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'Family Feud' host Richard Dawson dies at 79

June 3, 2012 |  8:23 am

Richard Dawson, the longtime "Family Feud" game-show host and "Hogan's Heroes" actor, has died in Los Angeles. He was 79.

His son, Gary Dawson, announced his death via Facebook.

"It is with a very heavy heart that I inform you that my father passed away [Saturday] evening from complications due to esophageal cancer. 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," Gary Dawson wrote.

Richard Dawson was born in England on Nov. 20, 1932. He was perhaps best known for hosting "Family Feud for nine years in the 1970s and 1980s and then again shortly in the 1990s.

According to the Associated Press, the audience gave him a standing ovation during his final show.

"Please sit down. I have to do at least 30 minutes of fun and laughter and you make me want to cry," Dawson said at the time. "I've had the most incredible luck in my career. I never dreamed I would have a job in which so many people could touch me and I could touch them."

The Times will have a full obituary later Sunday.

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— Shelby Grad

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