Obituary: Marilyn Hall

Canadian born actor, playwright, producer and philanthropist was known for her radio plays and children’s teaching programme


The Canadian born actor, playwright, producer and philanthropist Marilyn Hall, who has died aged 90, was known for her radio plays and for children’s teaching programmes at Queen’s University, Kingston, Ontario. She was also a noted songwriter, whose song Is It Possible That I’ve Been Gone So Long, co-written with Helen Bilby, was recorded by cabaret singer Hildegarde.

Born in Winnipeg, Marilyn Plottel launched her radio play-writing career with the Canadian Broadcasting Corp. She married game-show host and producer Monty Hall on September 28 1947, and turned to song- writing after moving to New York with him.

Her philanthropic work included support for Brandeis University, the United Jewish Welfare Fund and Tel Aviv University, for which she also made several documentary films, one of which, A Fragile Sleep, won her a 1972 award for best documentary campaign film. These charitable impulses also persuaded Hall to offer her services freely to various organisations, some of them child-centred, and included Israel Bonds, Tel Aviv University, the Jewish Home for the Ageing, and Variety Clubs International, of which she was a board member. At the age of 50 she was awarded a BA from Toronto University and a Masters in Fine Arts from the University of California, Los Angeles.

Credits for her TV writing included Love, American Style and the ABC special Lights, Camera, Monty. She worked as an executive producer with writers such as Christopher Hampton, and was associate producer of the Emmy-winning TV movie A Woman Called Golda, (1982) about the life of the former Israeli prime minister Golda Meir, starring Ingrid Bergman and Leonard Nimoy.

She was associate producer of Nadia, (1984) a TV film about Olympic gymnastics champion Nadia Comaneci and executive producer of the 2007 feature film The Little Traitor, starring Alfred Molina, based on Amos Oz’s novel Panther in the Basement. She co-wrote The Celebrity Kosher Cookbook, and her book reviews have been published in the Los Angeles Times.

Marilyn Hall is survived by her husband Monty, son Richard, daughters Joanna and Sharon, five grandchildren and her sister Peggy Cooper.

Marilyn Hill: born May 17, 1927. Died June 5, 2017.


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