Legendary television host Richard Dawson, who is remembered for his stints on ‘Family Feud,’ died last night from complications from esophageal cancer, TMZ is reporting. His son, Gary, confirmed the news on Facebook. He posted a message saying “It is with a heavy heart that I inform you that my father passed away…He was surrounded by his family.’
Gary’s letter added that his father “was an amazing talent, a loving husband, a great dad and a doting grandfather. He will be miss but always remembered.”
Dawson hosted ‘Family Feud’ from 1976-1985, and returned from 1994-95. He was also a regular on ‘The Match Game,’ and appeared alongside Arnold Schwarzenegger in the action film ‘The Running Man.’ One of his biggest roles was as Capt. Peter Newkirk on ‘Hogan’s Heroes.’
Dawson was married twice, the first time to Diana Dors, and had two sons with her. In 1991, he married Gretchen Johnson, who he met while she was part of a contest family on ‘Family Feud.’ During his first run of the popular game show, Dawson was known as the Kissing Bandit, as he was famous for kissing all the female contestants. But during the second run, he made a promise to Johnson that he won’t kiss the contestants.
Written by: Karen Benardello