Sunday, June 3, 2012

Sorry Ladies, No More Kisses From Corporal Newkirk

Richard Dawson, the British-born actor best remembered both for his portrayal as Cockney World War II prisoner of war Corporal Peter Newkirk on Hogan's Heroes and his duties as the Emmy Award-winning, female contestant-kissing host of Family Feud, passed away on Saturday night at the Ronald Reagan Memorial Hospital in the Los Angeles area at the age of 79.

Mr. Dawson had suffered from complications related to esophageal cancer.

Corporal Newkirk was one of several Allied prisoners in a Nazi POW camp who hoodwinked their captors and run the place themselves.

In the original Family Feud, which aired on ABC from 1976 to 1985, Richard became noted----or more appropriately----notorious for kissing all the female contestants.  At the time the show ended in 1985, the show's executive producer estimated that the emcee kissed somewhere in the vicinity of 20,000."

In fact, Richard, whose first wife was the late British actress Diana Dors, actually married a contestant and promised her that he'd never kiss another contestant.

The series was revived in 1988 as The New Family Feud, hosted by comedian Ray Combs.  Six years later, Richard returned but lasted only one season(but, true to his word, never did kiss any contestants).

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