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'Let's Make a Deal' host, philanthropist Monty Hall dies

Published: Saturday, September 30, 2017 @ 7:12 PM
Updated: Saturday, September 30, 2017 @ 7:11 PM

Monty Hall, the genial TV game show host whose long-running "Let's Make a Deal" traded on love of money and merchandise and the mystery of which door had the car behind it, has died. He was 96.

Hall, who had been in poor health, died Saturday morning of heart failure at his home in Beverly Hills, said his daughter, Sharon Hall of Los Angeles.

"Let's Make a Deal," which Hall co-created, debuted as a daytime show on NBC in 1963 and became a TV staple. Through the next four decades, it also aired in prime time, in syndication and, in two brief outings, with hosts other than Hall at the helm.

An episode of "The Odd Couple" featured Felix Unger (Tony Randall) and Oscar Madison (Jack Klugman) as bickering guests on Hall's program.

Contestants were chosen from the studio audience — outlandishly dressed as animals, clowns or cartoon characters to attract the host's attention — and would start the game by trading an item of their own for a prize. After that, it was matter of swapping the prize in hand for others hidden behind doors, curtains or in boxes, presided over by the leggy, smiling Carol Merrill.

The query "Do you want Door No. 1, No. 2 or No. 3?" became a popular catch phrase, and the chance of winning a new car a matter of primal urgency. Prizes could be a car or a mink coat or a worthless item dubbed a "zonk."

The energetic, quick-thinking Hall, a sight himself with his sideburns and colorful sports coats, was deemed the perfect host in Alex McNeil's reference book, "Total Television."

"Monty kept the show moving while he treated the outrageously garbed and occasionally greedy contestants courteously; it is hard to imagine anyone else but Hall working the trading area as smoothly," McNeil wrote.

For Hall, the interaction was easy.

"I'm a people person," he said on the PBS documentary series "Pioneers of Television." ''And so I don't care if they jump on me, and I don't care if they yell and they fainted — those are my people."

The game show gave rise to an academic exercise in which students are asked to weigh this question: 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?

The puzzle sparked heated exchanges in Marilyn vos Savant's Parade magazine column. (The answer to the Monty Hall Problem, Hall and others said, was yes, take the switch — but only if the contest is set up so the host cannot skew the results by offering some guests the chance to switch doors and not giving others the same option.)

After five years on NBC, "Let's Make a Deal" moved to ABC in 1968 and aired on the network through 1976, including prime-time stints. It went into syndication in the 1970s and 1980s, returning to NBC in 1990-91 and again in 2003. In 2009 it returned on CBS with host Wayne Brady and is still on the air.

His name and show remain part of the language. Typical is the quotation in a 2006 Daytona Beach (Florida) News-Journal profile of a no-nonsense bail bondswoman who says, "I'm not Monty Hall and this isn't 'Let's Make a Deal.' "

Hall also guest-starred in sitcoms and appeared in TV commercials. And with the wealth that the game show brought, he made philanthropy and fundraising his avocation. He spent 200 days a year at it, he said, estimating in the late 1990s that he had coaxed $700 million from donors.

His daughter Sharon estimated that Hall managed to raise nearly $1 billion for charity over his lifetime.

Another daughter, Joanna Gleason, is a longtime Broadway and television actress. She won a Tony in 1988 for best actress in a musical for "Into the Woods" and was nominated for Tonys two other times.

Born Monty Halparin in Winnipeg, Manitoba, in Canada, Hall grew up during the Depression. In 1942, Hall was doing manual labor at the time when a wealthy stranger offered to pay for his college education on condition that he repaid the money, got top grades, kept his benefactor's name anonymous and agreed to help someone else.

Hall only revealed the name of the late Max Freed about 30 years later.

Hall earned a degree from the University of Manitoba with the goal of becoming a physician. He was denied entry to medical school, Hall later said, because he was Jewish and faced quotas limiting the admission of minority students.

"Every poor kid wants to get into some kind of profession, and in my case I wanted to get into medicine to become a doctor. ... My dreams of medicine evaporated," Hall said in a 2002 interview with The Canadian Press.

Instead, he turned to entertainment. He first tested his skills on radio and, after moving to New York in 1955 and later to Los Angeles, began working on a variety of television shows. Among the programs he hosted were "Cowboy Theater" in 1957, "Keep Talking," 1958, and "Video Village" in 1960.

He joined with writer-producer Stefan Hatos to create "Let's Make a Deal."

The show's roots could be found in "The Auctioneer," a game show Hall hosted in Toronto in the 1950s. "The Auctioneer" was a "pretty pedestrian" program until the concluding 10 minutes, when he would barter with audience members, Hall told the Daily Herald of suburban Chicago in 2000.

"It was much more exciting than the first 20 minutes of the show," he recalled.

Besides Hall, the hosts of "Let's Make a Deal" were Bob Hilton (1990) and Billy Bush (2003). But it was Hall who was lastingly identified as "TV's big dealer," as the show put it, something he found at least mildly disconcerting.

When a People magazine interviewer suggested in 1996 that "Let's Make a Deal" would be his epitaph, Hall replied, with a wince: "You put that on my tombstone, and I'll kill you."

However, Sharon Hall said Hall never refused an autograph and used his fame to help others.

His family's financial circumstances and a childhood accident stirred that charitable desire, Hall said.

At age 7, he was severely burned by a pot of boiling water and endured a lengthy recovery.

"When you've been that sick, spent a year out of school, you identify with people who have these ailments and sicknesses," he told the Palm Beach (Fla.) Post in a 2003 interview. "And when you grow up poor, you identify with people in need."

Hall was repeatedly honored for his charity efforts, with awards including the Order of Canada, Order of Manitoba and Variety Clubs International's Humanitarian Award. Wards were named in his honor at Mount Sinai Hospital in Toronto, Hahnemann University Hospital in Philadelphia and other medical centers.

Hall and his wife, Marilyn Plottel, married in 1947. She died earlier this year.

In addition to his daughters, Hall is survived by his son, Richard; a brother, Robert Hall of Toronto, Canada, and five grandchildren.

___

Associated Press writer Robert Jablon contributed to this report.

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New Texas billboard responds to sign telling liberals to leave state: 'Welcome, y'all'

Published: Monday, June 25, 2018 @ 6:35 AM

Texas Billboard Urges Liberals To Leave The State

Just one week after a billboard telling liberals to get out of Texas went viral, a new sign is offering a unifying message.

>> Texas billboard urging liberals to leave state to be taken down

According to KVII, Amarillo resident Roman Leal started a GoFundMe page Wednesday to put up a more welcoming sign after learning of a billboard near Vega that read, "Liberals, please continue on I-40 until you have left our GREAT STATE OF TEXAS." (That billboard has since been taken down.)

>> See it here

Billboard 6 miles east of Vega on I-40 east bound! I like it!

Posted by Kyle Mccallie on Tuesday, June 19, 2018

 >> Read more trending news 

"We need a sign that represents the true, hospitable spirit of the great state of Texas," Leal wrote in the fundraiser's description. "'Texas is for everyone – not for bigotry. Welcome, y'all!' will go up on the Lamar digital billboard at I40 and Coulter. It will be visible to travelers and commuters driving along the interstate in Amarillo, giving us a chance to put our best boot forward. Meeting the campaign goal will keep the billboard up for 4 weeks. Any contributions exceeding the goal will be used to pay for a longer duration."

>> Need something to lift your spirits? Read more uplifting news 

The campaign quickly met its $1,800 goal. By Monday morning, it had raised $3,075.

The new billboard reportedly went up over the weekend and has already gone viral on Reddit.

>> See the post here

New Amarillo billboard in response to “liberals keep driving” from r/pics

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Update: Texas billboard urging liberals to leave state to be taken down

Published: Thursday, June 21, 2018 @ 8:09 PM
Updated: Thursday, June 21, 2018 @ 8:09 PM

Texas Billboard Urges Liberals To Leave The State

The Texas billboard urging liberals to get out of the state went viral, but will be taken down following backlash.

>> Read more trending news

According to KDFW, the owner of the advertising company said the billboard that reads "Liberals, please continue on I-40 until you have left our GREAT STATE OF TEXAS" will be taken down and the buyer will be reimbursed.

The billboard is located along Interstate 40 near Vega.

Facebook user Kyle Mccallie of Fritch shared a photo of the sign Tuesday.

"Billboard 6 miles east of Vega on I-40 east bound! I like it," he quipped in his Facebook post, which has been shared more than 12,000 times.

>> See the post here

Billboard 6 miles east of Vega on I-40 east bound! I like it!

Posted by Kyle Mccallie on Tuesday, June 19, 2018
 

The billboard's owner was not identified in KFDA's report

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Paint Creek firefighter killed after station accident in Highland Co. ID’d

Published: Sunday, June 24, 2018 @ 9:56 PM
Updated: Monday, June 25, 2018 @ 5:28 AM

Firefighter's body escorted to morgue

UPDATE @ 5:45 a.m: The Paint Creek firefighter killed after a tragic accident that occurred while at the district’s station has been identified as Joe Patterson.

OTHER LOCAL NEWS: Four people displaced after Piqua house fire 

The Paint Creek Joint EMS & Fire District posted the message to their Facebook page: “It is our sad duty to report the Line of Duty Death of Fire Fighter Joe Patterson of the Paint Creek Fire District in Highland County Ohio. Fire Fighter Patterson lost his life in a tragic accident at the fire house on the afternoon of June 24, 2018. Memorial details will be announced as they are finalized.”

Patterson was working with compressed air cylinders when he was critically injured by one of the them. He was then air lifted by a MedFlight helicopter to Kettering Medical Center, where he later died.

Local police and firefighters helped escort the fallen firefighter to the Montgomery County Coroner’s Office.

An autopsy is scheduled to be performed later today, according to the coroner’s. 

INITIAL REPORT

Local Dayton police and fire departments helped escort a fallen firefighter/EMT from Kettering Medical Center to the Montgomery County Coroner’s Office Sunday night.

The firefighter died early Sunday, according to officials. 

He was a firefighter/EMT with the Paint Creek Joint EMS/Fire District and lost his life after an accident at the district’s station near Rainsboro, according to a local news journal.

Firefighter escorted to morgue after accident

The firefighter was working with compressed air cylinders when he was critically injured by one of the cylinders. He was then air lifted by a MedFlight helicopter to Kettering Medical Center, where he later died.

The name of the firefighter will be released once his family has been notified. 

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Teen girl helps blind, deaf man by signing into his hands on Alaska Air flight

Published: Saturday, June 23, 2018 @ 3:44 PM

Clara Daly, 15, helped a blind and deaf man communicate during an Alaska Airlines flight from Boston to Portland.
Alaska Airlines
Clara Daly, 15, helped a blind and deaf man communicate during an Alaska Airlines flight from Boston to Portland.(Alaska Airlines)

A teen girl helped a blind, deaf man communicate on a recent Alaska Airlines flight, according to KIRO.

Dianne McGinness with Alaska Airlines shared the heartwarming story after a passenger on the flight wrote a post this week about the interaction that was shared over 400,000 times.

The passenger, Lynette Scribner, was traveling on the same flight as the teen and man, and was moved to write a post on the touching encounter. 

>> Read more trending news 

Scribner said the man, Tim Cook, was traveling home to Portland after visiting his sister. Cook lives at Portland's Brookdale Senior Living. 

When passengers of the flight realized Cook was blind and deaf, many helped ensure he was comfortable. A man sitting next to Cook gave him the aisle seat and helped with little tasks like opening his coffee creamer and pouring it into his coffee, Scribner shared.

A flight attendant made an announcement asking if a passenger on board knew American Sign Language. Fifteen-year-old Clara Daly, who has studied ASL for the last year, rang her call button.

When Daly learned the man could communicate only if someone signed into his hand, she immediately went to help.

Cook asked Daly questions and she patiently sign-spelled answers into his hand.

Scribner said Daly learned ASL because she has dyslexia, and it was the easiest foreign language for her to learn.

“Clara was amazing,” an Alaska Airlines flight attendant said in the news release. “You could tell Tim was very excited to have someone he could speak to -- and she was such an angel.”

“When (Cook) asked (Daly) if she was pretty, she blushed and laughed as the seat mate, who had learned a few signs, communicated an enthusiastic yes to Tim,” Scribner shared. “I don't know when I've ever seen so many people rally to take care of another human being. All of us in the immediate rows were laughing and smiling and enjoying his obvious delight in having someone to talk to.”

Clara Daly, 15, helped a blind and deaf man communicate during an Alaska Airlines flight from Boston to Portland.(Alaska Airlines)

After the flight, McGinness said Cook met a service provider from Brookdale Senior Living at the gate.

Cook said the flight was the best trip he's ever taken.

Daly told her mom she thought the encounter was "meant to be," since her original flight was canceled and she was redirected to Cook's flight.

On Thursday, Scribner added a note on her beloved post: “We are all starving for good news and this was just what we needed.”

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