This weekend marked the passing of television host legend Richard Dawson, the British entertainer best known for his hosting role on the game show Family Feud.
Dawson, 79, died Saturday night from complications related to esophageal cancer. While TV fans also knew him for his role as the Cockney POW Cp. Peter Newkirk on Hogan’s Heroes, it was his quick wit and humor that will be remembered.
The game show, which initially ran from 1976 to 1985, brought two families pitted against each other in attempt to guess the most popular answers to poll questions.
While he was also known for kissing each woman contestant, one great accomplishment of his was winning daytime Emmy Award in 1978 for best game show host.
He left the show in 1985, and the studio honored him with a standing ovation to which he responded:
“Please sit down. I have to do at least 30 minutes of fun and laughter and you make me want to cry.”
A few years later, Ray Combs was brought in to re-vive the show, only to have Dawson reprise his hosting duties 6 years later.
While he was on Family Feud, he helped the show expand into prime-time specials featuring top celebrities, making him the highest paid game show host of his day.
His son Gary took to his Facebook page to talk about his father:
“He was loved by millions of Americans as a television icon, but loved even more as a husband, a father, and grandfather by his family”.
I’m sure he will be missed by all.