Vince Gironda, a Hollywood fitness trainer for more than 50 years, died Oct. 18 in Simi Valley of heart failure. He was 79.
Born Nov. 17, 1917, in the Bronx, N.Y., Gironda moved with his family in 1925 to Los Angeles, where his father, Jock, worked as a stuntman.
Gironda began weight training at age 23 at the YMCA in Burbank, followed by a stint at the Easton Brother’s Hollywood Gym, where he served as an instructor.
In 1946, he opened Vince’s Gym in Studio City and operated the bodybuilding gym until he retired in 1995.
Gironda helped create the fitness boom that exists today. His clients were 25% bodybuilders and 75% actors. The list of celebrities he trained includes Clint Eastwood, James Garner, Steve McQueen, William Holden, Larry Parks, Michael Landon, Sean Penn, Cher, O.J. Simpson, Dan Haggerty and Keith Carradine.
In 1994, he was given the first Peary Rader Lifetime Achievement Award by Ironman magazine publisher John Balik for his lifelong contribution to bodybuilding.
Gironda is survived by his wife, Madeline, and a son.
A memorial service is planned for February.