Family Feud Host Richard Dawson Gone At 79

Family Feud is a top five all-time game show. There’s something about it that’s just incredibly watchable. It’s the right balance between fun and strangely informative, and the former quality can be traced all the way back to original host Richard Dawson.

The British-born actor first rose to fame playing Royal Air Force Corporal Peter Newkirk on Hogan’s Heroes, but eventually, he became known as a skilled game show panelist. After a stint on I’ve Got A Secret, he became a regular on Match Game and arguably, the show’s most well-liked panelist. His witty banter fit in perfectly alongside greats like Charles Nelson Reilly and Brett Somers, and he was consistently chosen by contestants to match the final answer. He could have held the job as long as he wanted, but after a few years, he decided to host a new game show.

The result was Family Feud, and over the next decade, Dawson built his legacy kissing contestants, making small talk and ensuring every viewer had a great time. He offered a winning combination of affability and high energy. Contestants felt comfortable enough to chat with him, which allowed a few good-natured jokes to get by without offense. Few people have ever been more perfect for a job than Dawson was for Family Feud, and re-runs bare witness to that brilliance.

Earlier this week, Dawson passed away from esophageal cancer. He was seventy-nine, and by all accounts, he remained energetic and pleasant throughout his life. He married a former Family Feud contestant in the early nineties, and the two were together until the very end. TV Blend sends out its thoughts to his wife Gretchen, as well as his children. His legacy will survive through all of his wonderful work as well as the genuine joy he brought to so many.

Mack Rawden
Editor In Chief

Mack Rawden is the Editor-In-Chief of CinemaBlend. He first started working at the publication as a writer back in 2007 and has held various jobs at the site in the time since including Managing Editor, Pop Culture Editor and Staff Writer. He now splits his time between working on CinemaBlend’s user experience, helping to plan the site’s editorial direction and writing passionate articles about niche entertainment topics he’s into. He graduated from Indiana University with a degree in English (go Hoosiers!) and has been interviewed and quoted in a variety of publications including Digiday. Enthusiastic about Clue, case-of-the-week mysteries, a great wrestling promo and cookies at Disney World. Less enthusiastic about the pricing structure of cable, loud noises and Tuesdays.