Merlin Santana was born in New York City on March 16, 1974. Encouraged to act by his parents who wanted to keep their son out of the streets, he landed his first gig as an advertising model. In 1991, Santana landed a recurring role on The Cosby Show and other television programs in the early '90s. In 1996, he was cast on The Steve Harvey Show, which would be one of his last major roles. Santana was fatally shot in Crenshaw, California, in November 2002.
(Photo: J. Vespa/WireImage)