Died June 2, 2012. November 30, 1932.
English actor, comedian, game show panelist and host in America. He was best known for his role as Corporal Peter Newkirk on Hogan's Heroes, being the original host of the Family Feud game show from 1976–1985, and from 1994 to 1995, and for being a regular panelist on the 1970s version of Match Game on CBS from 1973 to 1978. He was also famous for his final film role, that of Damon Killian, host of "The Running Man" in the 1987 film, The Running Man.
Upon retiring, Dawson took up residence in Beverly Hills, California with his wife since 1991, the former Gretchen Johnson, whom he met when she was a member of one of the contestant families on Family Feud in 1981. They had a daughter named Shannon Nicole Dawson. He did not kiss the female contestants in his second run on Family Feud due to a commitment he made to his wife and daughter. Dawson announces this and shows a picture of his daughter on an episode in the 1994 version of the Feud -- as he is greeting one of the contestants who happened to be a former contestant of his while he was a panelist on The Match Game. The episode was featured on the 25th Anniversary of Family Feud as No. 14 on the Game Show Network's Top 25 Feud Moments.
He also had two sons, Mark Dawson (born 1960) and Gary Dawson (born 1962), from his previous marriage to Diana Dors. Richard also had five grandchildren: Lindsay Dors Dawson, Tyler Emm Dawson, Emma Rose Dawson, Walter "Melons" Dawson, and Lauren Dawson.
Dawson died of esophageal cancer at the age of 79. His death came 16 years to the day after the death of his successor on Family Feud, Ray Combs.