She was the Vanna White of the 1960s and '70s, the revealer of what was behind curtain No. 1, 2, or 3 on the hit TV game show "Let's Make a Deal." The show aired from 1963 to '76 on NBC, ABC, and later in syndication.
Affable host Monty Hall made deals with wildly costumed audience members who could swap, say, a hard-boiled egg for an envelope of cash. They might trade the envelope (no peeking inside it first) for a mink coat, then trade the coat for what was behind a curtain, and end up with a wheelbarrow - or a new car! Amid audience laughter and gasps, Ms. Merrill elegantly swept aside curtains. She only spoke once: On the 2,500th show she talked nonstop as a gag.
After 13 years of pointing out refrigerator features, Merrill traded modeling for natural-health research and organic gardening. She now lives in Hawaii with her husband, where they run a nursery and grow citrus and avocado trees. She has won state honors for her volunteerism. Merrill has no desire to reenter show biz, she says by phone, but misses "hearing the drumroll right before the show and the camaraderie among the crew."
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