June 25, 1975|
Santa Clara County, California, U.S.
|Occupation||Model, television host|
|Height||5 ft 11 in (1.80 m)|
|Agency||NEXT Model Management|
Early life and beginnings
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. Merkin was a tall child, reaching 5 ft 11 in (1.80 m) 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.
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. It 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 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!.
- "Profile". Michele Merkin. Archived from the original on December 15, 2013. Retrieved May 31, 2014.
- "Michele Merkin". Internet Movie Database. Retrieved June 6, 2009.
- Drew Pinsky & Stryker (June 6, 2007). "Dr. Drew and Stryker with Michele Merkin". Loveline Uncensored. (Podcast). Retrieved November 10, 2007.
- "Hot and Fresh". Maxim. November 2005. Archived from the original on November 16, 2007. Retrieved November 10, 2007.
- "Michele Merkin: Wild at Heart". Maxim. Archived from the original on October 28, 2007. Retrieved November 10, 2007.
- Meyer, Frank (June 1, 2006). "Man Talk With Michele Merkin". Attack of the Show. G4. Retrieved November 10, 2007.
- IGN Staff (May 24, 2000). "Joanna Sees off Perfect Dark". IGN. Archived from the original on October 17, 2007. Retrieved November 10, 2007.
- "MAXIM Magazine Unveils Their 'Hot 100' for 2006" (Press release). Maxim. May 15, 2006.
- "Maxim's 2007 Hot 100". Maxim. May 2007. Archived from the original on November 6, 2007. Retrieved November 10, 2007.
- E!: Entertainment Television. "Foody Call". Archived from the original on October 25, 2007. Retrieved November 10, 2007.
- TBS. "TBS Movie Extra - Michele Merkin". Archived from the original on October 6, 2007. Retrieved November 10, 2007.
- "Extreme Dodgeball coming soon!" Archived November 16, 2007, at the Wayback Machine., Michele Merkin Newsletter, official site, June 12, 2005. Retrieved November 8, 2007.
- "Sand Blasters III: The Extreme Sand Sculpting Championship". Internet Movie Database. Retrieved May 31, 2014.
- De Leon, Kris (November 5, 2008). "'Next Best Thing' Host Revels on 'Party Monsters: Cabo'". BuddyTV. Archived from the original on February 1, 2010.
- Hard, Rob. "E! Channel Sensationalizes the Event Planning Profession with Reality Show". About.com. p. 5. Archived from the original on October 21, 2011.
- "Full Cast & Crew". Internet Movie Database. Archived from the original on May 31, 2014.
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