Monty Hall, legendary host of 'Let's Make a Deal,' dead at 96

Monty Hall, legendary host of 'Let's Make a Deal,' dead at 96

TV game show host and creator Monty Hall, the man who took Let's Make A Deal from a daytime staple into prime time, has died of heart failure in Beverly Hills.

Let's Make a Deal was conceived by Hall with writer Stefan Hatos in 1963, following Hall stints in NY radio and as the host of a game show in Hollywood called Video Village.

He was born Monte Halperin on August 25, 1921, in Winnipeg, the son of a slaughterhouse owner father and an actress mother.

Wherever and whenever the game show aired, its concept was a constant: Players, known as "traders", were given a moderate prize and offered the opportunity to trade it for an unknown prize. The show, which was an instant success, featured audience members wearing insane costumes to get Hall's attention and getting to choose mystery prizes behind closed doors.

The late TV presenter also created and produced the show, along with Stefan Hatos.

While Hall was the unquestioned master of ceremonies, the real stars of "Let's Make a Deal" were the thousands of frantic, exuberant and impressively festooned contestants he plucked from the audience. Hall was born in Winnipeg, Manitoba.

Moving to NY in 1955, he joined forces with writer-producer Stefan Hatos, and the two created the show that would make his name.

In 1991, the New York Times published an article about what became known as "the Monty Hall problem" - a probability puzzle hotly debated by mathematicians centering on the advisability of switching choices when given options like those on his show.

Wayne Brady has been the current host since 2009. The tradition of zany costumes evolved as the show continued, and contestants vied in more absurd fashion to attract Hall's attention.

However, Sharon Hall said Hall never refused an autograph and used his fame to help others. "And when you grow up poor, you identify with people in need". They had three children, including actress Joanna Gleason.

Hall and his wife, Marilyn Plottel, married in 1947.

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