Let's Make a Deal game show host Monty Hall dies at 96

1 October 2017, 08:10

Monty Hall, co-creator and host of US game show Let's Make A Deal, has died aged 96.

One of America's most popular presenters, his son said he suffered heart failure on Saturday morning at his home in Beverly Hills.

His much loved show Let's Make A Deal - a staple of US daytime TV - was renowned for brightly dressed contestants plucked from the studio audience who would trade an item of their own in exchange for a prize.

They would then swap the prize for others, hidden behind a series of doors, taking a chance on whether they would win a shiny new car or take home a joke prize - called a 'zonk' - such as a live donkey.

The show even gave rise to an academic exercise - the Monty Hall Problem.

Students are asked: "In guessing which of three doors might conceal a prize car, and after one is eliminated as a possibility, should you switch your choice to the one you didn't pick?"

Hall said the correct answer was yes - take the switch - but only if the host cannot skew the results.

Describing himself as "a people person" he said his success was down to the fact he didn't mind if contestants jumped on him or fainted.

Debuting on NBC in 1963, the show has run for more than five decades and is syndicated around the world.

Using his wealth and fame to help others, he raised millions for charity over his lifetime, saying "when you grow up poor, you identify with people in need".

Born Monty Halparin in Winnipeg, Canada, as a child he was severely burned by a pot of boiling water and spent a year out of school.

Initially hoping to become a doctor, he turned to entertainment when he was rejected from medical school.

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

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

He is survived by two daughters - Broadway and TV actress Joanna Gleason and Sharon Hall - his son Richard, brother Robert Hall and five grandchildren.

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