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Richard Dawson Dies at 79


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R.I.P. Most Americans have forgotten this, but he was a famous actor before he became host of Family Feud. I remember his role in "The Running Man."

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I loved "Family Feud." I was addicted to it for years, but I could not stand how Richard Dawson would insist on kissing all the women contestants on the lips. It was so sleazy. Otherwise, he was a good host. I enjoy Steve Harvey as host more.

RIP, Richard.

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I loved "Family Feud." I was addicted to it for years, but I could not stand how Richard Dawson would insist on kissing all the women contestants on the lips. It was so sleazy. Otherwise, he was a good host. I enjoy Steve Harvey as host more.

RIP, Richard.

According to his daughter-in-law, Cathy Hughart Dawson (who was also an FF producer) on the FF E! THS, Richard only started doing that midway through the first season when a nervous female contestant felt ashamed that she couldn't think of an answer and said she shouldn't have even been on the show. He gently told her to calm down, and said he would kiss her on the cheek for luck, like his mother did. He did it, and she came up with an answer immediately. Of course, the next woman he got to wanted a kiss for luck too, and it went on from there. The censors tried to stop him, but viewers wrote in saying they thought it was a nice thing to do, given how much violence there was/can be on TV. And Gretchen Johnson certainly enjoyed it, didn't she? wink.png

And for the record, he didn't kiss the women when he hosted the show again in 1994. His daughter Shannon, who was only 4, wouldn't let him kiss anyone but her mom Gretchen.

Eerie fact/coincidence: Ray Combs died on the same day as Richard 16 years ago.

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R.I.P. Most Americans have forgotten this, but he was a famous actor before he became host of Family Feud. I remember his role in "The Running Man."

I've never seen him on Hogan's Heroes, but my grandfather loves that show.

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I didn't care for his work on Family Feud, but I did enjoy him on Match Game, where his dry wit seemed to be put to best use. That show had a great cast.

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I loved him on both shows. He had his moments later on on MG where he clearly was having less fun, but even with the backstage stories I still enjoy watching him on FF. Between those stories and ones like in the clips I posted, it just goes to show how many facets there are to a person (or at least, that's how I look at it here).

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He pretty much dropped out of the spotlight after his second attempt at hosting Family Feud ended in 1995 (save for narrating a special or two about game shows). I think he pretty much considered himself retired by then and just wanted to live life with his wife and daughter (not to mention his grandkids through his sons with Diana Dors). He pretty much had stopped giving interviews after that, so seeing him interviewed for (I think) the Game Show Awards (something on Mark Goodson or Match Game, I think), not to mention his TV Legends interview last year, came as a pleasant surprise to me.

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I remember when he did his second stint as host in the 90s after Ray Combs passed and later saw the reruns of the older episodes on Game Show Network.

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I didn't care for his work on Family Feud, but I did enjoy him on Match Game, where his dry wit seemed to be put to best use. That show had a great cast.

Agreed. He was always the go-to guy for good answers.

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I didn't care for his work on Family Feud, but I did enjoy him on Match Game, where his dry wit seemed to be put to best use.

I'd agree, although I'd argue how no one has come close to running FF the way he did. But you know why I loved Dawson on "Match Game"? Not just because his wit was matched perfectly with the show's format, but also, he probably was the only celebrity panelist throughout the show's original run who could be funny and still provide the contestants with logical, game-winning answers. On both MG and FF, Dawson always came across as someone rooting for people to win. He was on "our" side, and that's why MG contestants in particular always chose him for the final question until producers, heeding complaints from the other panelists, instituted that damn wheel where the contestant was paired with whichever star the wheel landed on.

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