Sept. 30, 2017: Monty Hall, ‘Let’s Make a Deal’ Host, Obituary

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Monty Hall

The program’s format was so simple that it couldn’t lose: Contestants—dressed foolishly in order to attract attention—were chosen from the studio audience and given a gift. They could take it or they could trade it in for a chance on what they hoped would be another, better offer, one they couldn’t see, perhaps hidden in a box or behind a door. If they were lucky, they’d win a car or a lavish vacation. Or maybe just a silly, worthless trinket.

Let’s Make a Deal began in 1963 on NBC, moved to ABC five years later, went into syndication and has existed almost ever since under various titles. It’s still around today.

During its peak early years, it was hosted by its co-creator, Monty Hall, who died September 30, 2017, at his Beverly Hills home at age 96. The cause, confirmed by his daughter, was heart failure.

Monty Hall (Wikipedia photo courtesy of ABC Television)

Born Monte Halparin in Winnipeg, Canada, on Aug. 25, 1921, Hall started his career in radio before moving to Toronto in 1946. There he hosted early TV game shows before moving to New York, where he became the host of children’s shows. Following a series of other game show gigs, he and partner Stefan Hatos created Let’s Make a Deal, which premiered as part of NBC’s daytime lineup on Dec. 30, 1963. Hall stayed on as host as the program switched networks, and remained involved with it in one capacity or another into the early ’90s. He was host or executive producer of the show through most of its runs. During the show’s early years, Hall appeared alongside model Carol Merrill and announcer Jay Stewart.

Hall’s frequent question to the contestants was, “Is it behind door number one, door number two or door number three?”

Hall and Hatos created other shows, of which only one, Split Second, enjoyed any real success. Hall also hosted other game shows and also appeared in some TV series. But Monty Hall’s name will forever be entwined with Let’s Make a Deal and the question of whether it’s better to settle or take a look at what’s behind door number three.

Hall received a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame in 1973.

Watch a classic segment from Let’s Make a Deal with Monty Hall

Related: Legendary game show host Bob Barker died in 2023

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