Richard Dawson
Actor, television personality, game show host
Richard Dawson
Richard Dawson is an English-American actor, comedian, game show panelist and host. He is 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.
Biography
Richard Dawson's personal information overview.
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Relationships
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News
News abour Richard Dawson from around the web
In Memoriam- Harlow Cagwin
Chicago Times - about 4 years
  While reading my Chicago Tribune this morning, I came across the list of notable people who died in 2012- US General Norman Schwarzkopf, Whitney Houston, Larry Hagman, Jack Klugman, George McGovern, Neil Armstrong, Phyllis Diller, Sally Ride, Andy Griffith, LeRoy Neiman, Rodney King, Richard Dawson, Donna Summer, Dick Clark, Junior Seau, Mike Wallace, Davy Jones, Don Cornelius and Etta James, among others. For me, the most notable death in 2012 was a man who was near and dear to my heart. Back in August, just six days shy of his 90th birthday, Harlow Cagwin died in the arms of his wife Jean. Besides being a honest, hard-working man, Cagwin was significant to me because he was the backbone of the portfolio that won me National Newspaper Photographer of the Year in 2000 and the centerpiece of the most important photographic work of my career- Common Ground. I first met Harlow and his wife Jean, back in 1994, on their small family farm, 35 miles southwest of Chicago. ...
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Chicago Times article
Flintoff survives knock down to win debut fight
Yahoo News - about 4 years
(Reuters) - Former England cricketer Andrew Flintoff beat American Richard Dawson on points after surviving a knockdown in his first professional fight at the MEN Arena in Manchester on Friday. The 34-year-old got a rousing reception from the 5,000 fans and won the first of four two-minute rounds before being caught by a left hook early in the second that sent him to the canvas. However, Flintoff got up to receive a standing eight count and battled back with a more composed performance against a flagging opponent for a 39-38 win on the referee's scorecard. ...
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Yahoo News article
Fulton Jail bribes inmates with food in dystopian experiment
Creative Loafing - over 4 years
Remember that movie "The Running Man" about prison inmates like Arnold Schwarzenegger being forced to race for their lives from professional killers for our entertainment? And then Richard Dawson insists on kissing everyone on their mouths (JK, RIP)? The Fulton County Jail is basically (not at all) doing exactly that (not really) by bribing their wiliest inmates with food and hygiene products to see if they can break out of their cells despite the new, supposedly improved locks that have been installed ... The Fulton County Jail is running a contest that actually encourages inmates to pick cell door locks.… [ Read more ] [ Subscribe to the comments on this story ]
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Creative Loafing article
Richard Dawson, Kissing Host of ‘Family Feud,’ Dies at 79
NYTimes - over 4 years
Mr. Dawson gained initial fame in the 1960s playing Cpl. Peter Newkirk, a con man, forger and pickpocket, in the CBS series “Hogan’s Heroes.”
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NYTimes article
Richard Dawson 'thought he had heartburn'
USA Today - over 4 years
'Family Feud' host Richard Dawson had not been "battling" cancer for long, as is so often the case.
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USA Today article
Betty White Lovingly Remembers Richard Dawson
People Magazine - over 4 years
"We used to have such fun," White tells PEOPLE of her former Match Game co-panelist
Article Link:
People Magazine article
Former Family Feud host Richard Dawson dies at 79
CBS - Atlanta - over 4 years
Richard Dawson, the British entertainer best known as the original host of Family Feud, has died. He was 79.
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CBS - Atlanta article
Richard Dawson’s Family Reveals He Was Diagnosed With Cancer Just Three Weeks Ago
Access Hollywood - over 4 years
Iconic “Family Feud” host Richard Dawson died over the weekend after discovering he had esophageal cancer, something his son and daughter say he found out about just weeks ago. Gary and Shannon Dawson stopped by Access Hollywood Live on Monday, where they explained to Billy Bush and Kit Hoover that the game show host/actor was able to avoid the often difficult cancer treatments before he passed at 79.
Article Link:
Access Hollywood article
Richard Dawson, of "Family Feud," dead at 79
CBS News - over 4 years
Richard Dawson, host of "Family Feud," died at the age of 79 in a Los Angeles hospital. Lee Cowan reports on Dawson's unlikely career, and how he became a game show legend with a kiss and a smile.
Article Link:
CBS News article
Timeline
Learn about memorable moments in the evolution of Richard Dawson
    LATE_ADULTHOOD
  • 2012
    Age 79
    On 7 June 2012, the Game Show Network aired a 4-hour special showing some of Dawson's greatest moments on Family Feud and on Match Game, including the first episode of Dawson's return season.
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  • 2000
    Age 67
    In 2000, Dawson narrated TV's Funniest Game Show Moments on the Fox network.
    More Details Hide Details Upon retiring, Dawson took up residence in Beverly Hills, California, with his wife since 1991 (though he lived there since 1964), Gretchen Johnson (born September 22, 1955), whom he met when she was a member of one of the contestant families on Family Feud in the spring of 1981. They had a daughter, Shannon Nicole Dawson. Dawson announced this and showed a picture of his daughter in the first episode of his returning to the 1994 version of the Feud as he was greeting one of the contestants who happened to be a former contestant of his while he was a panelist on 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. Prior to the birth of his daughter, Dawson also had two sons, Mark (born 1960) and Gary (born June 27, 1962), from his first marriage, to British actress Diana Dors, which ended in divorce. Dawson gained custody of both sons. He had four grandchildren.
  • 1999
    Age 66
    In 1999, he was asked to make a special appearance on the first episode of the current version of Family Feud, but decided to turn the offer down and have no further involvement with the show.
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  • 1995
    Age 62
    The final episode aired on May 26, 1995, after which Dawson officially retired.
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  • 1994
    Age 61
    On 12 September 1994, Dawson returned to the syndicated edition of Family Feud, replacing and succeeding Ray Combs for what became the final season of the show's official second run (1988–95); the show itself has been in continuous production since 1999, under hosts Louie Anderson (1999-2002), Richard Karn (2002-06), John O'Hurley (2006-10) and Steve Harvey (who has hosted since 2010).
    More Details Hide Details Upon Dawson's return he received a standing ovation when he walked on set. Afterwards he said, "If you do too much of that, I won't be able to do a show for you because I'll cry." During the revival, he did not kiss the female contestants, because of a commitment he made to his young daughter only to kiss her mother.
  • FIFTIES
  • 1988
    Age 55
    Dawson hosted an unsold pilot for a revival of the classic game show You Bet Your Life that was to air on NBC in 1988, but the network declined to pick up the show, which would go on to attempt two more failed revivals with hosts Buddy Hackett and Bill Cosby.
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  • 1987
    Age 54
    Dawson parodied his TV persona in 1987 in The Running Man, in which he portrayed the evil, egotistical game-show host Damon Killian.
    More Details Hide Details Of Dawson's performance film critic Roger Ebert (who gave the film itself thumbs down) wrote, "Playing a character who always seems three-quarters drunk, he chain-smokes his way through backstage planning sessions and then pops up in front of the cameras as a cauldron of false jollity. Working the audience, milking the laughs and the tears, he is not really much different than most genuine game show hosts – and that's the film's private joke."
  • 1985
    Age 52
    He continued hosting the Feud until both editions were canceled; the syndicated version ended on 17 May 1985, and the ABC Daytime edition on 14 June 1985.
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  • 1984
    Age 51
    After Dawson became a naturalized citizen of the United States in 1984 he proudly showed his passport and photo during the introduction of an episode of Family Feud.
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  • 1983
    Age 50
    In 1983, Dawson made an appearance on Mama's Family as himself, hosting an episode of Family Feud where the Harpers play as contestants (reuniting him with former Match Game co-panelists Betty White and Vicki Lawrence).
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  • FORTIES
  • 1978
    Age 45
    In 1978, he left Match Game and won a Daytime Emmy Award for Best Game Show Host for his work on Family Feud.
    More Details Hide Details One of Dawson's trademarks on Family Feud, kissing the female contestants, earned him the nickname The Kissing Bandit. Television executives repeatedly tried to get him to stop the kissing. After receiving criticism for the practice, he asked viewers to write in and vote on the matter. The mail response was 704 against and 14,600 in favor. On the 1985 finale Dawson explained that he kissed contestants for love and luck, something his mother did with Dawson himself as a child. Viewers complained when he kissed the cheeks of non-white women, and in a 2010 interview he defended his actions, saying that "It's very important to me that on Family Feud I could kiss all people... I kissed black women daily and nightly on Family Feud for 11 years, and the world didn’t come to an end, did it?"
  • 1975
    Age 42
    In 1975, during his tenure as one of Match Game regular panelists, Dawson was hired by Goodson to host an upcoming project titled Family Feud, which debuted on 12 July 1976 on ABC's daytime schedule.
    More Details Hide Details Family Feud was a breakout hit, eventually surpassing the ratings of Match Game in late 1977.
  • 1973
    Age 40
    After Laugh-In was cancelled in 1973, game show pioneer Mark Goodson signed Dawson to appear as a regular on Match Game '73, alongside Brett Somers, Charles Nelson Reilly and host Gene Rayburn.
    More Details Hide Details Dawson, who had already served a year as panelist for Goodson's revival of I've Got a Secret, proved to be a solid and funny player and was the frequent choice of contestants for the "Head-To-Head Match" portion of the show's "Super-Match" bonus round, in which, after winning prize money in the "Audience Match" portion, the contestant and Dawson (or any celebrity the contestant chose) had to obtain an exact match to the requested fill-in-the-blank. During his time on Match Game he would occupy the bottom center seat.
  • THIRTIES
  • 1972
    Age 39
    He portrayed a theatre director in the first season of McCloud and was a panelist on the 1972–73 syndicated revival of I've Got a Secret.
    More Details Hide Details He played himself on an episode of The Odd Couple.
  • 1971
    Age 38
    He was also a regular on Rowan & Martin's Laugh-In from 1971–73, and became a regular on The New Dick Van Dyke Show (1973–74).
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  • 1970
    Age 37
    Following the cancellation of Hogan's Heroes, he was a regular joke-telling panelist on the short-lived syndicated revival of the game show Can You Top This? in 1970.
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  • 1968
    Age 35
    In 1968, Dawson was in the film The Devil's Brigade as Private Hugh McDonald.
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  • 1965
    Age 32
    In 1965, Dawson had a small role at the end of the film King Rat, starring George Segal, playing 1st Recon paratrooper Captain Weaver, sent to liberate allied POWs in a Japanese prison.
    More Details Hide Details Dawson had by then moved to Los Angeles, California. He gained fame in the television show Hogan's Heroes as Cpl. Peter Newkirk from 1965 to 1971. He had a minor role in Universal's Munster, Go Home! A year later, Dawson released a psychedelic 45 rpm single including the songs "His Children's Parade" and "Apples & Oranges" on Carnation Records.
  • 1964
    Age 31
    In 1964, he appeared in "The Invisibles", an episode of The Outer Limits and appeared (credited as Dick Dawson) in "Anyone For Murder?", a 1964 episode of The Alfred Hitchcock Hour.
    More Details Hide Details He played a soldier in the 1962 film The Longest Day.
  • 1963
    Age 30
    In 1963, Dawson appeared in an episode of The Dick Van Dyke Show in the role of dapper entertainer "Racy Tracy" Rattigan.
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    On 8 January 1963, Dawson appeared in an episode of the Jack Benny Program, Season 13, Episode 15.
    More Details Hide Details Dawson is the audience member sitting next to Jack. He is almost unrecognizable because of the glasses and fake mustache.
  • CHILDHOOD
  • 1932
    Born
    Dawson was born in Gosport, Hampshire, England, on 20 November 1932 to Arthur and Josephine Emm.
    More Details Hide Details At the age of 14 he ran away from home to join the British Merchant Navy, where he pursued a boxing career. After his discharge, two years later, he began pursuing a comedy career using the stage name Dickie Dawson; when he reached adulthood, he revised this to become Richard Dawson, which he later legally adopted.
Original Authors of this text are noted here.
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