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Richard Dawson

From Academic Kids

This article is about the actor Richard Dawson. For the cricketer, please see Richard Dawson (cricketer)

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Richard Dawson as a guest star on the Match Game.

Richard Dawson (born November 20, 1932) is a United Kingdom-born actor and game show host. He was born in Gosport, England as Colin Emm. At the age of 14, he ran away from home to join the Merchant Marine, where he pursued a boxing career. Having married British sex symbol Diana Dors, Richard moved to Los Angeles, California, where he gained fame in the hit show Hogan's Heroes, which aired from 1965 to 1971. Richard and Diana eventually divorced, and Richard gained custody of both their children, Gary and Mark.

In 1971, Richard became a regular performer on Rowan & Martin's Laugh-In. In addition, he appeared on many numerous game shows such as Celebrity Dating Game. In 1973, he was freed from contracts. Mark Goodson, a game-show producer, immediately grabbed Richard to appear in the new revision of Match Game, entitled Match Game 73. Richard soon became a regular, with such stars as host Gene Rayburn, Brett Somers, and Charles Nelson Reilly.

In 1976, Richard got to host his own show, Family Feud. Unlike his flop in 1974 with Masquerade Ball, Family Feud became a hit, soon surpassing his very own number-one daytime show, Match Game 77. In 1978, he left the Match Game. After Dawson became a naturalized citizen of the United States in 1984, he showed his passport and photo during the introduction of a episode of Family Feud. He continued hosting the Feud until it was cancelled in 1985.

Dawson co-starred in the movie The Running Man in 1987, playing an evil, egotistical, dark-sided game-show host. He hosted an unsold pilot for a revival of the classic game show You Bet Your Life in 1988. In 1994, Richard returned to Family Feud, but it lasted only one year.

There was a rumor that spread claiming that Dawson had committed suicide after his return to Family Feud had failed. In actuality, it was Ray Combs, the man who replaced him (and whom he in turn replaced in 1994), who committed suicide. Dawson is very much alive and currently resides in Beverly Hills, California, the husband since 1991 of Gretchen (Johnson) Dawson, whom he met when she was a contestant on Family Feud. They have a daughter, Shannon Nicole and a new born son, Richard Justin Dawson.

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