Actor and Game Show Host Richard Dawson Dies

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According to MSNBC, actor and game show host Richard Dawson, 79, died on June 2, 2012 from complications of esophageal cancer at the Ronald Reagan UCLA Medical Center in Los Angeles, California.

Wiki states that Richard Dawson was an English-American actor, comedian, game show host and panelist on a variety of TV shows.

Dawson’s background included having the birth name of Colin Lionel Emm. He was born in Gosport, Hampshire, England to an American father and English mother.

At the age of 14 Dawson ran away from home to join the Merchant Marine, where he pursued a boxing career.

After his discharge, Dawson pursued a comedy career using the stage name Dickie Dawson. When he became an adult he revised his name to that of Richard Dawson.

Dawson was best known for his role as Corporal Peter Newkirk on Hogan’s Heroes, and for being the original host of the Family Feud game show from 1976-1985 and 1994-1995. He was also a regular panelist on the 1970s version of Match Game on CBS from 1973 to 1978.

Dawson’s two sons, Mark and Gary Dawson, were by wife Diana Dors, and his daughter, Shannon, was by wife Gretchen Johnson.

“Richard Dawson’s quick wit and charm kept me tuning in to Family Feud for years!” – Anne Kissel, comedienne