Richard Dawson, the “Family Fued” host who loved to kiss all of his female contestants on the lips, has died at the age of 79, according to The Hollywood Reporter.
Richard Dawson is best known for hosting “Family Feud” and appearing on shows 1970′s hit shows like “Match Game,” where contestants had to match answers from celebrity pannelist. Dawson was a favorite on the show and often picked by contestants along with Betty White and Michael Landon.
The emmy-winning host died from esphogeal cancer on Saturday night in the Ronald Reagan UCLA Medical Center, according to Dawson’s son Gary who announced his father’s passing via Facebook.
He said, “It is with a very heavy heart that I inform you that my father passed away this evening from complications due to esophageal cancer,” Dawson’s son said on Facebook Sunday morning. “He was surrounded by his family. He was an amazing talent, a loving husband, a great dad and a doting grandfather. He will be missed but always remembered.”
Dawson was born in Gosport, Hampshire, England on November 20, 1932. His parents named him Colin Lionel Emm. At 14-years-old he entered the Merchant Marines where he served his country for three years. He then began his career as a stand-up comedian and performed in London clubs like the famous Stork Room.
Dawson has an incredible career and even met his second wife through “Family Feud.”Gretchen Johnson was a contestant on the show with her family, which eventually led to her having a family of her own. The two dating for a few years and were married and had a daughter who they named Shannon in 1990.
His first marriage was to British actress Diana Dors in 1959. They divorced several years later in 1966.
Dawson is survived by his wife Gretchen, sons Gary and Mark, daughter Shannon and four grandchildren.
Rest in peace Richard.