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Richard Dawson, 'Family Feud' TV host, dies

June 3, 2012 12:00:00 AM PDT
Richard Dawson, who hosted the TV game show "Family Feud" in the 70s and 80s, has died. He was 79.

The wisecracking British entertainer was also known to TV fans as the Cockney POW Cpl. Peter Newkirk on "Hogan's Heroes," which aired in the late 1960s.

His son said Dawson died Saturday night from complications related to esophageal cancer at Ronald Reagan Memorial hospital.

"Family Feud," which initially ran from 1976 to 1985, pitted families who tried to guess the most popular answers to poll questions.

Dawson won a daytime Emmy Award in 1978 as best game show host.

He was known for kissing each woman contestant, and at the time the show bowed out in 1985, executive producer Howard Felsher estimated that Dawson had kissed "somewhere in the vicinity of 20,000."

According to the Internet Movie Database, Dawson was born Colin Lionel Emm in 1932 in Gosport, England. His first wife was actress Diana Dors, the blond bombshell who was Britain's answer to Marilyn Monroe.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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