Megalyn Echikunwoke

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

(1983-05-28) May 28, 1983 (age 37)
Other namesMegalyn E.K.
Years active1998–present

Ebubennem Megalyn Ann Echikunwoke (/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, known primarily for her roles in television and film.

Born in Spokane, Washington, Echikunwoke 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, Echikunwoke 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, Echikunwoke 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, Echikunwoke made her New York stage debut in an off-Broadway production of Apologia.

Life and career[edit]

1983–1997: Early life[edit]

Ebubennem Megalyn Ann Echikunwoke[5][6] was born in Spokane, Washington,[2] to Onigwe 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.[6]

When Echikunwoke was four years old, her father, then studying for a law degree in Spokane, died of liver cancer stemming from the gunshot wounds he had sustained as a child.[6] Her mother subsequently raised Echikunwoke and her siblings on the Navajo Indian reservation in Chinle, Arizona.[2][7] At age 14, Echikunwoke was discovered while performing in a theater production at an arts academy summer camp.[2]

1998–2015: Television and film[edit]

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.[8] In 2001, Echikunwoke 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, appearing 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, Echikunwoke 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] Echikunwoke left the show in 2007. From 2008 to 2009, she appeared in season 7 of CSI: Miami, Echikunwoke joined the cast as the new medical examiner, Dr. Tara Price.[2] She had a recurring role on TNT's Raising the Bar (2008–2009) where she played the love interest of attorney Marcus McGrath, played by J. August Richards.[9] Also in 2008, Echikunwoke appeared as a singer in the Leonard Chess biopic Who Do You Love?.[10] In 2011, Echikunwoke played Holly in the fourth season of 90210,[11] and subsequently appeared in the comedy film Damsels in Distress.[12]

She played April on Showtime's House of Lies (2012) and Riley Parker in the legal drama Made in Jersey (also 2012) on CBS.[13] In 2014, she co-starred in the drama series Mind Games on ABC.

2016–present: Film and theater[edit]

In 2016, Echikunwoke appeared on the CW's Arrow as the DC Comics superhero Mari McCabe / Vixen for an episode, as well as providing her voice for 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, who is 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). The same year, Echikunwoke had a supporting role in the comedy Night School, which grossed over $100 million.[14]

She played the role of Claire in the off-Broadway production of Apologia for the Roundabout Theatre Company.[15] The play ran from October 16, 2018, to December 16, 2018.[15] In 2019, she had a supporting role in Late Night.[8] She was subsequently cast in a main role on Almost Family, a drama series on Fox chronicling three women who find they are siblings after a prominent fertility doctor reveals he has used his own sperm to father over 100 children with his patients.[16] The series was cancelled after one season.[17]

Political activism[edit]

In 2007, Echikunwoke, Justin Long, Olivia Wilde, and Kal Penn campaigned for the 2008 Democratic Presidential nominee Barack Obama. This 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 2008 election.[18][19]



Year Title Role Notes Ref.
1999 Funny Valentines Lauren [8]
2002 B.S. Shannon Cross Television film [2]
2004 Great Lengths Elena Short film [2]
2005 Hitched Christina Television film [2]
2006 Camjackers Sista Strada Cast [8]
2008 Fix Carmen [8]
2008 Who Do You Love? Ivy Mills [8]
2011 Damsels in Distress Rose [8]
2011 Free Hugs Megan Short film
2012 Beautiful People Monica Television film
2013 A Good Day to Die Hard Pretty Reporter [8]
2014 Electric Slide Jean
2014 Night Swim Eve Short film
2015 The Meddler Elise [8]
2017 CHiPs Patricia Eerly [8]
2018 Step Sisters Jamilah [8]
2018 An Actor Prepares Clementine [8]
2018 Night School Lisa King [8]
2019 Late Night Robin [8]


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 [5]
2001–2002 24 Nicole Palmer 6 episodes [5]
2002 Sheena Janel Episode: "Coming to Africa" [5]
2002 ER Terry Welch Episode: "Bygones"
2002 For the People Claudia Gibson 2 episodes [5]
2002 What I Like About You Karen Episode: "The Parrot Trap"
2003 Buffy the Vampire Slayer Vaughne Episode: "The Killer in Me" [2]
2003–2004 Like Family Danika Ward 22 episodes [5]
2004 Veronica Mars Rain Episode: "Drinking the Kool-Aid" [5]
2004–2005 That '70s Show Angie Barnett 8 episodes [5]
2006 Supernatural Cassie Robinson Episode: "Route 666" [5]
2006–2007 The 4400 Isabelle Tyler Main role [5]
2008 The Game Cheyenne Episode: "Take These Vows and Shove 'Em!" [5]
2008–2009 CSI: Miami Tara Price 24 episodes [5]
2009 Raising the Bar Amelia Mkali 3 episodes [5]
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 Made in Jersey Riley Parker Main role
2014 American Dad! Angie (voice) Episode: "Introducing the Naughty Stewardess"
2014 Mind Games Megan Shane Main role [5]
2015 The Following Penny 4 episodes [5]
2016 Arrow Mari McCabe / Vixen Episode: "Taken"
2016 Damien Simone Baptiste Main role
2017 Ghosted Natalie Episode: "Whispers"
2017 White Famous Sadie 4 episodes [5]
2019–2020 Almost Family Edie Palmer Main role [5]


Year Title Role Notes Ref.
2015–2016 Vixen Mari McCabe / Vixen Lead role (voice) [20]
2018 Freedom Fighters: The Ray Mari McCabe / Vixen Voice [21]

Video games[edit]

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 credits[edit]

Year Title Role Notes Ref.
2018 Apologia Claire Roundabout Theatre Company [15]


  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. ^ 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.
  6. ^ 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.
  7. ^ Aminu, Abdulkareem Baba (August 29, 2006). "Nigeria: Megalyn Echikunwoke – Mega-Talent Doing Nigeria Proud!". AllAfrica. Retrieved December 8, 2016.
  8. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k l m n "Megalyn Echikunwoke". AllMovie. Retrieved October 1, 2019.
  9. ^ "CSI: Miami Doctor Is Out... and Hitting the Bar?". TV Guide. Retrieved June 9, 2009.
  10. ^ Whitty, Stephen (April 9, 2010). "Blues film down on its luck". The Record. Hackensack, New Jersey. p. G2 – via
  11. ^ Ausiello, Michael (July 6, 2011). "90210 Exclusive: Newcomer Justin Deeley Cast as... Brad Pitt?". TVLine. Retrieved October 24, 2011.
  12. ^ Rodriguez, Rene (May 3, 2012). "'Damsels in Distress' worth saving time to see". The Akron Beacon Journal. Akron, Ohio. p. F7 – via
  13. ^ Roots, Kimberly. "Fall TV Exclusive: CBS' Made in Jersey Casts 90210 's Megalyn Echikunwoke," TVLine, Wednesday, July 18, 2012.
  14. ^ "Night School (2018)". Box Office Mojo. Retrieved April 21, 2019.
  15. ^ 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.
  16. ^ Gay, Verne (October 1, 2019). "'Almost Family': Story of a fertility doc was almost a good idea". Newsday. Retrieved October 1, 2019.
  17. ^ Thorne, Will (March 2, 2020). "'Almost Family' Canceled After One Season at Fox". Variety. Retrieved March 2, 2020.
  18. ^ The All-Actor All-Iowa All-Star Voter Education Tour on YouTube Retrieved December 28, 2013.
  19. ^ 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.
  20. ^ "Megalyn Echikunwoke To Voice Vixen In CW Seed Animated Series".
  21. ^ "CW Seed Offers A Ray of Hope with 'Freedom Fighters: The Ray'".

External links[edit]