TV's Big Deal Gets Recognized

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It's hard to think of daytime TV without thinking of soap operas and game shows. And when it comes to game shows, there's one man who comes to mind first: Monty Hall! During this year's telecast of the Daytime Entertainment Emmy Awards, airing Sunday, June 16, on HLN, the Manitoba, Canada, native, who's best known as the creator and host of LET'S MAKE A DEAL will be recognized by The National Academy of Television Arts & Sciences with a Lifetime Achievement Award.

Continued after the jump

He Fell Into Game Shows!
"I've been an actor, a writer, a producer, and a sportscaster — I've done it all!" says the man who began his broadcasting career in 1940. "I stumbled into the game show business when I went to New York from Canada to get involved in sportscasting... but when I got myself a game show, that seemed to turn my career around." While LET'S MAKE A DEAL was not Hall's first hosting gig, it did become his claim to fame beginning in 1963. "I did it for the first 30 years, and then I hired other people to replace me because I own the show," he explains. "And I've appeared on it in every one of the six decades since — that's a pretty good run!"

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The Stories He Can Tell...
Hall says that he has no idea how much cash he's given away over the years, but he does recall the origin of the craziness associated with it. "I think it was the first time that a show was worked right from the audience, and I picked contestants at random. One day, a lady came in with a sign and I picked her — then everybody started having signs!" he laughs. "Then the funny costumes came. I remember the network called saying, 'There are 500 people out there waiting to come on the show and they are all dressed like Halloween. What are you going to do?' And I said, 'You know, I don't think we'll do anything!"

His Greatest Achievement
Hall will be the third member of his family to win an Emmy, and he's proud of them all. However, he's even more pleased about all the good that his success has allowed him to do. "I've raised more than one billion dollars in the last 60 years," says the man who serves as the International Chairman of Variety The Children's Charity and who has personally put "countless" kids through college. "I had a tennis tournament for diabetes for 20 odd years, homes for the aged, hospitals... I've enjoyed my life tremendously to be able to do all that." Nevertheless, the entertainer who also spent a decade as Hollywood's honorary mayor names something else as his biggest achievement: "Marrying Marilyn!" he grins of the woman who remains by his side. "It's been 65 years... we work together, and with a great sense of humor."

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