5 great Richard Dawson episodes to celebrate his birthday
Catch the game show icon and 'Hogan's Heroes' favorite on episodes of 'The Love Boat,' 'The Odd Couple' and more.
November 20 marks what would have been Richard Dawson's 83rd birthday. The actor sadly passed away in 2012. While younger generations best remember the Brit as a game show host — both in reality on The Family Feud and in the distopian future of The Running Man — the Englishman first worked his way into American hearts as part of Hogan's Heroes. In between, the cheeky comedian became an indespensible regular on another game show, Match Game.
Though they are minor blips on his resume, we also love Dawson for providing voices on Hong Kong Phooey and his own psychedelic pop obscurity, "His Children's Parade." Click the link to take in that Beatlesesque novelty tune.
Before Hogan's, in one of his earliest roles, a young Dawson — then Dick Dawson — appeared on a delectable episode of The Alfred Hitchcock Hour. We've included that below, plus an obligatory Hogan's highlight and an unexpected bit of Family Feud fiction.
1. The Alfred Hitchcock Hour "Anyone for Murder?" (1964)
A psychiatrist attempts a bold experiment. He places a personal ad for those looking to get rid of a spouse. A hitman visits the devilish doctor, as does Dawson's character — who is sleeping with the doc's wife. The episode airs tonight at 3AM | 2C.
2. Hogan's Heroes "The Swing Shift" (1967)
Dawson's sly Col. Newkirk was the group's ladies man and ace impersonator. This outing is a great highlight for his character, as he is drafted into the German Army.
3. The Odd Couple "Laugh, Clown, Laugh" (1975)
Dawson plays himself, a popular television host. Felix is jealous when Oscar and Dawson are selected to be co-hosts of a TV show.
4. The Love Boat "A Time for Everything/The Song Is Ended/Accidental Cruise/Anoushka" (1978)
While most notable for being the first episode to feature Vicki Stubing, Dawson also gets a juicy storyline alongside Robert Goulet. The two play musicians, former collaborators reunited on the cruise. The two sit at a piano and sing their "first big hit," a ditty called "The Rhyming Song." It does indeed rhyme!
5. Mama's Family "Family Feud" (1983)
The Harpers hit the Feud and take on the Van Courtlands, an uppity rich clan, naturally. Seeing Vicki Lawrence and Dawson together is a treat. Can Mama pull the family together to win $10,000? The lesser-known sitcom Angie did a similar episode with Dawson in 1979. Mama's Family would mark Dawson's last appearance as an actor on a scripted sitcom.