×
You will be redirected back to your article in seconds

Monty Hall, Genial Host and Co-Creator of ‘Let’s Make A Deal,’ Dies at 96

Monty Hall, who co-created and hosted the game show “Let’s Make A Deal” for nearly 40 years, died of heart failure Saturday at his home in Beverly Hills, Calif. He was 96.

“Let’s Make a Deal” premiered in 1963 and has been a staple of television ever since.

CBS, which revived the show in 2009 with comedian Wayne Brady as host, called Hall “a television legend.”

“Monty’s infectious enthusiasm, humor and warmth were a winning combination that was evident to everyone he encountered, whether returning to make appearances on the current version of ‘Let’s Make a Deal,’ or gracing us with his presence at a photo shoot celebrating CBS Daytime earlier this year,” said Angelica McDaniel, CBS’ executive VP of daytime programs and syndicated program development. “On screen, Monty made the ‘Big Deals,’ but in the game of life, he himself was one.”

Hall hosted various game shows and other programs in his early career until he developed “Let’s Make a Deal” with creative partner Stefan Hatos. The show became legendary for encouraging audience members to dress up in outlandish costumes in order to attract Hall’s attention in the hopes of being given the opportunity to win big.

“Deal’s” format revolves around allowing contestants to compete for prizes that they then have the chance to trade up for more valuable prizes albeit with the risk of losing it all with a “zonk,” or a booby prize. Hall famously at the end of each episode tempted contestants with the “Big Deal” option of choosing a prize package hidden behind “Door No. 1, Door No. 2 or Door No. 3.”

Hall and Hatos produced several other game shows under their production company through the 1970s and ’80s. Hall continued to host “Let’s Make a Deal” for nearly 5,000 episodes, as the show traveled from NBC to ABC to primetime in syndication and CBS.

“Deal” became so ingrained in pop culture that it spawned “The Monty Hall Problem,” a thought experiment in probability that involves three doors, two goats, and a prize.

Hall received a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame in 1973, and, as a Canadian native, was named to the Order of Canada in 1988.

Born Monte Halparin, he was raised in an Orthodox Jewish family in Winnipeg, where he started his career in radio.

He is survived by three children: actress Joanna Gleason, who confirmed his death; TV exec Sharon Hall; and TV producer Richard Hall, in addition to a brother and five grandchildren. His wife Marilyn died in June.

More TV

  • Mad About You Review

    TV Review: 'Mad About You' Reboot

    “Mad About You” would seem an unlikely show to reboot: Unlike fellow 1990s NBC comedy hits “Frasier,” “Friends,” and “Seinfeld,” it’s had no meaningful second life on streaming, and its central story, of a couple living together in New York, is hardly one that feels either proprietary to the show or urgently in need of [...]

  • Rocko's Modern Life reboot

    Nickelodeon and Netflix Ink New Multi-Year Output Deal for Original Animated Features, Shows

    In an expansion of their relationship, Netflix and Nickelodeon have formed a new multi-year output deal to produce original animated features and television series, based on both existing Nickelodeon characters as well as brand-new ones. The Viacom-owned kids content producer has previously brought to life “Rocko’s Modern Life: Static Cling” and “Invader Zim: Enter the [...]

  • bravo-pepsi-sparkling-rose

    Bravo Fans Get First Taste of Pepsi Champagne as NBCU Lures Madison Ave. to New Events

    NBCUniversal is best known among advertisers for selling TV commercials. Now the media giant wants to burnish its reputation for selling something that is only tangentially related to the TV screen. People who signed up for the company’s “BravoCon 2019” fan event, slated to take place between November 15 and November 17 in New York [...]

  • Rob Lowe TCA

    Rob Lowe's British Cop Series ‘Wild Bill’ Axed by ITV

    Rob Lowe’s fish-out-of-water British cop show “Wild Bill” will not get a second season. Despite the pull of big-name U.S. talent, the series failed to set ratings alight in the U.K. and garnered mixed reviews. British broadcaster ITV said Wednesday that the show will not be coming back. The series saw “West Wing” star Lowe [...]

  • Jan Guillou's 'The Great Century' Being

    Jan Guillou's 'The Great Century' Being Adapted as Epic Drama Series (EXCLUSIVE)

    “The Great Century” is being adapted as an epic drama series by Dramacorp-Pampas Studios, which has landed the rights to Swedish author Jan Guillou’s book series. Guillou is known for his “Hamilton” spy-thriller novels, which Dramacorp-Pampas Studios has brought to TV as “Agent Hamilton.” That project had an international premiere at Mipcom and has presold [...]

  • Lilly Burns Tony Hernandez

    Variety to Honor Jax Media Chiefs Tony Hernandez, Lilly Burns at New Leaders Event

    Emmy Award-winning producer Tony Hernandez and Emmy-nominated producer Lilly Burns will receive the Creative Leadership Award on behalf of Jax Media at the Variety New Leaders event presented by City National Bank, taking place Nov. 14 in New York City. As founders of Jax Media, Hernandez and Burns have produced shows and specials such as [...]

More From Our Brands

Access exclusive content