Richard Dawson

Follow
Richard Dawson

Born

11/20/1932, Gosport, Hampshire, England, UK

Died

6/2/2012

Birth Name

Colin Emm

Gender

Male

Also Known As

Dick Dawson
5.7
out of 10
User Rating
97 votes

Biography

EDIT

Richard Dawson was born in Gosport, England on the 20th of November, 1932. When he was 14, he joined the Merchant Marines and served for three years. During that time he made money boxing. He had to lie about his age, and remain tough so the older guys…more

Credits

Trivia and Quotes

  • Trivia

    • Richard legally changed his name after performing for several years as a stand up comedian. He experimented with several names before he hit on Richard Dawson.

    • In 1975, Richard won the Password All-Stars Grand Master Championship. He did not keep his winnings, but gave it to a children's charity.

    • Richard actually originated the phrase "Survey said!" for Family Fued, which every host after him used as well.

    • Richard's favourite colour is Dark/Royal Blue.

    • Richard has three grandchildren by his son Gary - Lindsay Dors Dawson, Tyler Emm Dawson and Emma Rose Dawson

    • Richard has three children: two sons named Gary and Mark, and a daughter named Shannon.

    • Richard once worked as a waiter and a boxer before deciding to become an actor.

    • Richard retired from the entertainment business in 1995. He has been a bit of a recluse since then, which has also fueled the fire of the many rumours that he has passed away.

    • Richard narrated on the Tv's Funniest Gameshow Moments show in 2000.

    • In 1978, Richard won a Daytime Emmy for Outstanding Host or Hostess in a Game or Audience Participation Show
      for: Family Feud.

    • In 1988, Richard won the Saturn Award for Best Supporting Actor for: The Running Man (1987).

    • Richard was a close friend of the late Bill Bixby.

    • Richard's second wife, Gretchen, has appeared as a contestant on Win Ben Stein's Money (1997).

    • Richard was portrayed by Michael E. Rodgers in Auto Focus (2002).

    • Richard has many nicknames, including: "Dickie" and "The Kissing Bandit." He received the latter after being known for kissing every female contestant on Family Feud.

    • Richard is 5' 9" (1.75 m) tall.

    • When Richard was 62, he hosted the third incarnation of Family Feud in 1994, but had only a short run. On April 6, 1981, the Johnson family appeared on Family Feud and Richard was introduced to 27 year old Gretchen, who eventually became his second wife.

    • During an interview early in the Family Feud (1976) run, Richard revealed that he enjoyed wearing and collecting T-shirts (a huge fad in the 1970s). Shortly after, the custom began of families on Feud presenting him a shirt early in the game, usually during the "introduce the family members" portion. As a result, he has one of the largest collections of unique and rare T-shirts in the world.

    • By the time Richard was brought back to host Family Feud in 1994, he had gained weight. He failed to lose 30 pounds, even though he was contractually required to do so.

    • Richard turned down an invitation to meet with his Family Feud successor, Louie Anderson.

    • Richard became a U.S. citizen in 1984 and showed his passport and photo to America on an episode of Family Feud.

    • Richard is widely known for all the kissing he did on Family Feud, Richard gained some criticism for it, so a poll was taken by the viewers. The results were 14,600 to 704 in his favor.

    • On the Match Game, Richard helped win the contestants approximately $3 million dollars.

    • Monty Hall bought the rights to Masquerade Party and revived it for syndication in 1974 with Richard as it's emcee.

    • Richard is alive and well living in Beverly Hills with his wife, Gretchen, and their daughter, Shannon.

    • Richard hosted the Thanksgiving Day Family Feud Marathon in 1995, which was re-aired November 23rd, 2000 on the Game Show Network.

    • Richard appeared as a panelist on the Cop Out game show pilot, which never aired.

    • Richard chopped wood when he was a kid and sold it door to door for pocket money.

    • Richard had one sibling, an older brother named John.

    • Richard's parents were Arthur Emm, a moving van driver, & Josephine Emm, a munitions factory labourer.

  • Quotes

    • Richard: I abhor grades - if a child does his best, that's all that should be asked.

    • Richard's Farewell Speech on Family Feud: I've had the most incredible luck in my career. I've done lots and lots of jobs, and I've never, ever had a job like Family Feud. I've never dreamed I would ever have a job where so many people could touch me and I could touch them. And it was a great magic about this show that I've never seen on any other show.

      I want to publicly acknowledge Howard Felsher, who is our executive producer. He was our producer in the beginning of this show, and he helped steer and guide the way that we went. And he and I fought a lot of times, but I tell you that he's important and I should acknowledge him, because he's the one, with me, that, we said, "Let anybody come on this show, anyone that can play this game, no matter what color or creed, no matter if they're in a wheelchair or they have no sight." And we've had everybody on this show, and he was very, very important in that and I acknowledge and thank him for it. I thanked my crew, and I thanked my director already. I had the best staff you've ever dreamed of. You can't... and you don't have to dream of them, 'cause I'm gonna take them with me. Even if I never work again, they'll just be near me. They are so special and wonderful. ABC, Jackie Smith, Polly Welkman, Joe C. Alba -- they kept us on the air probably a year more than they should have, 'cause we weren't really helping them. You know, our ratings weren't that good, and they were so great. They buried themselves carrying us, and I love them for that, not that I wanted to hurt 'em, 'cause I love 'em. They were good people.

      There were people I know that got upset that I kiss people. I kiss them for luck and love, that's all. That's what my mother did to me. There were people upset that I would embrace or hug someone of a different color. The first time I ever saw people of any color was when D-Day left from my hometown in England, to go and free Europe in the war. And there was every color you could imagine, and I'd not seen that in England. And I'd asked my mother about it. I said, "Is there something wrong?" She said, "God... God makes people. You understand that, don't you?" And I said, "Yeah!" She said, "Who makes a rainbow?" I said, "God." She said, "I never presumed to tell anyone who could make a rainbow what color to make children." And she changed my whole life with that statement.

      All I can tell you is, this has been a very special nine years of my life. If I never do another thing, I've met the good, sweet people of the world. So I leave you, with love, and for the little girl that, nine years ago, I first signed to -- I guess she's 13 now -- I'll think of you every day. God bless all the little children in the world. Thank you.

    • Richard Dawson: Be nice to each other. You can make a whole day a different day for everybody.

    • Richard Dawson: (from the Family Feud book) ABC has told me that a sponsor has complained about my making anti-Nixon jokes. I would just like to say that I believe Mr. Nixon did his best to destroy this country. Mr. Nixon tried to abrogate freedom of speech, our freedom of the press. He did all kinds of dishonest things. He wiretapped people's phones. He had an enemies list. This is an occasion for crying, not really for joking. But my way, a comedian's way, is to make jokes. So, I intend to keep on making jokes about Richard Nixon. And I have one thing to say to you, Mr. Sponsor, whoever you are - don't sponsor our show. We don't need you.

    • Richard Dawson: I'm a hustler. I'm a smarta**, but I love people.

SUBMIT REVIEW
  • A very talented actor. Should have received more recognition. Should still be on television or the big screen today.

    9.9
    He is one of the most talented actors I have seen. Comedy is hard to do and he was great at it. Too bad he didn't receive the recognition he deserved. I truly believe he could have been a big star. I've just recently seen The Devil's Brigade and he had a fairly decent role. He portrays all of his characters very well. I watch him everyday on Family Feud and Match Game and even today 30 some years later he still makes me and hundreds more laugh. That just proves what an outstanding performer he was and should be today.moreless
  • He played everything from Game Show Host to a Colonel.

    10
    I best remember him on the TV show 'Family Feud' he was the original host. He would kiss all the women. Get t-shirts from people and just make the show fun. He was also very good as a regular panelist on the game show 'Match Game'. He was always chosen as the one who would do the last question. He would kiss the women and shake hands with the men, something that would carry on when he was on 'Family Feud'. He also played a dramatic part in the TV show 'Hogan Heroes' about people held as prisoners of war.moreless
More
Less