Tv Star Richard Dawson Dies At 79
Richard Dawson, the English-born actor and TV host who found fame over in America as the host of game show Family Feud and as the star of the hit sitcom Hogan's Heroes, has died.
Born in Gosport, Hampshire, Dawson started his career as a stand-up comedian, eventually marrying the English pin-up Diana Dors in 1959. The couple upped sticks to California following the wedding, but he was left devastated when she suddenly walked out on him and they divorced in 1967.
By the time of their divorce he was already well known in the Sates for his role as Corporal Peter Newkirk in the World War II comedy Hogan's Heroes, a role he maintained for the shows six years. Following on form his role as the Cockney prisoner on the show, he moved on to presenting duties, standing at the helm of Family Feud when it first launched on the Abc network in 1976. He went on to win a Daytime Emmy Award in 1978 for best game show host for his role on the show.
Known for giving the female contestants a kiss, he met his second wife Gretchen (née Johnson) when she was a competitor on the programme in 1981. He left the show in 1985 but returned for one further series in 1994.
He is survived by Gretchen and their daughter Shannon, as well as his two sons from his marriage with Dors and five grandchildren.