NEW YORK CITY (JTA)–Monty Hall, the friendly and engaging host of the long-running television game show “Let’s Make a Deal,” died of heart failure at his home in Beverly Hills, Calif., on Saturday, Sept. 30, at the age of 96. He had a heart attack in June shortly after his wife of almost 70 years died, and had been ill since.
In addition to hosting, Hall was the co-creator of the game show, in which contestants vie to trade smaller prizes with the host for a chance at something bigger behind a curtain or in a box. At the end of the show, the two biggest winners of the day compete for prizes behind three doors.
Hall reportedly appeared in more than 4,500 episodes of the show, which is on the air today with Wayne Brady as host. He hosted the show for 23 years until 1986, and for a short time in 1991.
A probability brain-teaser was named after the game-show host. The “Monty Hall Problem,” which ends with a counterintuitive solution, includes three doors, two goats, and a car.
Hall received a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame in 1973. He received a lifetime achievement awards at the Daytime Emmys in 2013.
Hall reportedly was a philanthropist. His family told CNN that he helped to raise close to $1 billion for charity during his life and that he spent about 200 days a year in fund-raisers and charitable work. He was awarded the Order of Canada for his humanitarian work in Canada and other countries and the 2005 Ralph Edwards Service Award from Game Show Congress, in recognition of his years of charitable work.
A dual American and Canadian citizen, Hall was born Monte Halparin in the Canadian city of Winnipeg, Manitoba to Orthodox Jewish parents, Maurice Harvey Halparin, who owned a slaughterhouse, and Rose Rusen. He wanted to be a doctor, not an actor, but could not get into medical school due to Jewish quotas, according to the CBC.
Hall is survived by his children: actress Joanna Gleason; Sharon Hall Kessler, head of television at Alcon Entertainment, and Richard Hall, a television producer.