Family Feud Host Richard Dawson Dies

The mouth that kissed thousands of cheeks took its last breath this weekend as Richard Dawson passed away at the age of 79. Dawson was best known as the host of Family Feud in the '70s and '80s, where he coined the show's famous phrase, "Survey says?" The Emmy winner had been battling esophageal cancer and passed away in Los Angeles Saturday evening.

British-born Dawson was a hoot as the host of Family Feud, effortlessly engaging in banter and wisecracks. He made a trademark out of puckering up and planting one on the cheeks of many female contestants. Family Feud producer Howard Felsher estimates that Dawson kissed around 20,000 ladies as part of his job.

Dawson was also known for playing Newkirk in CBS's Hogan's Heroes, and made a memorable turn as the host of a more morose game show in the Arnold Schwarzenegger action flick The Running Man.

It's not easy dealing with stupid people day in and day out, but Dawson made it look easy. He was one of the best at the shtick of game-show host, and will be missed.


Follow TV.com writer Tim Surette on Twitter: @TimAtTVDotCom

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I have to admit, I didn't know his name. I thought it was the guy from Home Improvement...



BUT, I do know him from The Running Man, and he was badass. I had no idea he hosted Family Feud. Talented guy.
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Sad. He was a great personality on TV when I was a kid, very unique and sharp and funny. I'll miss hearing him yell "SURVEY SAYS" but I'll never forget it.
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Expect GSN to air blocks of "Match Game 70s" and 'Family Feud' 70s and 80s as tributes to Richard Dawson sometime this week. But who airs reruns of "Hogan's Heroes'? Would that be Retro TV?
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They used to play them every weekday on TV Land, I would watch after school everyday. Newkirk was by far my favorite character. RIP Richard Dawson.
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RIP Richard Dawson. You were an awesome host and panelist.
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KILLIAN!!
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Not one of the stories I have seen mention Match Game. Family Feud was not really my thing and I could never ever get into Hogan Hero's. However I LOVED Richard Dawson on Match Game. I was a kid when it was on but it was must watch in our house!
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I loved Family Feud as a kid -- until about eight years old or so, then I opted for better shows. Still, the guy was as classic a game show host as Barker and Trebek (almost, anyway). RIP.
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We didn't get FF over here in the UK, of course, but I do remember him from HH all those years ago.



I can't find any memorial piece for Kathryn Jootsen on the site. Surely you haven't forgotten her?
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Wow! Rumors Has It all this time... I thought he have died awhile back ago during the early 90's or so. And The Running Man with Arnold Schwarzenegger was his last appearance ever took. Wow! What a Surpire he has been living this whole time. But cut his creadit appearance down from early 90's after The Running Man. And now he is actually gone into 2000's or 2010's. He will be missed as the best game host for sure....
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You're not thinking of the late Ray Combs, are you? He died in 1996.
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based solely on the youtube sensation "stupid game show answers" i thought he was one heck of an enjoyable individual. nice looking and pleasant. funny and seemingly sincere. rest in peace and may you have brought joy to many a folks.



nothing but love, a fan.
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Aw, I'm sorry to hear that. :( I enjoyed watching him on reruns of The Match Game (on GSN). My condolences to his family and friends.
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I enjoy watching reruns of Family Feud and Match Game. He was pretty funny in both. He always came up with some of the weirdest answers for the Match Game.
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Aw RIP Richard, you will definately be missed! I was just watching Hogan's Heroes today, his character Newkirk was/is my favourite!
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I have read quite a few articles about him today & none are mentioning Match Game. What gives?! He was the sexy bachelor who made all the women swoon. I learner the meaning of an innuendo from that show!
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Nooo! How will I ever get my dream kiss now? And if I can make one tiny correction. He isn't known for kisses on the cheek. He got the lips most of the time, provided they were under the age of like 50.
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I use to watch the reruns of Family Fued with him has the host. R.I.P. Richard Dawson.
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I loved him in Match Game but not Family Fued. He was an asset to the Match Game and was always there with a wise crack usually aimed at Mrs. Klugman (Brett Somers) or Charles Nelson Reilly. We have lost many stars from this period. Not surprising what he passed away from as in most every episode of Match Game he was smoking. Sad to hear he's gone. WIll be sorely MISSED!
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He was one actor that I watched a lot since Hogan's Heroes was a fave of mine in re-runs in the 70's and always enjoyed Family Feud. Will be missed for sure. He also did a bunch of Match Game back in the day.
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R.I.P. Richard Dawson...truly one of a kind.
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