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From 2008 to 2009 she co-hosted Party Monsters Cabo on E!, a reality television show where participants compete to determine who is the best party event planner.
More DetailsHide DetailsMerkin has also hosted individual episodes of E! News Daily, NBC's For Love or Money, VH1's Red Eye, The Movie Fan Show, The Love Report for Studios USA, Close-up Hollywood, Buy TV, Movie Watch and Attack of the Show!
In March 2008, she hosted Sand Blasters III: The Extreme Sand Sculpting Championship on the Travel Channel.
Beginning in June 2005, Merkin co-hosted the cable television program Foody Call with Rossi Morreale, a reality show which combined cooking and romance by teaching men to seduce women with food.
More DetailsHide DetailsIt was the second highest rated show on the Style Network. After the program was canceled the following year, she admitted that the premise was faulty, saying, "... most girls I know don’t really eat. The way to a woman’s heart is definitely not through her stomach."
Merkin was born in Santa Clara County, California, of Swedish and Russian Jewish descent as the youngest child and only daughter of four children. She attended boarding school in England. Her mother was from Sweden, and had been a model for twenty years, including an appearance in the debut 1977 Victoria's Secret catalog.
More DetailsHide DetailsMerkin was a tall child, reaching by the age of 14. This helped her play basketball, but gathered her some abuse in school, where she was called nicknames such as "Giraffa" and "Manute Bol".
Merkin began modeling part-time from the age of 15, while she was in high school. She attended the University of California, Los Angeles, aiming to study medicine, specifically plastic surgery, but left during the first quarter to become a professional model.
Merkin modeled for 15 years, living in Paris, Milan, New York, and Los Angeles, appearing in such magazines as ELLE, Marie Claire, Harper's Bazaar and Vogue, and over 60 commercials, most notably campaigns for Clairol and the Nintendo video game Perfect Dark.
For Perfect Dark, Merkin appeared as the lead video game character Joanna Dark in commercials and in-store promotions for the N64 cartridge; Merkin's hair was cut short and dyed black for the appearances.
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