According to The New York Times, Monte Halparin – better known as Monty Hall – has passed away at the age of 96. According to his daughter – actress Joanna Gleason – the cause of death was heart failure. Hall was born in Winnipeg Manitoba on April 25, 1921. He grew up in Winnipeg and went to college at the University of Manitoba, where he graduated with a degree in chemistry and zoology.
In spite of being a student of science, he also performed in several plays at his college. Once he caught the performance bug, that is where Hall focused his professional career. He started in radio, co-hosting a Saturday night program known as Monitor and even working as the radio analyst for the New York Rangers hockey team for a year. He also began guest hosting game shows, including Strike it Rich and Twenty-One. In September of 1960 he took over as host of a game show called Video Village. He then hosted a children’s version known as Video Village Junior.
After moving to Southern California, Hall and partner Stefan Hatos came up with Let’s Make a Deal. The show aired for five years on NBC and then moved to ABC, where it remained until 1976. It also had several syndicated runs, and was revived in 2009 with Wayne Brady as host, though Hall remained involved behind the scenes.
Let’s Make a Deal is a show where contestants are culled from the audience and given the chance to barter between mystery prizes, which could be quite large and expensive, or completely without value. Initially the audience would dress up in nice clothes to attend the show. But after a woman chose a unique method to gain Hall’s attention (contrasting stories say she either wore a large and odd hat, or held up a sign with a poem) the show’s gag became people wearing costumes. Hall would select whichever costumes or personalities in the audience amused him to play the game
Hall and Hatos also created the show Split Second, though Hall was not the original host. He did take on hosting duties when the show aired in syndication in 1987. They created a number of other shows, but none of them were successful besides Let’s Make a Deal and Split Second. He also guest hosted several shows, including What’s this Song and PDQ.
Occasionally Hall has also taken on acting jobs, generally playing himself (That 70s Show) or a parody of himself (American Dragon: Jake Long).
Hall is survived by two daughters and a son. He will be missed.
Rest In Peace Monty Hall: August 25, 1921 – September 30, 2017
Source: The New York Times
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