Born in Spokane Washington, but raised on a Navajo Indian Reservation in Arizona, Megalyn Ann Echikunwoke is an actress probably best known for her role on “House of Lies.”
Her father is Nigerian and her mother is Caucasian. Her last name Echikunwoke means “leader of men.” She admitted she was the dominant type and her name “inspired me a bit.” Megalyn is the granddaughter of a Nigerian tribal leader of the Igbo, which technically makes her African royalty.
Megalyn said of growing up on a reservation, “It was great. It was really cool…I can always go back, like a sanctuary. It’s really beautiful. A really beautiful culture that I got to really learn more about” (kaos.2000.net).
Megalyn knew she always wanted to act from a young age. “I started being a mimic and I was always very dramatic. Anytime I heard someone with an accent I would instantly try to emulate it…. I didn’t really have an outlet [growing up on the reservation] until band class.” (popentertainment.com). She also loves to sing. “It makes me really happy, so I’d definitely like to expand.”
At 14, she landed a lead role in the mini-series “The Creature” based on a novel by Peter Benchley. Megalyn said, “It was kind of a fairytale because I was like fourteen years old, living on a reservation, had never been in a limo. I don’t know if I’d ever even seen one. This limo comes to pick me up…I drive to Phoenix and I take a first class flight to St. Lucia. I spent two months in the Caribbean and I then go to Canada and spent a month there…I had never really travelled, either.”
When she was 21, she took a world tour by herself, visiting countries in Europe, Africa and Asia.
At the same time that Megalyn Echikunwoke tried acting, she also tried modeling, but was discouraged by an initial rejection.
Megalyn played “Nicole Palmer” in the first season of “24,” Kelso’s girlfriend in the 7th season of “That ‘70s Show,” Isabelle Tyler in “The 4400,” as well as April in “House of Lies,” Holly Stickler in “90210” and Riley Parker in “Made in Jersey.”
Megalyn said she was drawn to “strong females who are successful, smart women because I am a woman like that…especially as a black woman. It’s more of a responsibility. You’ve gotta let the world see black women being successful, strong, smart, with power and who are self-possessed” (collider.com).
Megalyn added that she’d love to play a Lara Croft type of character, while she’s still young and in shape.
Megalyn Echikunwoke lives in Los Angeles, California.