s fitness career.
His fitness was so renowned that he began to make the face of many romance novels. Perhaps it was this, over and above all else, that won Fabio his eternal place in the American psyche. So where has Fabio been since this time in the ‘80s?
Nowadays, Fabio has moved from the cover of romance novels to the occasional role in TV and film. While his career really hasn’t brought him to lead any major roles, this doesn’t mean his contribution to the art isn’t substantial.
For the most part, Fabio’s roles have been spent playing himself. In the wildly famous movie Zoolander, for instance, he plays himself at a model awards ceremony accepting an award. He’s played many such other roles. He still has those long locks.
Cynthia Kereluk: 1980s
Cynthia Kereluk might be better known in Canada than she is here in the states. But still, if you grew up in the ‘80s you likely know her name. The Canadian fitness star brought many choice fitness videos into the limelight.
Other than her role in bringing fitness to the North American masses, however, Kereluk was known for many other things. She won, for instance, the role of Miss Canada in 1984 and competed in the Miss Universe pageant. But where is she now?
Cynthia Kereluk: Now
Cynthia Kereluk only branched out a little bit beyond the world of health and fitness. She had a few minor roles in the so-called B-movie world, for instance, playing the likes of the doomed and distressed damsel. But she is still perhaps best known for her fitness.
One of the more recent notable facts about Kereluk is that she married the vocalist for Bad Company, Paul Rogers in 2007. The two have lived happily ever after since, likely sharing in the workouts Kereluk created in the ‘80s. Good for them.
Arnold Schwarzenegger: 1980s
Arnold Schwarzenegger is one of the most popular fitness stars of the ‘80s to ever touch the face of this Earth. His rise to fame began in humble weight lifting competitions but slowly rose to the more prominent Mr. Universe competitions — which he won multiple times.
Because of his success in the world of bodybuilding, he is often considered one of the greatest bodybuilders of all time. The title was well-earned, considering the amount of work he poured into the sport. But where, exactly, is Arnold now?
Arnold Schwarzenegger: Now
Arnold Schwarzenegger, in case you were unaware, has launched his career well beyond just bodybuilding. He took his undefeatable attitude and applied it to acting, having created himself a strong role as an action star — starring in the likes of movies like Predator and Commando.
But Arnold still didn’t stop there: turning his aspirations toward politics, he eventually became the governor of California. The man’s resume is impeccable, and we should all be so lucky to have witnessed his inspirational career.
Raquel Welch: 1980s
Raquel Welch has dedicated much of her career to the art of fitness. She’s released numerous exercise tapes and books with titles like Raquel: The Raquel Welch Total Beauty and Fitness Program. Ultimately, her ‘80s fitness techniques gained her quite a bit of fame.
Most of her fame was gleaned in the ‘60s and ‘70s as a sex symbol in movies produced by 20th Century Fox. It was after this successful career that she embarked down the path of personal and personalized fitness. So where did she end up today?
Raquel Welch: Now
Today, Welch has followed her path to a somewhat different avenue. She still stars in movies and plays roles in the odd TV show, but the roles are now a bit different. Rather than as the sex symbol, she plays the concerned mother or similar roles.
A few of her most recent endeavors include the likes of Date My Dad, How to Be A Latin Lover, and The Ultimate Legacy. Ultimately, her career is by no means over, and we look forward to what she might bring us in the near future.
Lou Ferrigno: 1980s
Lou Ferrigno is another of those characters who gained fame for his ‘80s bodybuilding. He gained the bulk that led him to become The Hulk. But other than that, the man has inspired many with his various fitness and nutrition programs.
Having trained with Arnold Schwarzenegger, the man had the pedigree to achieve (he also won the title of Mr. Universe one year). It was perhaps with the film Pumping Iron that Ferrigno gained the most fame. And from this is where he started his path toward today…
Lou Ferrigno: Now
While Ferrigno’s movie career hasn’t blossomed into the same wide trajectory as Schwarzenegger’s, this doesn’t mean that is isn’t on its own formidable. As we said, he starred as Bruce Banner in The Incredible Hulk.
More recently, however, he also starred as himself on the show King of Queens. But beyond all of this, Ferrigno is still keeping in shape. He even appeared on the cover of Flex magazine in 2017. Ferrigno’s reputation for ‘80s fitness pales in comparison to this next star…
Jane Fonda: 1980s
If the name Jane Fonda doesn’t ring a bell, that’s likely because you were born in the last decade (yikes). And if that’s not the case, it’s because you’ve been living in an area bereft of TV or internet — maybe the likes of some small Indonesian island.
Anyways, this 1980s fitness star and actor is one to remember. Having donned the ever-so-popular Jane Fonda Workout, many people spent the better part of the ‘80s shedding pounds with the one piece wearing star. But where is she now?
Jane Fonda: Now
After a very successful career as an exercise star, Fonda wanted to work more on her acting career. There was something about dedicating her time to acting that enticed her. But still, her roots in the fitness community never left her.
In 2010, for instance, Fonda released two new fitness videos. Her fans were elated and the money poured in. Now, however, since Fonda has gotten older, her videos are now more structured toward those who have aged. What about this other ‘80s star?
Richard Simmons: 1980s
Richard Simmons is perhaps the greatest known ‘80s fitness star of the world. His distinctive voice, personality, and way about aerobics ascended him to the top of the ‘80s fitness ladder. And boy did he deserve it.
If you’ve ever seen ‘80s videos showcasing good fitness, Simmons’s has likely been in the videos. One of the more well-known of his additions is the so-called “Sweatin’ to the Oldies” series. You’ve likely heard of it. But since then, where has Simmons gone?
Richard Simmons: Now
Unlike many of the other stars on this list, Richard Simmons has somewhat vanished from public life. He retired from his career as a fitness guru and role model and took a back seat in his growing career as a director and actor.
While no one is entirely sure why he vanished, his absence seems permanent and here to stay. So no one really knows what happened to Richard Simmons. We hope he’s okay. If he has more fitness-related messages to tell us, we’re all open ears…
Suzanne Somers: 1980s
Suzanne Somers is well-known for many reasons. At first, she gleaned success by having starred as Chrissy Snow on the popular TV show Three’s Company. But after that, she blossomed to become a primary spokesperson for the ‘80s fitness machine the Thighmaster.
If you want master thighs, the Thighmaster is the way to go. But beyond her contribution to the marketing campaign for the Thighmaster, Somers is credited more generally with the founding of the infomercial. Without her, we could have never purchased that magic bullet for three easy payments of $19.95. So where is she now?
Suzanne Somers: Now
Somer’s career has somewhat diversified since her beginnings as an ‘80s fitness guru. Now, she spends much of her time engaged in multiple activities from singing and songwriting to directing and acting.
Still, the most salient thing that she is known for is likely her acting in Three’s Company. But beyond that, we all want to see how her career continues to blossom. We’re sure she’ll hit us with numerous more surprises along the way. But how does she compare to this next ‘80s star?
John Travolta: 1980s
We’ve already mentioned John Travolta for his role alongside Olivia Newton-John in the wildly popular Grease. But we haven’t mentioned him in his own right. And we feel a bit obligated considering his fitness role as the Rolling Stones’ reporter following around Curtis in the movie Perfect.
Here, Tavolta not only shoots the fitness star countless winks, but also encourages us with his endlessly compelling dance moves. And, if you haven’t seen Travolta dance, we recommend you stop what you’re doing now and go find some clips. They are well-worth the time.
John Travolta: Now
Travolta needs few words from us to describe the works he’s done since his ‘80s inspirational dancing. He has, for instance, starred in countless films including Swordfish, Face Off, and Pulp Fiction. He plays a great villain, as it turns out.
A handful of the more recent projects he’s embarked on include The Fanatic, Pitbull: 3 to Tango, and The Poison Rose. Ultimately, Travolta’s career is far from over — and we look forward to seeing what he brings us next. But his career in the fitness world is nothing compared to this star.
Kathy Smith: 1980s
Kathy Smith is another ‘80s workout star it would be a shame not to remember. While unlike Fonda she did not boost her fitness career with an equally popular career in acting, she did end up wildly successful with her fitness videos.
In her most popular video, Project: You! Type2, Smith illustrates workouts and a nutrition program sculpted with the help of the American Diabetes Association. The extra accreditation from an esteemed agency helped her videos soar in popularity.
Kathy Smith: Now
Kathy Smith, unlike some of the other people on this list, grew her brand of fitness into one of the most popular and enduring brands around. In total, her programs have amassed over $500 million in value. That’s a whole lotta moola.
Rather than sticking to VHS, however, Smith has diversified into the market with books, tapes, clothing, and all else that would come with the future decade. Ultimately, her adaptability and fortitude brought her to the heights of the fitness industry. And that’s where she is now.
This article was originally published on Finance101: Fitness stars of the ’80s: Where are they now?.
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