At the age of twelve, Joseph Merhi’s life was changed forever as he watched the legendary Humphrey Bogart on film for the first time. In that moment, he knew he wanted to be a filmmaker and a few years later, made the journey from his birthplace of Syria, all the way to America. Armed only with a high school diploma, 400 dollars and a basic grasp of the English language, Merhi began his career.
In 1972, Merhi moved to Florida and worked at a Chaparral Steakhouse. Starting as a dishwasher and busboy, he quickly became a waiter, cook, and then manager. In 1977, he opened his first restaurant called Pizza N Pizza, located in Las Vegas, Nevada. Merhi opened up five locations in all, specializing in high quality pizza at low prices. In 1984, he sold his restaurants in order to move to Hollywood and pursue a career in the film business.
In 1985, he made his first $50,000 film and went on to create
PM Entertainment, a company responsible for making over 100 films and television series' combined. PM Entertainment's programming aired on HBO, TNT, Discovery Channel, ABC, and NBC. After his success with PM Entertainment, Merhi went on to produce two films starring Rodney Dangerfield (The 4th Tenor and Back By Midnight). He then produced A list films including Conviction (Starring Hillary Swank), Alex & Emma (Directed by Rob Reiner), and The Whole Ten Yards (Starring Bruce Willis).
Today, Merhi actively invests in real estate projects in addition to a wide variety of businesses. His portfolio consists of luxurious single family homes, apartment complexes, hotels, comedy clubs, restaurants, and retail.
Merhi resides in Los Angeles with his wife and three children.