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‘Let’s Make a Deal’ Host Monty Hall Dies at 96

Monty Hall, who is fondly remembered for hosting classic game show “Let’s Make a Deal,” died Saturday morning in Los Angeles. He was 96 years old and had been ill after suffering a heart attack shortly after his wife of almost 70 years died this summer.

Born August 25, 1921 in Winnipeg, Canada, Hall started his career in Winnipeg in radio, moving to Toronto in 1946. Early in his career, he hosted game shows such as “Bingo at Home” on WABD-TV and guest-hosted more established game shows like “Strike it Rich” on CBS and “Twenty-One” on NBC. He was also the host/performer of two local New York City TV shows for children: “Cowboy Theater” for WRCA and “Fun in the Morning” for WNEW. And, from 1956–60, along with NBC Radio newsman Morgan Beatty, Hall co-hosted the Saturday night segment of the NBC Radio Network weekend program “Monitor” from 8 p.m. until midnight ET.

Next, Hall succeeded Jack Narz as host of game show “Video Village,” and he hosted spin-off “Video Village Junior” from 1961 to 1962. After moving to Southern California, Hall became the host of “Let’s Make a Deal,” which he developed and produced with partner Stefan Hatos. “Let’s Make a Deal” aired on NBC daytime from December 30, 1963, to December 27, 1968, and on ABC daytime from December 30, 1968 until July 9, 1976, along with two primetime runs. It aired in syndication from 1971–77, from 1980–81, from 1984–86, and again on NBC briefly from 1990–91, replacing Bob Hilton, who had been dismissed. He was also producer or executive producer of the show through most of its runs.

The current edition of “Let’s Make a Deal” on CBS is hosted by Wayne Brady.

In his private life, Hall was known for his work on behalf of numerous charities. He got a Hollywood Walk of Fame star in 1973, and in 1988 was named to the Order of Canada in recognition of his philanthropy.

Hall is survived by his daughters Joanna Gleason, an actress, and Sharon Hall, a TV executive, as well as his son Richard Hall, a TV producer who won an Emmy for “The Amazing Race.”

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Written by Marc Berman

Marc Berman has been writing professionally since 1999 and is the author of weekly column “Mr. Television” for Campaign US (www.campaignlive.com). Most recently, Berman was the creator and Editor-in-Chief of website and newsletter TV Media Insights for Cross MediaWorks. From 1999-2011, he was the Senior Editor for Mediaweek and has also written for The New York Daily News, Variety, The Hollywood Reporter and Emmy Magazine, among others. Berman has also appeared on “Entertainment Tonight,” “Extra,” “Access Hollywood,” “Inside Edition,” “The CBS Evening News,” E!, CNN, CNBC, Fox News and MSNBC.

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