Game show host Richard Dawson had a career full of highlights and prime time television appearances. The comedian actually fell in love with one of the contestants on Family Feud while he was hosting the show and went on to marry her. Keep scrolling to learn more about his marriages to Diana Dors and Gretchen Johnson. 

Who Was Richard Dawson’s Ex-Wife, Diana Dors?

Dawson married his first wife, Diana Dors, in 1959. She had been married once before to Dennis Hamilton from 1951 up until his death in 1959. The cabaret performer was a sensation around the U.K. and on American television with her acting and singing talent. She appeared in shows like Queenie’s Castle, Just William and The Two Ronnies.

Richard Dawson Wives: Diana Dors, Gretchen Johnson Marriages
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Dawson’s marriage to the entertainer lasted until 1967. The former couple welcomed two children during their union, sons Mark and Gary. 

“When Diana told me she was leaving, I went into a 14-month funk,” Dawson told The Hanford Sentinel in 1979. “I absolutely wallowed in self-pity.”

Dors went on to marry her third husband, Alan Lake, in 1968. They welcomed one child together, son Jason. The model and The Sweeney actor were married up until her death in 1984 at age 52 from ovarian cancer. 

Who Was Richard Dawson’s 2nd Wife, Gretchen Johnson? 

Dawson became the host of Family Feud in 1976 and appeared on more than 2300 episodes of the series. He met Johnson, his second wife, when she was a contestant on the show in 1981. The Hogan’s Heroes actor was smitten right from the first moment he saw her. 

“After her appearance in 1981, he called her, asked her out on a date and they moved in together,” author David Baber previously told Closer. “They lived together for several years, got married [in 1991] and had a daughter, Shannon. So, he’d spent all of those years just being a family man.”

They became grandparents to four grandkids and enjoyed spending time with their blended family. The couple were married up until the TV icon’s death on June 2, 2012, from complications of esophageal cancer. He had been diagnosed with the disease about three weeks before his death after a lifetime of heavy smoking.

“The way he was on the game show was the way he was in real life,” Gary reflected on his father’s legacy, per the Los Angeles Times. “He was always rooting for people — he not only wanted people to win but to have a comfortable, great experience.”