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In the world of game shows, certain hosts loom large for their accomplishments as both presenters and creators. Monty Hall has always been one such figure, with Let's Make A Deal being his claim to fame in games, as he helped introduce the world to a format that still puzzles folks to this very day. His was an incredible legacy that will always be remembered, even after this weekend's announcement that the legendary game show impresario passed away due to heart failure, at the age of 96.
Born in 1921 as Monte Halperin, the Winnipeg native owed his now famous stage name to one part misspelling and one part creative license, both courtesy of a radio station manager. With his roots in radio broadcasting, Hall started out as a Canadian on-air personality in 1946, before moving onto television in 1952. Eventually, in a gamble to jump-start his career, Monty Hall moved to New York City in 1955, and became a host that jumped around through various stations in the city, hosting everything from TV film broadcasts to the news program, Monitor.
But of course, Hall was still making rounds in game shows, with his greatest success to come in 1963, as he co-created Let's Make A Deal for the NBC network. The show had its first consistent run up until 1976, with a couple of network jumps in the midst of the show's history. The format would endure syndication, and a lengthy hiatus, before eventually being brought back in 2010 with Wayne Brady as its host. And through all of that time, Monty Hall's television legacy boiled down to three doors, some top-flight showmanship, and a probability problem for the ages. As you'll see in the video below, the problem is so infamous, it's named after Monty himself.
In his personal life, Hall was known as a philanthropist, supporting charities and telethons to the tune of an estimated $1 billion of lifetime giving. He was also given high honors in his native country of Canada, being awarded the Order of Canada, as well as a spot on both the Canadian and Hollywood Walks of Fame -- only one of three game show hosts to do that. His was a life that also afforded him opportunities to pop up throughout all of pop culture, with guest appearances in shows like That 70's Show, as well as a guest host on the most recent incarnation of his own Let's Make A Deal.
TVLine reported that Hall is survived by his three children, actor Joanna Gleason, and TV producers Sharon Hall Kessler and Richard Hall. His passing comes only months after his wife, Marilyn Hall, passed back in June. Our sincerest condolences go out to those affected by the passing of Monty Hall, as he was truly a legend of our time. Truly, we all won the deal the day he brought Let's Make A Deal to TV; and we'll continue to reap the benefits of his legacy so long as he and his contributions are remembered.