Both born in Winnipeg, Manitoba, they always kept their attachment to Canada. Monte Halperin and Marilyn Plottel were distant cousins introduced by another cousin and they married on September 28, 1947.
Monty’s family were Orthodox Jews living in Winnipeg’s north end. He graduated from University of Manitoba and Marilyn from the University of Toronto. She began her career as a writer and radio ingénue for the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation.
After his first job in radio at Winnipeg”s CKRC Monty then moved to Toronto in 1946 and started working with radio station CHUM which shortened his name to Monty Hall. He ventured into television with the CBC when it was launched in 1952 and finally moved to New York City with Marilyn in 1955 in an attempt to break into American broadcasting.
Keeping his hand in radio where he was a regular on NBC’s “Monitor” – a mix of comedy, music, sports and news, Monty did a variety of TV programming from game shows, to children’s programming. Five years later, Monty moved to Hollywood to host “Video Village,” a CBS TV show on which contestants became board pieces on a human-sized game board. He teamed with the writer and producer Stefan Hatos to create “Let’s Make A Deal” in 1963.
Marilyn, a published songwriter for her song “It It Possible That I’ve Been Gone So Long” recorded by cabaret singer Hildegarde, went on to earn an MFA from UCLA and began producing films and TV. In addition to her humanitarian work Marilyn was an associate producer of the 1982 Emmy-winning television movie “A Woman Called Golda,” starring Ingrid Bergman and Leonard Nimoy, as well as a host of other programs.
Both Monty and Marilyn shaped their lives around philanthropic endeavors from Variety Clubs International to a host of other charitable organizations both in the US and Israel. Monty received the prestigious Order of Canada for his humanitarian work in Canada and other nations of the world.
Three children, Joanna, Richard and Sharon, performers and producers themselves, rallied around these two forces of nature as Marilyn and Monty closed the last chapter on amazing lives. They past away in 2017, four months apart.
Longtime supporters of The Jewish Healing Center, Monty and Marilyn’s life was closely intertwined with that of JHCLA’s founder Rabbi Carla Howard. From shared roots in Winnipeg, through children, family building and professional careers, Monty and Marilyn honored this connection by trusting us with their final care.