Richard Dawson, the original host of famous game show "Family Feud", has passed away at the age of 79. The British-born TV host died on Saturday night, June 2 at Ronald Reagan UCLA Medical Center in Los Angeles from complications due to esophageal cancer, said his son Gary Dawson.
"It is with a very heavy heart that I inform you that my father passed away this 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," he revealed.
Dawson hosted "Family Feud" from 1976-1985, and then returned to the show in 1994 but it only lasted for one season. With his famous "Survey says..." catchphrase, he helped the family show become one of the most-watched programs on television. He won a Daytime Emmy Award in 1978 for his hosting gig on the show.
Prior to the "Family Feud" era, Dawson was already appraised for his role as Cpl. Peter Newkirk in "Hogan's Heroes", a classic 1960s sit-com set in a German prisoner-of-war camp during World War II. He also became a regular on other shows like "Match Game". In 1987, he channeled his TV persona in a much darker mood by hosting a deadly game show in Arnold Schwarzenegger's film "The Running Man".
"Family Feud" is still running with Steve Harvey as the current host.