Breaking: Richard Dawson Passes Away
Actor, Family Feud host, and game show legend Richard Dawson has passed away at the age of 79. Literally everyone knows Richard as the host of Family Feud, and few can forget how important he was to Match Game. Our thoughts are with his friends and family. Keep checking in as we’re constantly updating with more information and memories of Richard. Be sure to let us know your favorite Richard Dawson moments.
Richard Dawson was born in England on November 30, 1932. Richard moved to America in the 60s to pursue a career in comedy. His first major exposure came from his role as Corporal Newkirk on the popular sitcom Hogan’s Heroes. The show ran from 1965 to 1971. After the show’s cancellation Dawson continued comedy with regular roles on Laugh-In from 1971 to 1973 and The New Dick Van Dyke Show from 1973 to 1974.
This lead to Richard Dawson’s first major game show role: a regular panelist on the classic game Match Game. Dawson was present from the start in 1973 and always sat in the middle of the second tier of celebrities. Dawson became known for his razor sharp wit, perfect comedic timing, and his reliability to match the contestants.
It quickly became a running joke that Dawson was practically always chosen for the Super Match, where a contestant had to choose a celebrity to play with for big money. Dawson’s popularity lead to the “Star Wheel”, where a contestant had to spin a wheel to see who’d they’d play with. The wheel was brought to stop contestants from constantly choosing Dawson, much to his (very visible) annoyance. Amusingly on its first spin it landed on Dawson regardless. You can watch that by clicking here.. However, the damage was done and Richard left the show shortly after.
Richard Dawson’s great abilities on Match Game lead to Mark Goodson hiring him to arguably his most iconic role: the host of the massively popular game Family Feud. Dawson began hosting in 1976. Those that have watched Feud know that Dawson is and will always be the host of Feud. He was a masterful ring leader, an incredibly funny presenter, and just fun to watch. He’s memorably known for kissing the ladies as he made his way down the teams’ podiums, giving him the nickname, “The Kissing Bandit.” Feud is a host driven show. If you don’t have a good host, the show will not work. Without Richard, I doubt we’d be seeing the show on TV today.
Richard Dawson hosted Feud until 1985. It was right after Feud that Richard received his most memorable movie role in The Running Man. He played host of a futuristic game show “The Running Man” Damon Killian. It’s a great movie. If you haven’t seen it, I can’t recommend it enough. Richard was equally great. He fit the role of Damon as well as anyone could. Click here to see a memorable scene with Richard.
He got a second chance at hosting Feud in 1994. Anyone who has seen the intro to that first episode of the 1994 edition will remember the massive cheers and standing ovation he received after walking onto the stage. Sadly, this version did not last and it left the air in 1995. This would be Dawson’s final hosting job. He retired and remained in Beverly Hills with his wife and children. He passed away on June 2, 2012, at the age of 79. Richard was battling esophageal cancer.
I will venture a guess and say that everyone has seen Richard Dawson hosting Family Feud at some point. Just one clip and you’ll quickly see why he’s so popular. There was no one better than him. He was Feud. It took 35 years to find someone to even come remotely close to his footsteps. The constant discussion from Feud isn’t meant to detract from his other accomplishments, though. He was a brilliant actor and a great comedic talent. You don’t have the level of success he did without being really good. Again, our thoughts are with his family.
We’ve shown our favorite Richard Dawson memories and moments. Do you have any? Be sure to let us know or point us to YouTube to see some good ones.