|Merlin Santana was born in New York to parents from the Dominican Republic. His career in show business began with a push from his mother, who recognized her son’s talent and wanted to keep him off the tough streets of New York. Her instinct was right, and Santana has been working steadily ever since.|
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", "Sister, Sister", 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 has recorded three rap albums that have not been released.
. Appeared in the 1999 Alaye calendar.
Nominated for two NAACP Image Awards as Outstanding Supporting Actor in a Comedy Series (2001 & 2002) for his work on The Steve Harvey Show.
. Nominated for two ALMA Awards as Outstanding Actor in a Comedy Series (1998 & 1999) for his work on The Steve Harvey Show.