Monty Hall, ‘Let’s Make a Deal’ host, dies at 96

LOS ANGELES — Monty Hall, best known for hosting the game show ‘Let’s Make a Deal,’ died Saturday morning in Los Angeles, his daughter Sharon Hall said.

He was 96 years old and had been ill after suffering a heart attack shortly after his wife of almost 70 years died this summer.

TV host Monty Hall arrives at the 3rd annual Jerry Herman Awards at the Pantages Theatre on June 1, 2014 in Hollywood, California. (Photo by Chelsea Lauren/Getty Images for the Pantages Theatre)

“He was the greatest father on the planet … he was the dad who called every single night to see how your day was and never tired of hearing the details. He lived for his family,” Sharon Hall said.

Monty Hall hosted the first version of the popular game show, on which contestants dressed in costumes and often won prizes behind one of three doors. The show premiered in the mid-1960s and a version of the show starring Wayne Brady is still on the air.

Hall once told the Archive of American Television that when the show started people showed up in suits and dresses. On the second episode a woman brought a sign with the message: “‘Roses are red, violets are blue, I came here to deal with you.”

“The next week, everybody had a sign,” Hall said in the 2002 interview. “Then somebody else had a funny hat, then came costumes. …”
Hall insisted the show never picked anyone for their costume.

Hall said he wanted to be remembered as someone who cared for his family and others.

His family said he help to raise close to $1 billion for charity during his life.

“His philanthropy work was more important to him than his TV work. He saw TV as a means to help him raise money for charities. He was always paying it forward,” son-in-law Todd Kessler told CNN.

Sharon Hall said her father was always working for charities because of an experience that happened to him as a young man that changed his life.

“He took a job scrubbing steps to try to pay for his college and a man took pity on him and told him he would pay for his college if he did three things: retain an A average, keep the man’s name anonymous, and promise to pay it forward,” she said.

Monty Hall retained a friendship with the man whose name he never revealed.

“He was always going to telethons to raise money. He was even honored with the Royal Order of Canada. The highest honor for a Canadian,” his daughter said.

Monty Hall was a dual citizen of the United States. and Canada. “He became a US citizen so he could vote for Bill Clinton (in 1992),” Sharon Hall said.

Winnipeg, Manitoba, Mayor Brian Bowman sent his condolences by Twitter.

“Winnipeg’s ambassador in Hollywood, @umanitoba alumni & host of ‘Let’s Make a Deal’ has left our stage. RIP Monty.”

Hall was born in Winnipeg.