Richard Simmons (actor)

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Richard "Dick" Simmons
Sergeant Preston of the Yukon.jpg
Simmons as Sergeant Preston with Yukon King, 1955
Born (1913-08-19)August 19, 1913
Saint Paul, Minnesota, U.S.
Died January 11, 2003(2003-01-11) (aged 89)
Oceanside, California, U.S.
Occupation motion picture and television actor
Years active 1937–1982
Spouse(s) Joni Simmons (m.1941–?)
Billie Simmons (m. 2002–03)

Richard Simmons (August 19, 1913 – January 11, 2003), also known as Dick Simmons, was an American actor.

Early life and career[edit]

Born in Saint Paul, Minnesota, his family later moved to Minneapolis. There he attended West High School and then the University of Minnesota. While attending the university he competed in fencing and swimming and also acted in a few theater productions. Simmons left the Twin Cities in the 1930s, and started his film acting career in 1937, soon becoming a MGM contract player. Many of his minor movie roles went uncredited through the 1940s. One even included his portrayal of a Mountie in the movie serial King of the Royal Mounted produced by Republic Pictures. Starting in 1943 he began appearing in credited roles, beginning with his appearance in The Youngest Profession, starring Virginia Weidler. From 1943 through 1949 he would appear in seventeen films, of which ten were credited.

The 1950s mirrored the 1940s, with him appearing in several films and television series, at times uncredited. In 1952 he played the co-pilot in Above and Beyond. In 1955, Simmons won his best-known role, portraying the title character, Sergeant William Preston, in the 1950s television series Sergeant Preston of the Yukon. Following the end of the series in 1958, he continued to have a successful acting career, mostly in television series guest appearances, through 1982, with his last role being in the CHiPs TV series, guest-starring along with Sue Lyon and Cesar Romero.


On January 11, 2003, Simmons died with a diagnosis of Alzheimer's disease in Oceanside, California at the age of 89.[1]


  1. ^ McLellan, Dennis (January 14, 2003). "Dick Simmons, 89; Played Sgt. Preston in 1950s Television Series". The Los Angeles Times. Retrieved 2010-12-07. 

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