Gosport, Hampshire, England, UK
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Profile Bio Text
Richard Dawson aka 'The Kissing Bandit'(born November 20, 1932) is a British-American actor, comedian, game show panelist and host. He is best known for his role as Bob Crane`s British non-commissioned officer, Corporal Peter Newkirk, on the World War II situation comedy Hogan`s Heroes, and as the original host of the Family Feud game show from 1976–1985 on ABC and in syndication, and again in syndication from 1994 to 1995, replacing Ray Combs. Dawson also appeared as a panelist on the 1970s version of Match Game on CBS, from 1973–1978.
Dawson parodied his TV persona in 1987 by co-starring in the action movie The Running Man, based on one of Stephen King`s novels under the pen-name Richard Bachman, in which he acted out the evil, egotistical, dark-sided game-show host Damon Killian. Of Dawson`s performance, film critic Roger Ebert wrote, "Playing a character who always seems three-quarters drunk, Dawson 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 movie`s private joke."
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. On September 12, 1994, he returned to the syndicated edition of Family Feud, replacing Ray Combs for what became the final season of the show`s official second run (1988–1995). On Dawson`s first show back, he received a 25 second standing ovation when he walked out. 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." The final episode aired on September 8, 1995. He was considered for the current version of Family Feud, but elected to retire instead of accepting the offer to host.
Upon his retirement, Dawson took up residence in Beverly Hills, California, with his wife since 1991, Gretchen (Johnson) Dawson, whom he met when she was a member of one of the contestant families on Family Feud in 1981. They have a daughter, Shannon Nicole Dawson (born in 1990). Richard also has three grandchildren: Lindsay Dors Dawson, Tyler Emm Dawson, and Emma Rose Dawson.
Couple Profile Source
Actor, Comedian, Game show host and panelist
Claim to Fame
Hogan's Heroes, Family Feud
Full Name at Birth
Colin Lionel Emm
Place of Death
Los Angeles, California, USA
Cause of Death
Richard Dawson (born Colin Lionel Emm; November 20, 1932 – June 2, 2012) was an English-American actor and comedian, and a game show host and panelist in the United States.
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