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Marilyn Hall, an Emmy Award-winning producer and the matriarch of a show-business family that includes her husband, the legendary Let’s Make a Deal host Monty Hall, died Monday in Los Angeles. She was 90.
Marilyn and Monty, 95, were married in September 1947.
In addition to her husband, survivors include their children Joanna Gleason, the Tony Award-winning actress and the wife of actor Chris Sarandon; Sharon Hall, president of Endemol Shine Studios and the wife of TV producer Todd Ellis Kessler; and Emmy-winning producer Richard Hall (The Amazing Race).
Marilyn Hall served as an associate producer on the celebrated 1982 telefilm A Woman Called Golda, which starred Ingrid Bergman as Israel’s prime minister, and she won her Emmy for executive producing Do You Remember Love, a 1985 TV movie about the effects of Alzheimer’s that starred Joanne Woodward and Richard Kiley.
Hall also produced Nadia, a 1984 telefilm about Olympic champion gymnast Nadia Comaneci; 1989’s The Ginger Tree, a four-part miniseries for PBS/NHK that was written by Christopher Hampton; and the historical 2007 feature The Little Traitor, starring Alfred Molina.
The multitalented Hall also penned an episode of Love, American Style and the 1975 ABC special Lights, Camera, Monty!; served as an associate producer on the original 1990s Broadway productions of Jelly’s Last Jam and Angels in America; wrote The Celebrity Kosher Cookbook, published in 1975; and reviewed books for the Los Angeles Times.
A native of Winnipeg, Canada (just like her husband), Marilyn Hall began her career as a writer and actress for the CBC. She also taught writing focused on children’s programming at Queen’s University in Kingston, Ont.
After moving to New York with her husband, she became a published songwriter when her tune “Is It Possible That I’ve Been Gone So Long” (co-written with Helen Bilby) was recorded by the famed cabaret singer Hildegarde.
She earned a bachelor’s degree from the University of Toronto and received her MFA from UCLA at age 50.
Hall worked on behalf of Brandeis University, the Jewish Welfare Fund and Tel Aviv University, for whom she made several documentary films, and was a devoted patron of the arts, from after-school programs for L.A. children to the Wallis Annenberg Center in Beverly Hills.
Hall shared her talent and resources for several charities and developed programs for the Julia Ann Singer School for child care, Guardians of Courage, Israel Bonds, the Los Angeles Jewish Home for the Aging and Variety Clubs International, where she served as a board member while writing for and producing its International Humanitarian Award event.
Hall also leaves behind her grandchildren Aaron (and his wife Stacey), Mikka (Mark), Maggie (Adam), Jack and Levi and her sister, Peggy.
In a 2002 interview with the Archive of American Television, Monty recalled how he met Marilyn. He had just moved to Toronto and was having dinner with a cousin.
He was told that “we have another cousin on the other side of the family, not related to you, and she’s an 18-year-old actress on the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation. She plays Alice in Wonderland, all these leading parts, she’s an ingenue. You should meet her.
“I said, ‘I don’t think I want to meet an 18-year-old actress.’ I was almost 24; 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.”
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