Monty Halparin, better known as the legendary Monty Hall, died at the age of 96 on Sunday. His daughter revealed his death on Saturday, saying he passed away from heart failure.
Hall was best known for the time he spent as the host and co-creator of the popular game show Let’s Make a Deal, which he hosted from 1963 until 1986 and then again in 1991. He said in 2013 that the thing that separated Let’s Make a Deal from other game shows was when he saw a woman carrying a sign to the show that said: “Roses are red, violets are blue, I came here to deal with you.”
After the appearance of the sign, audience members started showing up in hats and odd costumes in an attempt to get selected to play the game.
Hall was born in Winnipeg on August 25, 1921 to Orthodox Jewish parents, who owned a slaughterhouse. He started his career doing radio and often hosting game shows on local TV affiliates. He also had a career as a sportscaster, and was the radio analyst for the New York Rangers during the 1959-60 season.
Hall became the host of Let’s Make a Deal on December 30, 1963, which proved to be one of the most popular game shows in the nation at the time.
Hall’s longtime wife, Marilyn, died earlier this year. Like her husband, Marilyn was involved in the entertainment industry as a writer and producer.
Here’s what you need to know:
1. Hall Died 3 Months Before Monty Did
Marilyn died on June 5, 2017 of what was believed to be natural causes. She was 90-years old and lived with Monty in Los Angeles, California. Monty and Marilyn were natives of Canada, but became United States citizens in 1949.
Marilyn was born on May 17, ,1927 in Winnipeg, Manitoba and graduated from the University of Toronto. At the age of 50, she went back to school and earned her master’s degree in fine arts from the UCLA School of Theater, Film and Television.
2. Marilyn Was Hall’s Distant Cousin
Marilyn was Hall’s distant cousin, and he revealed how they met during a 2002 interview with the Archive of American Television.
Hall said he was introduced to her by a mutual cousin, Norman Shnier, when he was in his mid 20s. He added Shnier told him he had “another cousin on the other side of family, not related to you, and she’s an 18-year-old actress on the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation.”
“I said, ‘I don’t think I want to meet an 18-year-old actress,'” Hall said during the interview. “I was almost 24; that was too much for me. But I did meet her, and when I met her, it was game over. We were married a year later.”
The couple had three children together (Joanna Gleason, Sharon Hall Kessler and Richard Hall) and five grandchildren.
Joanna is a Tony Award-winning actress and singer while Sharon is the president of Endemol Shine Studios. Richard won an Emmy for working on The Amazing Race.
3. Marilyn Was an Emmy-Award Winning Producer & Writer
Marilyn started her career in Winnipeg as a writer and actress for the CBC. She also taught writing focused on children’s programming at Queen’s University.
According to her IMDb, Marilyn was an associate producer for the 1982 TV movie A Woman Called Golda and also did so in 1984’s Nadia. She won a primetime Emmy for being the executive producer on “Outstanding Drama/Comedy Special” Do You Remember Love (1985). The film received critical acclaim for offering a look at the cruelties of Alzheimer’s disease.
In addition to being a producer, Marilyn also was a songwriter. She wrote the song Is It Possible That I’ve Been Gone So Long, which was recorded by Hildegarde.
Marilyn was also a writer for Love, American Style and Lights Camera Monty and other works.
4. Marilyn Was Also Known for Her Philanthropy to Jewish Organizations
While Marilyn’s success came in the entertainment industry, she was arguably best known for her philanthropic efforts. She often helped Tel Aviv University, Brandeis University, and the Jewish Welfare Fund with hands-on involvement, the Los Angeles Times reported.
She also was a strong supporter in the Wallis Annenberg Center for the Performing Arts and also started programs for the Julia Ann Singer Child Care Center, Guardians of Courage, Israel Bonds and the Jewish Home for the Aging. She served as a board member for Variety Clubs International and also wrote and produced its annual International Humanitarian Award event.
5. She Reviewed Books for the L.A. Times
In her later years, Marilyn was the author of some books, including being a co-author for the Celebrity Kosher Cookbook. The book provided readers recipes that are enjoyed by numerous celebrities such as William Shatner and Kirk Douglas. She also regularly wrote book reviews for the Los Angeles Times.