He's been around my entire life. Because of his flamboyance and complete lack of inhibition, he's an easy target for jokes. Regardless of his personality, he's walked the walk. He was overweight, lost it and has kept it off for over 40 years. He didn't just lose a few pounds, either. He lost over 100 pounds.
Part of his appeal is his personal touch. He tells his own story and listens while people share their personal struggle weight. While he was on General Hospital, he personally answered all his fan mail. Unless he only got one letter a month, that's really impressive.
He's still out there doing what he's done for years: motivating people to move and telling his own story. He was just at an event in California, where many of the college students had to Google him to know who he was.
If you are unaware of him, I highly recommend you check him out online. Here are my favorite videos of him.