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November 21, 2021

'Let's Make a Deal' Monty Hall Married His Distant Cousin Who Died Just 3 Month Before Him

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Legendary Broadcaster Monty Hall was reluctant to meet his distant cousin, Marilyn Hall, who later became his wife. After meeting her for the first time, Monty said it was "game over."

During a 2002 interview with the Archive American Television, Monty Hall revealed how he met his beloved spouse, Marilyn Hall. He indicated that he went to see a relative in Toronto at the time.

The television presenter shared they were introduced by their mutual cousin Norman Shnier when Monty was in his mid-20s. Shnier told him he had another cousin on the other side of the family.

Canadian Broadcaster Monty Hall and wife Marilyn Hall attend Will Rogers Memorial Awards Honoring Monty Hall on March 5, 1982 at the Beverly Hilton Hotel in Beverly Hills, California | Photo: Getty Images

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MEETING HIS FUTURE WIFE

According to Shnier, the specific individual was not related to Monty and was an 18-year-old actress on the Broadcasting Corporation who played "Alice in Wonderland." The sportscaster said that he did not want to meet an 18-year-old actress because he was 24. He stated:

"That was too much for me. But I did meet her, and when I met her, it was game over. We were married a year later."

An undated image of Monty Hall and Marilyn Hall during the 10th Anniversary of The Archive of American TV - Red Carpet and Inside at Crustacean in Beverly Hills, California | Photo: Getty Images

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REFLECTING ON LIFE WITH MARILYN

In an interview with CNN in 2013, Monty said he had a great life with his longtime spouse, Marilyn. The radio show host mentioned that they were married for 54 years and made a witty remark saying, "I guess it worked."

"It's been a remarkable life, wonderful, talented children, talented wife, a beautiful life," he said. When asked what helped him and his significant other stay married for so long, Monty shared it was a great sense of humor, adding, Marilyn was an incredible woman.

Game show host Monty Hall on "Let's Make a Deal," on August 13, 1969 | Photo: Getty Images

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HIS PASSING & CAREER

Sadly, Monty died in September 2017 at age 96. His daughter revealed he passed away because of heart failure. The father of three was best known as the host of the American game show "Let's Make a Deal."

Monty hosted the program from its inception in 1963 until 1986 but made a return in 1991. Having co-created the show, he appeared in more than 4,700 episodes. The series became one of the popular game shows in the country during his reign.

Monty Hall and Emmy Award-winner Wayne Brady of the one-hour daytime series "Let's Make A Deal," on January 29 | Photo: Getty Images

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HIS LEGACY

He was succeeded by Actor and TV Personality Wayne Brady. Following his passing, Brady told The Hollywood Reporter that it was an honor to get the icon's blessings to host the new iteration of the show. He said:

"In this business, you're lucky to meet a legend and even luckier still to work with and learn from one. I miss Monty like everyone connected to 'Let's Make a Deal,' but I can smile because he got to see his baby fly again."

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The comedian added that getting a "Seal of Approval" from him was one of the most significant opportunities he had ever received in his career thus far.

He described Monty as the perfect mix of gentleman, joker, and teacher while thanking him for the support. The renowned public figure was also a sportscaster and was previously a radio analyst for the New York Rangers during the 1959-60 season.

He began his showbiz career doing radio while dabbling game show gigs on local TV affiliates. Monty was born in Winnipeg on August 25, 1921, to Jewish parents who owned a slaughterhouse.

Monty Hall and Marilyn Hall arrive at The Taste of Beverly Hills on September 2, 2010 in Beverly Hills, California | Photo: Getty Images

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MARILYN'S PASSING

Sadly, the mother of his kids died three months before he did, and just like him, she was also in show business as a writer and a producer. Marilyn passed in June 2017 from natural causes.

She was 90 years old and lived with her husband in Los Angeles, California. They had three children together, daughters Joanna and Sharon, son Richard, and five grandchildren.

Monty Hall, with his wife Marilyn, daughter Joanna and son-in-law Paul, attending a Harvest Moon dinner in November 1976 at the Beverly Hills Hilton, California | Photo: Getty Images

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FACTS ABOUT THEIR KIDS

Joanna followed in her parents' footsteps, pursuing an acting career and becoming a Tony Award-winning actress and singer. 

Her sister Sharon is the president of Endemol Shine Studios, and their brother Richard won an Emmy for working on the reality competition, "The Amazing Race."

Former television host Monty Hall makes a point to his wife Marilyn during the inaugural internationally televised program "Temple of the Air" at the Four Season Hotel Beverly Hills on April 24, 2003 in Beverly Hills, California | Photo: Getty Images

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THE LIFE OF MARILYN

Marilyn and Monty tied the knot in September 1947 and were married for nearly 70 years. The two were both Canadian natives but became United States citizens in 1949. Marilyn was born on May 17, 1927, in Winnipeg, Manitoba.

She graduated from the University of Toronto. Furthermore, when she turned 50, she went back to school and earned her master's degree in fine arts from the UCLA School of Theater, Film, and Television.

Marilyn was an award-winning producer and writer, having begun her career in her hometown as a writer and an actress for the CBC. She also taught writing based on children's programming at Queen's University.

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(L-R) Scott Forman, Incoming President of Variety the Children's Charity, honoree Monty Hall, Marilyn Hall and Tom Sherak, President of The Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences pose during the Heart of Show Business Benefit Luncheon at Skirball Center on December 15, 2011 in Los Angeles, California | Photo: Getty Images

HER CAREER

Per her IMDb, she was an associate producer for the 1982 TV movie, "A Woman Called Golda," including 1984's sports film "Nadia."

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She won an Emmy Award for Outstanding Drama/Comedy Special on "Do You Remember Love." The movie received rave reviews for portraying the crucial issues of Alzheimer's disease.

Marilyn was a woman with many talents. She was also a songwriter and wrote a song called "Is It Possible That I've Been Gone So Long." Cabaret Singer Hildegarde recorded the song.  

Monty Hall and his spouse Marilyn Hall arrive at the 2006 TV Land Awards in Santa Monica, California | Photo: Getty Images

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HER PHILANTHROPY WORK

Marilyn's philanthropy efforts included work for Brandeis University, Tel Aviv University, and the Jewish Welfare Fund, for which she made documentary films.

She also pledged her support for the Wallis Annenberg Center for the Performing Arts. Additionally, she developed programs for the Julia Ann Singer Child Care Center, the Jewish Home for the Aging and Variety Clubs International, and Guardians of Courage.

Marilyn served as a board member on the organizations mentioned above while producing and writing its International Humanitarian Award event.

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Monty Hall and Marilyn Hall arrive at the 25th annual Palm Springs International Film Festival awards gala at Palm Springs Convention Center on January 4, 2014 in Palm Springs, California | Photo: Getty Images

The mother of three was also an author. She wrote "The Celebrity Kosher Cookbook," which consisted of readers' recipes enjoyed by fellow stars. Marilyn also wrote book reviews for The Los Angeles Times.

According to Deadline, her family urged people to donate to charities she showed interest in when she passed. These included the LA Jewish Home for the Aging or Variety Clubs International, instead of offering flowers.

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