He began his career at the age of 3 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. He later landed the recurring role of Stanley, the faithful admirer of young Rudy Huxtable, on the hit comedy series The Cosby Show. Santana was then cast as a sharp-tongued 15-year-old in the comedy series Getting By, starring Cindy Williams and Telma Hopkins.
His other television credits include the dramatic PBS special Harambee and guest appearances on series such as NYPD Blue, Law & Order, Hangin' with Mr. Cooper, Moesha and Major Dad. He additionally appeared on the popular daytime dramas All My Children and As the World Turns. In the critically acclaimed family drama series Under One Roof, Santana starred opposite James Earl Jones, who played the surrogate father of Santana's character.
He was shot to death, in Los Angeles, California, on November 9, 2002, while sitting in the passenger seat of a friend's car parked on the 3800 block of Victoria Avenue.
Merlin Santana Facts
|Birthday||March 14, 1976|
|Birthplace||New York, New York, USA|
|Date of death||November 9, 2002 (age 26)|