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 wouldn't hassle him.
In the late 1950's, Richard met a British actress by the name of Diana Dors. On the 12 of April, 1959, while in New York for an appearance on the Steve Allen Show, the two were married. Richard and Diana had a son, Mark, in 1960, and a second son, Gary, in 1962. They separated in 1964, and eventually divorced in 1967. When he moved to the states, he began acting on the well-known series, Hogan's Heroes, in 1965, in which he played the loveable British Corporal Peter Newkirk. The show ended in 1971. Not long after that, in 1973, he became a panelist on, Match Game, and remained there until 1978. While still on Match Game, he hosted his own show called Family Feud. His trademark was kissing all the female contestants, which was one of the things that made the show a warm and friendly program, along with his quick wit, subtle jokes, and ability to make people feel at ease while being on camera. Some people were upset about all the kissing, but a poll taken, at that time, showed 14,600 to 704 in his favor.
In 1987, Richard co-starred with Arnold Schwarzenegger in the movie, The Running Man, which with Richard played an egotistical game show host, Damon Killian, whom many say was a mirror image of himself at one time or another, during his real-life career. When Richard was 62, he hosted the third incarnation of, Family Feud, in 1994, but had only a short run.
On the 6th of April, 1981, the Johnson family appeared on, Family Feud, and Richard was introduced to 27 year old Gretchen. They had a daughter, Shannon Nicole, in 1990, and were married in 1991. They are still married and reside in Beverly Hills, California.
Richard is semi-retired and his most recent Tv appearance was when he narrated, Tv's Funniest Gameshow Moments, on FOX, in early 2000. On Thanksgiving Day, November 23rd, 2000 he hosted a, Family Feud marathon which was filmed in 1995. Some people hear the name Richard Dawson, and may not know who you're talking about. But say his name followed by his famous quote in titled "Survey said," or mention "Newkirk" on, Hogan's Heroes, and they're sure to know who you're talking of.