Richard Dawson has died at the age of 79. Dawson is best known for his work as the legendary host of the popular game show Family Feud.
Dawson’s death was announced by son Gary Dawson who posted the following Facebook message earlier this morning:
“It is with a very heavy heart that I inform you that my father passed away this evening from complications due to esophageal cancer. He was surrounded by his family. He was an amazing talent, a loving husband, a great dad, and a doting grandfather. He will be missed but always remembered…”
Dawson was the host of Family Feud from 1976-1985 and then again from 1994-1995. During his last show in 1985 Dawson received a standing ovation from the studio audience for which he responded:
“Please sit down. I have to do at least 30 minutes of fun and laughter and you make me want to cry.”
When he wasn’t busy working on Family Feud Dawson also appeared as a regular on The Match Game and he played the role of Peter Newkirk in the widely popular 1960s show Hogan’s Heros. Dawson also made an appearance in the 1987 Arnold Schwarzenegger film The Running Man,
Dawson eventually married Gretchen Johnson, she was a contestant on the popular game show he hosted for so many years. The couple wed in 1991 and after that point the game show host who became known as “The Kissing Bandit” for his habit of kissing female contestants on the cheek never kissed another female, a promise he had made to his new wife.
Before marrying Gretchen the game show host was married to Diana Dors and with her they had 2 sons.
To this very day Richard Dawson is idolized as one of the most recognizable and groundbreaking game show hosts of our time, he will be truly missed by fans of The Feud.