Richard Dawson was the first host of the television show "Family Feud." After landing the job in 1976, Dawson remained the host of that show until 1985, when its daytime and nighttime shows were cancelled from the ABC network on which they appeared. Dawson appeared onscreen as an actor in several roles prior to hosting "Family Feud"; however, his charm and humor made Dawson popular as a game show host, and helped him secure an Emmy Award for his television show in 1977.
Although he did not become host of "Family Feud" until the mid-1970s, Dawson made a name for himself as an actor. His acting career launched around 1960, when he acted alongside several stars on television shows. He appeared in a wartime drama called "King Rat," alongside George Segal, then landed his next big role in 1965 as the character Corporal Peter Newkirk in "Hogan's Heroes," another wartime show.
Although he focused on dramatic acting in the 1960s, Dawson began appearing as a guest on several talk shows during the 1970s. It was not until 1976, however, that he had a show to call his own. Dawson's witty humor and signature move of kissing female "Family Feud" contestants during the show made him, and his show, very popular with viewers. Although his host-ship ended in 1985, Dawson made several post-retirement appearances on the show, much to audiences' delight.