Megalyn Echikunwoke

Ebubennem Megalyn Ann Echikunwoke // (listen) (/ˈmɛɡəlɪn ɛˌɪkʊnˈwk/ MEG-ə-lin eh-CHIK-uun-WOH-kay;[1] born May 28, 1983[2][3]), also known as Megalyn E.K.,[4] is an American actress,[5] known primarily for her roles in television and film.

Megalyn Echikunwoke
Megalyn Echikunwoke by Gage Skidmore.jpg
Echikunwoke in 2016
Ebubennem Megalyn Ann Echikunwoke

(1983-05-28) May 28, 1983 (age 39)
Other namesMegalyn E.K.
Years active1998–present

Born in Spokane, Washington, she was discovered while performing in a theatrical production for an arts academy, and began working professionally at age 15, appearing in an episode of The Steve Harvey Show. Between 2001 and 2002, she starred as Nicole Palmer, daughter of David Palmer, on the Fox series 24, followed by guest roles on ER and Buffy the Vampire Slayer. Between 2004 and 2005, she portrayed Angie Barnett, the half-sister of Steven Hyde, on the sitcom That '70s Show. In 2006, she starred as a lead in the series The 4400 which ran until 2007, followed by recurring roles on 90210 and House of Lies.

Her film roles in the early 2010s include Whit Stillman's Damsels in Distress (2011), and the action sequel A Good Day to Die Hard (2013). In 2016, she portrayed Mari McCabe / Vixen in the Arrowverse. The following year, she had a supporting role in CHiPs (2017), followed by the independent comedy An Actor Prepares (2018). Next, she co-starred in the comedy Night School (2018). In late 2018, she made her New York stage debut in an off-Broadway production of Apologia.

Early lifeEdit

Ebubennem Megalyn Ann Echikunwoke[6][7] was born in Spokane, Washington[2] to Mark Onigwe Versato Echikunwoke, an Igbo Nigerian father, and Anita Laurie.[2] Her father, an immigrant to the United States, was a survivor of the Nigerian Civil War, during which he suffered gunshot wounds that resulted in him contracting hepatitis B.[7]

When Echikunwoke was four years old, her father, then attending law school in Spokane, died of liver cancer, stemming from his war-related medical problems.[7] Her mother moved the family to the Navajo Nation, where she raised Echikunwoke and her siblings in the unincorporated community of Chinle, Arizona.[2][8] At age 14, Echikunwoke was discovered while performing in a theater production at an arts academy summer camp.[2]


Echikunwoke in 2009

Echikunwoke's first featured role was a guest appearance on The Steve Harvey Show in 1998.[2] The following year, she had her first film role in Julie Dash's Funny Valentines.[9] In 2001, she starred in a lead role on the MTV soap opera Spyder Games as Cherish Pardee, a coffee house singer, which ran through the year.[2] She subsequently had a recurring role in the first season of 24 (2001–2002) as David Palmer's daughter Nicole.[2] Beginning 2003, she appeared as Danika on the comedy series Like Family,[2] and guest-starred on Buffy the Vampire Slayer, in the episode "The Killer in Me" (2003).[2] This was followed with a guest role on Veronica Mars in 2004.[2]

Between 2004 and 2005, she appeared on Fox's That '70s Show as Steven Hyde's half-sister, Angie Barnett.[2] In 2006, she was cast as a series regular on the science fiction television series The 4400 as the adult version of the mysterious Isabelle Tyler.[2] She left the show in 2007. From 2008 to 2009, she appeared in season 7 of CSI: Miami as new medical examiner Dr. Tara Price.[2] She had a recurring role on TNT's Raising the Bar (2008–2009) as the love interest of attorney Marcus McGrath, played by J. August Richards.[10] Also in 2008, she appeared as a singer in the Leonard Chess biopic Who Do You Love?[11] In 2011, she played Holly in the fourth season of 90210,[12] and subsequently appeared in the comedy film Damsels in Distress.[13]

She played April on Showtime's House of Lies (2012) and Riley Parker in the legal drama Made in Jersey (also 2012) on CBS.[14] In 2014, she co-starred in the drama series Mind Games on ABC.

In 2016, Echikunwoke appeared on the CW's Arrow as DC Comics superhero Mari McCabe / Vixen for an episode, and voiced the character in the CW Seed animated series Vixen. Due to prior commitments, she was unavailable to play the character in Legends of Tomorrow, resulting in the introduction of a new Vixen played by Maisie Richardson-Sellers, the time-displaced grandmother of Echikunwoke's character. Echikunwoke had a supporting role in Dax Shepard's CHiPs (2017), followed by the comedy An Actor Prepares (2018). That year, she had a supporting role in the comedy Night School, which grossed over $100 million.[15]

She played Claire in the off-Broadway production of Apologia for the Roundabout Theatre Company[16] which ran from October 16, 2018, to December 16, 2018.[16] In 2019, she had a supporting role in Late Night.[9] She subsequently had a main role on Almost Family, a Fox drama series chronicling three women who learn they are siblings after a prominent fertility doctor reveals he has used his own sperm to father over 100 children with his patients.[17] It was cancelled after one season.[18]

Personal lifeEdit

In 2007, Echikunwoke, Justin Long, Olivia Wilde and Kal Penn campaigned for 2008 Democratic Presidential nominee Barack Obama. It included a winter tour of college campuses and bars in Iowa, known as the All-Actor All-Iowa All-Star Voter Education Tour, to register new college-age voters prior to the election.[19][20]

Echikunwoke's cousin is athlete Annette Echikunwoke.[21]



Year Title Role Notes Ref.
1999 Funny Valentines Lauren [9]
2004 Great Lengths Elena Short film [2]
2006 Camjackers Sista Strada Cast [9]
2008 Fix Carmen [9]
2008 Who Do You Love? Ivy Mills [9]
2011 Damsels in Distress Rose [9]
2011 Free Hugs Megan Short film
2013 A Good Day to Die Hard Pretty Reporter [9]
2014 Electric Slide Jean
2014 Night Swim Eve Short film
2015 The Meddler Elise [9]
2017 CHiPs Patricia Eerly [9]
2018 Step Sisters Jamilah [9]
2018 An Actor Prepares Clementine [9]
2018 Night School Lisa King [9]
2019 Late Night Robin [9]
2022 Emily the Criminal Liz


Year Title Role Notes Ref.
1998 Creature Elizabeth Gibson Miniseries
1998 The Steve Harvey Show Allison Hightower Episode: "Uncle Steve"
2000 Malibu, CA Randy Episode: "Three Dudes and a Baby"
2001 Spyder Games Cherish Pardee 65 episodes [6]
2001–2002 24 Nicole Palmer 6 episodes [6]
2002 Sheena Janel Episode: "Coming to Africa" [6]
2002 ER Terry Welch Episode: "Bygones"
2002 For the People Claudia Gibson 2 episodes [6]
2002 What I Like About You Karen Episode: "The Parrot Trap"
2002 B.S. Shannon Cross Television film [2]
2003 Buffy the Vampire Slayer Vaughne Episode: "The Killer in Me" [2]
2003–2004 Like Family Danika Ward 22 episodes [6]
2004 Veronica Mars Rain Episode: "Drinking the Kool-Aid" [6]
2004–2005 That '70s Show Angie Barnett 8 episodes [6]
2005 Hitched Christina Television film [2]
2006 Supernatural Cassie Robinson Episode: "Route 666" [6]
2006–2007 The 4400 Isabelle Tyler Main role [6]
2008 The Game Cheyenne Episode: "Take These Vows and Shove 'Em!" [6]
2008–2009 CSI: Miami Tara Price 23 episodes [6]
2009 Raising the Bar Amelia Mkali 3 episodes [6]
2009 Law & Order: Special Victims Unit Nicole Gleason Episode: "Anchor"
2011–2012 90210 Holly Strickler Recurring role
2012 House of Lies April Recurring role
2012 Beautiful People Monica Television film
2012 Made in Jersey Riley Parker Main role
2014 American Dad! Angie (voice) Episode: "Introducing the Naughty Stewardess"
2014 Mind Games Megan Shane Main role [6]
2015 The Following Penny 4 episodes [6]
2016 Arrow Mari McCabe / Vixen Episode: "Taken"
2016 Damien Simone Baptiste Main role
2017 Ghosted Natalie Episode: "Whispers"
2017 White Famous Sadie 4 episodes [6]
2019–2020 Almost Family Edie Palmer Main role [6]
2021 Into the Dark Esme Rawls Episode: "Blood Moon" [22]


Year Title Role Notes Ref.
2015–2016 Vixen Mari McCabe / Vixen Lead role (voice) [23]
2018 Freedom Fighters: The Ray Mari McCabe / Vixen Voice [24]

Video gamesEdit

Year Title Role Notes Ref.
2017 Injustice 2 Mari McCabe / Vixen Voice
2018 Lego DC Super-Villains Mari McCabe / Vixen Voice
2019 Mortal Kombat 11 Jacqui Briggs Voice
2019 Heroes of the Storm Qhira Voice

Stage creditsEdit

Year Title Role Notes Ref.
2018 Apologia Claire Roundabout Theatre Company [16]


  1. ^ "EP 40: Megalyn Echikunwoke AKA "We Stand with..."". Let's Talk About Me, Baby with Utkarsh Ambudkar. December 7, 2016. Retrieved December 17, 2018.
  2. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k l m n o p q r McCann, Bob (2009). Encyclopedia of African American Actresses in Film and Television. Jefferson, North Carolina: McFarland. p. 106. ISBN 978-0-7864-5804-2.
  3. ^ "Megalyn Echikunwoke". Rotten Tomatoes. Archived from the original on October 1, 2019. Retrieved October 1, 2019.
  4. ^ Damore, Meagan (February 24, 2016). ""Arrow's" Megalyn E.K. Calls Her Role as Vixen a 'Dream Come True'". CBR. Retrieved November 22, 2019.
  5. ^ "Meet Megalyn Echikunwoke, The Beautiful Igbo Girl Who Just Dumped Chris Rock". March 9, 2020. Retrieved March 16, 2022.
  6. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k l m n o p q "Megalyn Echikunwoke Credits". TV Guide. Retrieved October 1, 2019.
  7. ^ a b c Echikunwoke, Megalyn (May 1, 2017). "On the brink of famine in the place my father called home". Oxfam America. Archived from the original on October 2, 2019. Retrieved October 2, 2019.
  8. ^ Aminu, Abdulkareem Baba (August 29, 2006). "Nigeria: Megalyn Echikunwoke – Mega-Talent Doing Nigeria Proud!". AllAfrica. Retrieved December 8, 2016.
  9. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k l m n "Megalyn Echikunwoke". AllMovie. Retrieved October 1, 2019.
  10. ^ "CSI: Miami Doctor Is Out... and Hitting the Bar?". TV Guide. Retrieved June 9, 2009.
  11. ^ Whitty, Stephen (April 9, 2010). "Blues film down on its luck". The Record. Hackensack, New Jersey. p. G2 – via
  12. ^ Ausiello, Michael (July 6, 2011). "90210 Exclusive: Newcomer Justin Deeley Cast as... Brad Pitt?". TVLine. Retrieved October 24, 2011.
  13. ^ Rodriguez, Rene (May 3, 2012). "'Damsels in Distress' worth saving time to see". The Akron Beacon Journal. Akron, Ohio. p. F7 – via
  14. ^ Roots, Kimberly. "Fall TV Exclusive: CBS' Made in Jersey Casts 90210's Megalyn Echikunwoke," TVLine, Wednesday, July 18, 2012.
  15. ^ "Night School (2018)". Box Office Mojo. Retrieved April 21, 2019.
  16. ^ a b c Vine, Hannah (October 12, 2018). "Stockard Channing and Hugh Dancy Take the Stage in Apologia Off-Broadway". Playbill. Retrieved October 1, 2019.
  17. ^ Gay, Verne (October 1, 2019). "'Almost Family': Story of a fertility doc was almost a good idea". Newsday. Retrieved October 1, 2019.
  18. ^ Thorne, Will (March 2, 2020). "'Almost Family' Canceled After One Season at Fox". Variety. Retrieved March 2, 2020.
  19. ^ The All-Actor All-Iowa All-Star Voter Education Tour on YouTube Retrieved December 28, 2013.
  20. ^ Chaudhary, Arun (August 21, 2012). First Cameraman: Documenting the Obama Presidency in Real Time. Henry Holt and Company. pp. 130–. ISBN 978-0-8050-9573-9.
  21. ^ "megalyn: So my cousin is an unstoppable super star Olympian! Please follow and support her while she prepares to win the gold for Nigeria!!". Instagram. Archived from the original on December 24, 2021. Retrieved December 18, 2021.
  22. ^ Verhoeven, Beatrice (February 16, 2021). "Hulu, Blumhouse TV's Into the Dark Finds Lead Cast for Season 2 Finale (Exclusive)". The Wrap. Retrieved February 16, 2021.
  23. ^ "Megalyn Echikunwoke To Voice Vixen In CW Seed Animated Series". July 2, 2015.
  24. ^ "CW Seed Offers A Ray of Hope with 'Freedom Fighters: The Ray'".

External linksEdit