Merlin Santana

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Merlin Santana
Born(1976-03-14)March 14, 1976
New York City, New York, U.S.
DiedNovember 9, 2002(2002-11-09) (aged 26)
Los Angeles, California, U.S.
Cause of death
Homicide
Resting place
Saint Raymond's Cemetery
NationalityAmerican
OccupationActor, Rapper
Years active1991 – 2002
 
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Merlin Santana
Born(1976-03-14)March 14, 1976
New York City, New York, U.S.
DiedNovember 9, 2002(2002-11-09) (aged 26)
Los Angeles, California, U.S.
Cause of death
Homicide
Resting place
Saint Raymond's Cemetery
NationalityAmerican
OccupationActor, Rapper
Years active1991 – 2002

Merlin Santana (March 14, 1976 – November 9, 2002) was an American actor. He was best known for his roles as Rudy Huxtable's admirer Stanley on The Cosby Show, Marcus Dixon on Getting By, Marcus Henry in Under One Roof and as high school student Romeo Santana on The WB sitcom The Steve Harvey Show.

Early life[edit]

Born in New York City, New York to parents from the Dominican Republic, Santana's career in show business began with a push from his parents, who wanted to keep him off the tough streets of New York.[1] He began his career at the age of three as an advertising model for a fast food chain. His first screen appearance was as an extra in the Woody Allen film, The Purple Rose of Cairo.

Acting career[edit]

In 1991, Santana landed a recurring role on The Cosby Show as Stanley, the faithful admirer of the young Rudy Huxtable and the romantic rival of Rudy's friend Kenny (Deon Richmond). He was then cast as Marcus Dixon in the short-lived sitcom, Getting By, starring Cindy Williams and Telma Hopkins. Deon Richmond was cast as his brother Darren, due to their interaction on The Cosby Show.

In 1995, Santana was cast as Marcus Henry in the short-lived CBS family drama Under One Roof, co-starring with James Earl Jones, Joe Morton and Vanessa Bell Calloway. Between 1996 and 1999, he played the role of Ohagi on Moesha.

In 1996, he landed the role of Romeo Santana on The Steve Harvey Show. In 2001, he played the role of Jermaine in the movie Flossin. In 2002, he appeared in the VH1 TV movie, Play'd: A Hip Hop Story with Toni Braxton. That same year, Santana landed a role in the Eddie Murphy comedy Showtime. His last television acting role was on the UPN series, Half & Half; his last film role was a 2003 comedy, The Blues with fellow Cosby Show alum Deon Richmond. Merlin has 3 unreleased albums.

Death[edit]

On November 9, 2002, Santana was shot in the head and killed as he and his best friend, former child actor Brandon Quintin Adams were in a car leaving another man's home in the Crenshaw District of Los Angeles. Damien Andre Gates fired the shot that entered through the trunk of the vehicle that Santana was in. The bullet penetrated the right-front passenger headrest and entered directly into Santana's head, killing him instantly. Damien was later convicted of the first-degree murder of Santana and the attempted murder of Brandon Quintin Adams and was sentenced to three consecutive life sentences plus 70 years in prison. Brandon Douglas Bynes received a 23-year sentence after pleading guilty to voluntary manslaughter and assault with a deadly weapon, even though none of the shots fired from his revolver ever entered the vehicle. An officer involved in the case testified that Monique King, reportedly Gates's girlfriend and aged 15 at the time of Santana's death, falsely claimed that Santana had tried to rape her, which prompted Gates and Bynes to attack the car. King received ten years in juvenile custody.[2] Santana was 26 years old at the time of his death. He was buried on November 18, 2002, at Saint Raymond's Cemetery in The Bronx, New York.

Filmography[edit]

YearTitleRoleNotes
1991Major DadMarvin2 episodes
1991Law & OrderRoneld GriggsEpisode: "Mushrooms"
1991The Cabinet of Dr. RamirezNewsboy
1991–1992The Cosby ShowStanley7 episodes
1992In the Line of Duty: Street WarTelevision movie
1993–1994Getting ByMarcus Dixon31 episodes
1994Sister, SisterJoeyEpisode: "Joey's Choice"
1995Under One RoofMarcus6 episodes
1995Street GearDerick Davis13 episodes
1995–1996Hangin' with Mr. CooperCalvin2 episodes
1996Harambee!FlexTelevision movie
1996–1999MoeshaOhagi4 episodes
1996–2002The Steve Harvey ShowRomeo Santana122 episodes
1997NYPD BlueWarrenEpisode: "A Draining Experience"
2001FlossinJermaine
2002ShowtimeHector
2002JAGSeaman Aubrey McBrideEpisode: "Port Chicago"
2002Play'd: A Hip Hop StoryMayhemTelevision movie
2002Half & HalfDante AldenteEpisode: "The Big Pimpin' Episode"
2003The BluesGoyaDirect-to-video release

References[edit]

  1. ^ Josephs, Tasheka (2006-11-09). "Remembering Merlin Santana On His 4-Year Death Anniversary". vibe.com. Retrieved 2009-09-15. 
  2. ^ "Three Sentenced in Shooting Death of TV Actor Merlin Santana". Jet (Johnson Publishing Company) 105 (19): 18. 2004-05-10. ISSN 0021-5996. 

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