Merlin Santana was born in New York, New York on March 14, 1976. Santana began his career as a model for a fast food chain at the age of three. He later had a reccurring role on The Cosby Show
as one of Rudy's admirers. Santana co-stared on the short-lived sitcom Getting By
before landing the role of Romeo Santana on The Steve Harvey Show
. On November 9 2002, Santana was shot to death at the age of 26.