Monday, June 4, 2012

Survey Says! Goodbye Richard Dawson (1932-2012) and Kathryn Joosten (1939-2012)

The world knows him as the kissing host of Family Feud in the seventies and eighties who coined the phrase "survey says!"  But to me Richard Dawson, who died at the age of 79 of esophageal cancer on Saturday, June 2, will always be Hogan's Heroes' conman/pickpocket Corporal Peter Newkirk, a role Dawson played from 1965 to 1971.  With Dawson's passing there are only two surviving Hogan's Heroes cast members:  Cynthia Lynn (Helga) and Robert Clary (LeBeau).

Character actress Kathryn Joosten, best known for her roles in Desperate Housewives and The West Wing, died Friday, June 1 of lung cancer.  She was 72.  I remember her as the heavy-smoking cafeteria lady on 3rd Rock from the Sun.  The recent series finale of Desperate Housewives centers around Joosten's character dying of lung cancer to the tune of Johnny Mathis's "Wonderful, Wonderful."  An inspiration to everyone of a certain age, Joosten took up acting at the advanced age of 42 when she began acting classes at Steppenwolf Theatre in Chicago.  She was 56 when she made the leap to Hollywood and went on to win two Emmys.  She proved you're never too old to do what you love.

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