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Monty Hall, Host Of 'Let's Make A Deal,' Dies At 96

Monty Hall, Host Of 'Let's Make A Deal,' Dies At 96 Promo Image

<p>Monty Hall, deal maker and philanthropist, died from heart failure on Sept. 30. He was 96 years old.</p>

<p>Hall entertained the baby-boomers generation as one of the first television game show hosts. He immigrated to the United States from Canada following his time in World War II.</p>

<p>During the height of his popularity, Hall hosted a series of prime-time “All-Star Parties” for the likes of Frank Sinatra, Lucille Ball, Ronald Reagan and Clint Eastwood, raising millions of dollars for charities, reports The Hollywood Reporter.</p>

<p>Canada presented him with its esteemed Order of Canada award in 1988 for his humanitarian efforts. Hall had raised nearly $1 billion for charity, according to a biography by his alma mater, the University of Manitoba, the Los Angeles Times reports.</p>

<p>He was sick as a child, and the experience encouraged him to want to help others, reports the Los Angeles Times. He looked up to and was inspired by his mother, who raised money for those in need even though they “didn't have two nickels to rub together,” he reportedly often said.</p>

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<p>He traveled extensively, often serving as toastmaster at events for Variety Club, a children's charity with chapters around the world, and raised money for universities and hospitals in Israel.</p>

<p>The show's entertainment relied on the element of surprise. And as it grew, the more strange it became -- not only with the extravagant dress the audience members wore in hopes to "strike a deal" but with the show's antics as well.</p>

<p>“You get some strange moments,” Hall said in 2009, according to The New York Times. He recalled the day that a contestant was surprised when he chose a curtain he hoped to be a car.</p>

<p>“It was an elephant,” Hall continued. “It freaked -- [the man] ran backstage, down a ramp and out into the streets of L.A. That’s probably the wildest moment.”</p>

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<p>He was honorary mayor of Hollywood for 10 years before Johnny Grant replaced him in 1980.</p>

<p>His show was the inspiration for a head-scratching math problem that was named after him and which is described in the book, "The Monty Hall Problem: The Remarkable Story of Math's Most Contentious Brain Teaser." </p>

<p>"Imagine that you face three doors, behind one of which is a prize. You choose one but do not open it. The host -- call him Monty Hall -- opens a different door, always choosing one he knows to be empty. Left with two doors, will you do better by sticking with your first choice, or by switching to the other remaining door?"</p>

<p>Hall is survived by his two daughters -- Joanna Gleason, a Tony Award-winning actress, and Sharon Hall, a television executive -- his son, Richard, a producer who won an Emmy for “The Amazing Race”; a brother, Robert Hall, a lawyer; and five grandchildren, reports The New York Times. His wife of almost 70 years, Marilyn Plottel, was an Emmy Award-winning television producer and died in June.</p>

Sources: The Hollywood Reporter, The New York Times, Los Angeles Times / Featured Image: Dhanak/Wikimedia Commons / Embedded Images: ABC Television via Wikimedia CommonsRay Mickshaw, FremantleMedia North America via USA Today

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