His compositions include the hits ‘(How Much Is) That Doggie In The Window?’, ‘Mambo Italiano’, ‘Honeycomb’ and ‘Love Makes the World Go Round’.
Merrill became ill in the mid-1990s. His wife, Suzanne, said he had taken his own life with a pistol after suffering prolonged depression linked to various ailments, none of them life-threatening.
“He didn’t want to be in a wheelchair,” she said. “He wanted to be the master of his own fate.”
Merrill was found dead in his car in Culver City, California.