'Feud' host Richard Dawson dead at 79

June 3, 2012 at 1:58 PM

LOS ANGELES, June 3 (UPI) -- Richard Dawson, 79, who starred in "Hogan's Heroes" and hosted the U.S. game show "Family Feud" for some 20 years, died this weekend, his family said.

A notice on Facebook from son Gary Dawson said the British-born comedian died at a Los Angeles hospital of complications from esophageal cancer, TMZ.com said Sunday.

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

Dawson played British POW Cpl. Newkirk on the popular "Hogan's Heroes" sitcom in the 1960s and then moved on to host "Family Feud" from 1976-1985 and for one season in the 1990s. In between, he married Gretchen Johnson, whom he had met when she was a contestant on the program.

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