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Joan Mangum’s Society Scene—Remembering Unique And Righteous Monty Hall

Monty Hall

Posted: Friday, October 6, 2017 – 7:13 PM

There was an old saying: “How do you throw a fundraiser in Los Angeles?–two Jews and Monty Hall.”

Our longtime pal Monty Hall, was laid to rest this week next to his beloved Marilyn after 69 years of marriage. The funeral highlighted in every way this unique and righteous man. His parents must have been proudly shining down on their son’s life as his three children, Joanna Gleason, Richard Hall and Sharon Kessler, grandchildren, Aaron, Mikka, Maggi Jack, and Levi spoke radiantly with love and humor.

Close friend Bob Boden crafted the exhilarating story of Monty’s professional life career. Rabbi’s David Baron and Sharon Brous spoke with the eloquence of their personal and spiritual reflections. The words, grace, style, warmth, loving were amongst many superlatives mentioned time and again. Cantor Alysia Pierce’s voice framed the spiritual and emotional embrace.

A few days before he passed, Joanna asked what his brightest moment was – aside from his family. Monty reminded her that he always wanted to be a pediatrician so he could help children because he had been temporarily disabled for one year at the age of 6 and knew the trauma that children felt.

Monty told Joanna that many years ago when he, Marilyn and Sharon were on vacation in Hawaii, they went to a hospital because he wanted to visit with the children. Asking to see those who had the most difficulty, he met an 8-year-old autistic boy, whom the nurses said – “never said a word.” The boy just sat and watched TV day and night. Monty spoke to the boy and then to his parents. Suddenly the boy pointed at Monty and exclaimed – “Monty Hall!” It was the first time he spoke and at that moment Monty was “the doctor” who began his healing.

His brother Robert’s demeanor and stature as a speaker mirrored that of his older brother as he shared one of Monty’s last thoughts–days before his passing–when he summed up what he had learned from his activist mother: “It is our duty and obligation to reach out to those members of our community who need our help–the sick, the mentally and physically challenged, the poor, and the elderly. And how we reach out and assist will eventually measure us as a society. The rewards are in the small of the challenged child, the gratitude of a parent, the warmth in the embrace of an elderly person.”

Rest in peace, dear Monty. We all loved you so very much.

• • • • •

Big Brothers Big Sisters of Greater Los Angeles (BBBSLA), founded in 1955 by Walt Disney and The Music Man Composer Meredith Willson, will honor Netflix VP Cindy Holland with the Sherry Lansing Award at its “Big Bash Gala” at the Beverly Hilton on Oct. 20.

“As successful as Cindy is in creating quality entertainment, she has never lost sight of the power of giving back,” said Laura Lizer, BBBSLA board chair.  “Her support of numerous philanthropic causes and dedication to the Women in Entertainment Mentorship Program, which empowers young women to beat the odds in the face of adversity are all qualities that exemplify our Sherry Lansing Award.” 

BBBSLA Big Brother Travis Van Winkle of TNT’s The Last Ship and BBBSLA Big Sister Kelly Sullivan of TLC’s Too Close To Home will co-host the event which begins at 6 p.m.

Tickets are $500. For information, call 213-213-2420 or email:

• • • • •

Halloween will get an early start–two days to be exact on Sunday, Oct. 30–as The Shakespeare Center of L.A. (SCLA) presents Double, Double Toil and Trouble, a one-night-only experience with Harry Hamlin and Claudia Christian resurrecting Shakespeare’s Macbeth with a special benefit reading of the classic in downtown’s Shakespeare Studio at 1238 W 1st St.

This ghoulish evening, from 6:30 p.m., also features a tour of the cursed castle of Macbeth, a haunted maze designed by former Disney Imagineer Chris Runcoa, with its supernatural, soothsaying witches, murderous tapestries, a blood bathroom, floating daggers, stalking ghosts and chilling sound effects.

Directed by Louis Fantasia, additional cast members are Christopher Anderson, Ashley Bell, Sheldon Donenberg, Travis Goodman, Michele Greene, Audrey Hamilton, Lexie Helgerson, Clayton B. Hodges, Isabella Hoffman, Jamison Jones, Don Paul, Alex Rotaru, and Michael Zelniker.

There will be a post-show wine and pumpkin pie reception with the cast provided by the Gallo Family of Wines.

Tickets are priced from $35 to $75. Visit: or call 213-489-1123.

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