10:20 AM EDT 12/22/2014
Originally posted 06/05/2012 11:40AM
Three weeks ago, Richard Dawson thought he was suffering from heartburn.
The late Hogan's Hero actor-turned-game show host, fondly remembered for his lips-on approach to his Family Feud contestants, then found out he had esophageal cancer, according to his children.
"It all just kind of happened really quickly," his son Gary tells Access Hollywood. Dawson, 79, died Saturday night due to complications related to his cancer. "Luckily, he didn't have to go through all the bad treatments and stuff."
Originally posted 06/03/2012 11:25AM
Richard Dawson, the English actor-turned-game show host who seldom shied away from giving his kiss of approval to female contestants on Family Feud, has died. He was 79.
Dawson died Saturday night at Los Angeles's Ronald Reagan Memorial hospital due to complications related to his esophageal cancer, according to his son Gary, the Associated Press reports.
Gary also posted the information on his Facebook page, writing, "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."
Born in Gosport, Hampshire, England, in 1932 (birth name: Colin Lionel Emm), his comedy career took off in 1965 when he was cast as pick-pocketing prisoner-of-war Corporal Peter Newkirk in Hogan's Heroes, a role he played until 1971.
Top 5 Most Voted Stories
Chris Rock & Wife Malaak Compton-Rock Split
Mother Who Gave Birth to Baby While in Coma Returns Home (VIDEO)
How Teresa Giudice Is Spending Her Last Days Before Prison
Pennsylvania Woman Convicted of Euthanizing Her Cancer-Stricken Neighbor's Healthy Siberian Husky
Miley Cyrus Bonds with Arnold Schwarzenegger over the Holidays
Top 10 News Categories
The most buzzed about stars this minute!
Treat Yourself! 4 Preview Issues
More On PEOPLE.com
Got a News Tip?
Send it to our People.com editors!