Marilyn Hall. Photo courtesy of the Hall family.

Marilyn Hall, actress, writer, producer, philanthropist and wife of Monty Hall, dies at 90


Marilyn Hall, an actress, writer, producer, philanthropist and wife of producer and game show host Monty Hall, died June 5 at age 90.

Hall was born Marilyn Plottel on May 17, 1927, in Winnipeg, Canada. She began her career as a writer and radio ingénue for the Canadian Broadcasting Corp., writing radio dramas, as well. Hall also taught writing focused on children’s programming at Queen’s University at Kingston in Ontario.

After moving to New York with her husband, she became a published songwriter. Her song “Is It Possible That I’ve Been Gone So Long,” co-written with Helen Bilby, was recorded by famed cabaret singer Hildegarde.

Hall supported Brandeis University, the United Jewish Welfare Fund and Tel Aviv University, for which she made several documentary films. In 1972, she won an award for best documentary campaign film for “A Fragile Sleep.” Hall volunteered to write for several charities and developed programs for the Julia Ann Singer Child Care Center, Guardians of Courage, Israel Bonds, Tel Aviv University, the Jewish Home for the Aging, and particularly for Variety Clubs International, where she served as a board member while also writing and producing its International Humanitarian Award event.

Her television writing credits included “Love, American Style” and the ABC special “Lights, Camera, Monty.”

She was the executive producer of the four-part miniseries for PBS/NHK titled “The Ginger Tree”(1989), written by Christopher Hampton; associate producer of the Emmy-winning TV movie “A Woman Called Golda,” starring Ingrid Bergman and Leonard Nimoy (1982); co-executive producer of “Do You Remember Love?” an Emmy-winning TV movie starring Joanne Woodward and Richard Kiley; and associate producer of “Nadia,” a TV movie about Olympic gymnastics champion Nadia Comaneci (1984). She executive produced the 2007 feature film “The Little Traitor,” starring Alfred Molina, based on the novel “Panther in the Basement” by Amos Oz.

Hall co-wrote “The Celebrity Kosher Cookbook,” and her book reviews appeared in the Los Angeles Times.

She earned a bachelor’s degree from the University of Toronto and a master’s of fine arts from UCLA, at age 50.

She is survived by her husband of 70 years, Monty; children Joanna Gleason (Chris Sarandon), Richard Hall and Sharon Hall (Todd Ellis Kessler); five grandchildren; and sister Peggy Cooper.

In lieu of flowers, donations in her honor can be made to the Los Angeles Jewish Home (lajh.org) or Variety Clubs International, a children’s charity.