Vale: Richard Dawson

Richard Dawson, best known as the Cockney prisoner of war Corporal Peter Newkirk in Hogan’s Heroes, has died, aged 79.

His son Gary wrote on Facebook: “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.”

The English-born actor found fame in two US shows, first in the sitcom Hogan’s Heroes from 1965 to 1971 and later as a host on Family Feud.

After starting his career as a stand-up comedian, Dawson married the English pin-up Diana Dors in 1959 but they divorced in 1967.

He became Family Feud‘s host in 1976 and won a daytime Emmy Award in 1978 for best game show host. The game show brought him even wider popularity in the US than his former sitcom.

He also appeared as a cast member on Rowan and Martin’s Laugh-In, The Match Game and as the ruthless game show host alongside Arnold Schwarzenegger in the 1987 film The Running Man.

Source: BBC, LA Times


  1. Yes te last of Hogans Hereos cast to pass away. Very sad, this show it still very funny 50 years later.

    I read that he was considered for the main charatcter Hogan, but was pipped by Bob Crane.

  2. Richard Dawson, along with his co-stars made Hogan’s Heroes a truly classic comedy that is enjoyable today as it was when it first aired. One of his best scenes is where he impersonating Hitler for a radio broadcast and he tells the Germans who listening that no matter what happens just keep smiling.

  3. Damn that sucks… RIP! I only recently rewatched some Stupid Game Show Answers, and Mr. Dawson featured very prominently… check out September LOL


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