Richard Dawson, the legendary host of "Family Feud," has died from complications due to esophageal cancer ... this according to his son.
Gary Dawson posted a Facebook message early this morning that read:
"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 hosted "Feud" from 1976-1985, and then from 1994-1995. He was also famous for being a regular on "The Match Game" and for appearing in the classic Arnold Schwarzenegger action film "The Running Man." One of his biggest roles -- Dawson played Capt. Peter Newkirk on "Hogan's Heros," a wildly popular show in the 60's.
Dawson was married to Gretchen Johnson ... interesting fact -- he met her when she was part of a contestant family on The Feud and got hitched in 1991. Dawson was famous during the first run of the show for kissing all the female contestants -- he was known as "The Kissing Bandit." But in the second run, he kissed no one -- a promise he made to Gretchen.
Prior to Gretchen, Dawson was married to Diana Dors, a sex symbol back in the day. They had 2 sons.
This is very sad news, and the second big celebrity death of the weekend (Kathryn Joosten - DH and West Wing - died yesterday). Dawson was my very favorite Feud host, he was so awesome in his duties. He seemed to be able to work with any family and make them 'pop' on screen, or rather he 'popped' all on his own.
IMO Dawson is the best Family Feud Host folllowed by
Richard Dawson's passing is, indeed, a sad event. I actually always host games of Family Feud with my friends every few weeks or so and I model myself after Mr. Dawson... naturally we're all sloshed and we "kiss" more than play the game, but everyone always has a blast. I'll miss you, Richard!
How could they? They were on TV in front of millions of people. I thought he was creepy and could never watch FAMILY FEUD for that reason.
The French are known to kiss on the cheek all the time. I really thought it was sweet, kind of like his gimmick. I'm sure if some of the women objected they could have told the Producers, who would have said something to Dawson. Producers knew that he was great enough to be asked back in the 90s, but he had deteriorated so much by that time (gained weight, old age) that he was not up to snuff.