Thesp Santana shot dead

'Harvey' actor killed in car in South L.A.

Image and ALMA award nominee Merlin Santana, who recently appeared in the Eddie Murphy movie “Showtime,” and had a recurring role on “The Steve Harvey Show,” was shot to death while sitting in a parked car, authorities said Sunday.

Santana, 26, died Saturday in South Los Angeles, police spokeswoman Lucy Diaz said.

He was sitting in the passenger seat shortly after 2:30 a.m. when at least one person approached the car and opened fire, Lt. Clay Farrell said.

The driver escaped injury, drove off and flagged down police. Paramedics responded, but Santana was pronounced dead at the scene, Farrell said.

No arrests were immediately made and investigators had not determined a motive for the attack.

New York native’s “Steve Harvey” role of Romeo Santana won him nominations for NAACP Image Awards and ALMA Awards, which honor Hispanic performers.

Santana also had guest appearances on a number of television shows, including “Major Dad,” “Moesha” and “Sister, Sister.”

One of his earliest roles was as Stanley, the faithful admirer of Rudy Huxtable on the hit series “The Cosby Show.”

He later joined the casts of “Getting By” and the short-lived James Earl Jones drama “Under One Roof.”

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