Is Richard Dawson’s Wife (Gretchen Johnson) Still Alive? Let’s Find Out Today

Almost every classic movie lover knows about Richard Dawson. The iconic British-born American actor became famous because of his versatile performance. Besides being an excellent actor, he was also popular as a comedian, panelist, and game show host.

However, that’s not the only thing people want to know about Richard Dawson. A huge number of people are interested in his personal life. You see, Dawson had a fantastic love story with his second wife Gretchen Johnson.

Since Richard Dawson died, Johnson started living away from the media spotlight. That’s why many people have some questions regarding her. ‘Is Richard Dawson’s wife still alive?’, ‘Where is Gretchen Johnson now?’ and more. 

If you want to know about Johnson, we are here to help you out. In fact, we will share some basics about Richard Dawson’s basics. Keep reading the article to learn more about Dawson’s second wife.

About Richard Dawson

Popularly known for playing Corporal Peter Newkirk in Hogan’s Heroes, Richard Dawson was one of the best actors back then. Besides this, he became popular as the original host of Family Feud. Some of his best films are Out of Sight, The Longest Day, The Devil’s Brigade, How to Pick Up Girls!, Munster, Go Home!, and more.

On the other hand, he also became quite popular on television. Some of his best shows are The Alfred Hitchcock Hour, Rowan & Martin’s Laugh-In, Wait Till Your Father Gets Home, Family Feud, Match Game, Hogan’s Heroes, and many more. 

Early Life & Career

Dawson’s real name is Colin Lionel Emm and he was born on 20th November 1932. His mother Josephine Lucy Emm used to work in a mutation factory while his father Arthur Emm used to drive a removal van. 

When he was only 14 years old, he ran away from home and joined the British Merchant Navy. There, he pursued a career in boxing and earned around $5,000 in matches. After some years, he started his comedy career after being discharged from the merchant service. 

He started using a stage name, Dickie Dawson. Later, he also changed that name to Richard Dawson. At first, Dawson started his career as a stand-up comedian. According to some reports, his first TV appearance was on 21st June 1954 at the age of 21. 

In the same year, he also appeared in several BBC Radio programs. Richard’s first film was The Longest Day in 1962 where he got a role of a British soldier. There are so many achievements of this iconic comedian which made him famous. 

That’s why many people want to learn more about his personal life. Sadly, Richard died at the age of 79 from esophageal cancer on 2nd June 2012. 

Richard Dawson’s Wife

As we noted before, many people want to know about Richard Dawson’s personal life, especially his wives. Well, Dawson married actress Diana Dors first. However, we are not sure when they got married. Dors and Dawson had two sons, Mark and Garry. 

However, their marriage ended with a divorce in 1967 and he got custody of both of his kids. From them, he had four grandchildren. However, most people are interested in his second marriage with Gretchen Johnson.

Dawson met Gretchen Johnson when she participated in Family Feud in 1981. However, they got married after 10 years in 1991. And the wedding photos today of Richard Dawson’s wife Gretchen Johnson are also available on the internet.

They had a daughter together named Shannon Nicole Dawson who was born in 1990. He announced the birth of Shannon by showing a picture of her during the inaugural episode of Family Feud. 

About Gretchen Johnson

As we noted before, Gretchen Johnson was born on 22nd September 1955. She participated in the Family Feud game show with her parents Bob Johnson, June Johnson, and her siblings Wendy Johnson and Heidi Johnson. 

The Johnson family appeared in four episodes and they won an amount of $6568 in the show. After meeting, they dated for almost a decade. In fact, they lived a happy married life for two decades until Richard died from cancer in 2012.

Generally, Johnson never liked being in the spotlight. That’s why she almost disappeared after the death of her husband. That’s why it’s quite hard to find out about her profession. However, some website claims that she had a net worth of $300k. 

Interesting Facts About Gretchen Johnson

Now, you know the basics of Gretchen Johnson. Even though she didn’t like the spotlight, there are some interesting facts about Richard Dawson’s wife that can blow your mind. In the following section, we will discover these interesting facts about Johnson. Let’s find out:

  • Gretchen Johnson was born and brought up in the US. There is limited information about her family.
  • She met Dawson when she was only 26. However, they got married after 10 years.
  • Even though the internet has limited information, some resources stated that she loved to cook different types of dishes.
  • Gretchen was probably one of the most famous contestants of the Family Feud game show as she met her husband there.
  • As per some sources, Johnson’s net worth is around $300k. However, there is no information regarding her income source.
  • Gretchen and Richard’s daughter Shannon followed her father’s steps and became an actor and model.

How Did Richard and Gretchen Johnson Meet?

Yes, Richard Dawson and his second wife Gretchen Johnson had an interesting love story. As per some reliable sources, they first met in May 1981 when Johnson appeared in the famous game show Family Feud with her family. She was around 26 years old back then when Richard was 49. 

At the end of the show, Richard finds out more about Gretchen and asks for the telephone number. She didn’t answer the calls for the next two days as Johnson removed her wisdom tooth. However, when they started calling each other, Dawson invited her to a dinner party where he himself cooked a few items.

Even though Gretchen said it was a nice dinner party she disliked almost all items back then. This is how their friendship started growing. Once they fell in love, they dated for almost a decade before exchanging their vows in 1991. 

Despite their massive age gap, Gretchen and Richard lived a happy married life. The loving couple welcomed a baby girl named Shannon Nicole Dawson a year before their marriage on 13th August 1990. 

However, Richard announced the news in 1994 showing a picture of his daughter during the first episode of Family Feud. Shannon was raised in California and attended Vanderbilt University and later completed her graduation from the University of California.

Just like her father, Shannon chose a career in the entertainment industry as she completed an internship at CBS Television. Later, she also worked with Channel 7 News for six months. After the death of Richard Dawson, Shannon Dawson founded the Richard Dawson Esophageal Cancer Research Fund. 

Is Gretchen Johnson Still Alive?

And now, this is the big question we have noticed on the internet. Since Dawson died, Gretchen started staying away from the spotlight. That’s why many people don’t have any idea if Johnson is still alive or not. 

Sadly, Gretchen also passed away after the death of her husband. However, we aren’t sure when was the exact time. As per a report, she is not alive anymore. Well, nobody from the family confirmed anything about her death. Maybe because she started living away from the spotlight after her husband’s death.


By reading this article, you can understand Gretchen Johnson and Richard Dawson had a loving married life. However, this marriage tragically ended when Richard died from cancer. As we stated, Gretchen also died a few years later. However, there’s no official confirmation about the date. For more details, you can start your online research.


Q: Where is Gretchen Johnson now?

Sadly, Gretchen Johnson also died after her husband Richard Dawson. However, the date and reason of death are still not revealed to the world.

Q: How did Gretchen Johnson and Richard Dawson meet?

Richard Dawson met Gretchen Johnson when she participated in the Family Feud game show with her family. They initially became friends and fell in love later. They got married 10 years later.

Q: Was Richard Dawson’s wife an actor?

Richard Dawson’s first wife Diana Dors was an actor. However, his second wife Gretchen Johnson wasn’t an actor. She used to stay away from the public spotlight to maintain her privacy.

Q: What were the notable works of Richard Dawson?

Richard Dawson worked on some excellent projects for both television and film. Some of his most notable works are Rowan & Martin’s Laugh-In, Wait Till Your Father Gets Home, Family Feud, Hogan’s Heroes, The Longest Day, The Devil’s Brigade, and more.

Q: How did Richard Dawson die?

Richard Dawson died from esophageal cancer on 2nd June 2012. He was 79 years old then. Since then, Johnson started staying away from the public eye.

Leave a Comment