Best Known For
British comedian Richard Dawson is best known for his role as Corporal Newkirk in the World War II sitcom Hogan's Heroes and as the host of Family Feud.
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Comedian Richard Dawson was introduced to American audiences as Corporal Newkirk in the World War II sitcom Hogan's Heroes. He later hosted one of TV’s most popular game shows, Family Feud. Known as much for his wisecracking sense of humor as his penchant for kissing the female contestants, Dawson carried the show through to its cancellation in 1985 and helped the show win an Emmy Award in 1977. In 2012,
Dawson died in Los Angeles due to complications from esophageal cancer.
Richard Dawson was born on November 20, 1932 in Gosport, Hampshire, England. A popular British comedian, Dawson was introduced to American audiences as Corporal Newkirk in the World War II sitcom Hogan's Heroes in 1965. After success as a regular on Rowan & Martin's Laugh-In and frequent guest panelist on Match Game, he landed the job of hosting one of TV's most popular game shows, Family Feud, in 1976.
Known as much for his wisecracking sense of humor as his penchant for kissing the female contestants, Dawson carried the show through to its cancelation in 1985. Despite rumors that Dawson grew egotistical and difficult to work with, his antics charmed audiences and helped the show win an Emmy Award in 1977. Other than a short-lived revival of Family Feud in 1994 and a guest appearance as an evil game show host in 1987's Schwarzenegger vehicle Running Man, Dawson kept a low profile in his later years.
On June 2, 2012, Dawson died from esophageal cancer at the Ronald Regan UCLA Medical Center in Los Angeles, California. He is survived by his wife, Gretchen Johnson, their daughter, and two sons from a previous marriage to British sex symbol Diana Dors.
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