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‘Family Feud’ host Richard Dawson dies at 79

  • Former TV host dead due to complications from esophageal cancer
  • Son Gary Dawson says 'He was an amazing talent ... great dad'

Former “Family Feud” host and veteran British actor Richard Dawson died Saturday night at the age of 79, according to his family.

Best-known as the jovial host of the U.S. game show “Family Feud,” Dawson died from complications of esophageal cancer, said his son Gary Dawson, who announced his father's death Sunday on his Facebook page. 

"He was surrounded by his family. He was an amazing talent, a loving husband, a great dad and a doting grandfather," the younger Dawson wrote.

Richard Dawson hosted “Feud” from 1976-1985 and again for one season from 1994-1995. His tagline, “Survey says…” became a national catchphrase and endeared him to generations of Americans.

Dawson was also an accomplished actor, most notably playing Cpl. Newkirk on the CBS sitcom “Hogan’s Heroes.”

Born in 1932 as Colin Lionel Emm in Gosport, England, Dawson is survived by his wife Gretchen Johnson and their daughter Shannon, as well as sons Gary and Mark from his first marriage, and four grandchildren.

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