Richard Dawson, best known as the host of The Family Feud and his role on Hogan’s Heroes, has died from complications due to esophageal cancer. Dawson hosted The Family Feud from 1976 to 1985, and again from 1994 to 1995. His role on Hogans Heroes ran from 1965 to 1971. His best known film work was game show host Damon Killian in the 1987 Arnold Schwarzenegger film The Running Man. He was also a regular panelist on Match Game in the 1970s.
The death was announced online by his son Gary.
Dawson was born on November 20, 1932 in Gosport, Hampshire, England. He married Diana Dors in 1959 and had two sons with her, Mark and Gary. They divorced in 1967.
Dawson was known to kiss many of the female contestants on the lips during the first run of the Feud. He married Gretchen Johnson in 1991, whom he had met 10 years earlier when she was a contestant on The Family Feud. They had a daughter, Shannon, together in 1990. During his second tenure on The Family Feud, he didn’t kiss the female contestants out of respect for his wife.
He retired from show business in 1995, but did narrate the Fox-TV special TV’s Funniest Game Show Moments in 2000 and also hosted a Family Feud marathon that year.
Richard Dawson is survived by his wife, three children, and five grandchildren.
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