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Richard Dawson, 'Family Feud' Host, Dies at 79

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By Emma Koonse, Christian Post Reporter
June 4, 2012|2:24 pm

Longtime host of the game show "Family Feud" Richard Dawson has died at age 79 in Los Angeles on Saturday.

The British-born host and actor died from complications related to esophageal cancer at Ronald Reagan UCLA Medical Center, according to his son Gary Dawson.

"He was surrounded by his family," Gary wrote, according to Citizen-Times. "He was an amazing talent, a loving husband, a great dad, and a doting grandfather."

Dawson was also known for his work on the 1960s television show "Hogan's Heroes" and co-starred in the movie "The Running Man."

After the news of his death, Hollywood- along with hundreds of other fans of Dawson's- took to Twitter and released statements to remember him.

"Wheel of Fortune" host Pat Sajak released a statement about the game show host.

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"He was able to inject his unique brand of humor into shows like 'Family Feud,'" explained Sajak, according to CBS News. "He could be funny and biting, mischievous and playful, but he always respected the game and treated his players with kindness."

Moreover, Paula Abdul revealed her grief over the television personality in a post to her Twitter account.

"I'm truly saddened by the news of Richard Dawson's passing," wrote the former "The X-Factor" judge and singer. "My sincerest condolences to his family & friends. Such a great loss."

"I have awoken from the weekend to hear of Richard Dawson's passing," wrote Claire. "RIP Rich! You were one cool dude!"

The "Hogan's Heroes" star was known for kissing many of the female contestants on "Family Feud," and in 1991, he married Gretchen Johnson, who had appeared on the television series with her family years earlier.

Twitter user Anna posted, "RIP Richard Dawson. Never again will a man kiss so many strange women on the lips on a family television [series]. Ahh, the 70's."

Dawson is survived by his wife Gretchen and their daughter Shannon, as well as sons Gary and Mark from his first marriage to British actress Diana Dors, and four grandchildren.

 

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