Megalyn Echikunwoke is an actress from America who is known for her TV roles of Tara Price in ‘CSI: Miami’, Isabelle Tyler in ‘The 4400’, and Mari McCabe / Vixen in the ‘Arrowverse’ franchise. A native of Washington, Echikunwoke grew up on the Navajo Indian reservation in Chinle, Arizona alongside her three siblings. She made her screen debut in 1998 when she portrayed Elizabeth in the miniseries ‘Creature’. A year later, she debuted on the big screen in Julie Dash’s drama film ‘Funny Valentines’. Her first memorable performance was in the MTV series ‘Spyder Games’. Echikunwoke has also worked on stage, most notably in a production of ‘Apologia’. In 2018, she produced the short film ‘Electing’.
Megalyn Echikunwoke was spotted when she was 14 years old in a summer camp play at an arts academy. A year later, she landed her first role in the miniseries ‘Creature’ in 1998. Also starring Craig T. Nelson, Kim Cattrall and Matthew Carey, the series was adapted from Peter Benchley’s 1994 novel ‘White Shark’. In 1998, she guest-starred as Allison Hightower in a season three episode of The WB sitcom ‘The Steve Harvey Show’.
In 1999, she made her first cinematic appearance in the Alfre Woodard-starrer ‘Funny Valentines’. In 2000, she portrayed Randy in an episode of ‘Malibu, CA’, a teen sitcom that was broadcast between 1998 and 2000 in syndication. In 2001, she played Cherish Pardee, a coffee house singer, in 65 episodes of the MTV soap opera ‘Spyder Games’. She portrayed various small roles in shows like ‘Boston Public’, ‘Sheena’, and ‘ER,’ before she was cast in the recurring role of Nicole Palmer in Fox’s action drama series ‘24’. Nicole is the daughter of the fictional US President David Palmer (Dennis Haysbert) and his wife, the First Lady Sherry Palmer (Penny Johnson).
In 2002, she starred in the telefilm ‘B.S.’ Between 2003 and 2004, she essayed the role of Danika Ward, the daughter of Holly Robinson Peete's Tanya Ward, in the short-lived WB sitcom ‘Like Family’. She later appeared in eight episodes of another Fox TV series ‘That '70s Show'. In 2006, she was featured in the comedy film ‘Camjackers’, portraying Sista Strada Cast. The film also starred Olivia Wilde and Elza Minor. In the USA Network’s science fiction series ‘The 4400’, Echikunwoke essayed the role of Isabelle Tyler, who is the daughter of two “4400s,” Richard Tyler (Mahershala Ali) and Lily Moore (Laura Allen). ‘The 4400’ aired from July 2004 to September 2007 before USA Network cancelled the show.
In 2008, she appeared in two films: ‘Fix’ and ‘Who Do We Love’. In CBS’ police procedural TV series ‘CSI: Miami’, she had the role of medical examiner Tara Price between 2008 and 2009. She also had the recurring the roles of Holly Strickler in The CW’s ‘90210’ and April in Showtime’s comedy-drama ‘House of Lies’. In 2013, she was cast as a reporter in the fifth instalment in the ‘Die Hard’ cinematic franchise, ‘A Good Day to Die Hard’. She then played Jean in the biographical action drama ‘Electric Slide’. In ABC’s short-lived drama series ‘Mind Games’, she portrayed Megan Shane, an actress. She had the role of Penny in Fox’s crime drama series ‘The Following’ in 2015. That year, she also shared screen space with Susan Sarandon, Rose Byrne, and J.K. Simmons in the comedy-drama ‘The Meddler’.
In 2015, she started lending her voice to DC character Mari McCabe / Vixen in The CW animated web series ‘Vixen’. The character made her first live-action appearance in a season four episode of ‘Arrow’. Echikunwoke has also voiced the character in the video games ‘Injustice 2’ (2017) and ‘Lego DC Super-Villains’ (2018), TV movie ‘Vixen: The Movie’, and another CW animated web series ‘Freedom Fighters: The Ray’ (2018). In 2016, she worked in the A&E television series ‘Damien’, which was inspired by the horror film series ‘The Omen’. Echikunwoke is set to star in the upcoming TV show ‘Sisters’.
In 2018, she performed as Claire in the off-Broadway production of ‘Apologia’.
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Family & Personal Life
Born on May 28, 1983, in Spokane, Washington, USA, Echikunwoke is one of the four children of Onigwe Versato Echikunwoke and Anita Laurie. Her father was originally from Nigeria, a member of the Igbo tribe. Some sources even claim that her father was the leader of the tribe. She has three siblings, including a brother named Miki and a sister named Misty. Following her father’s death, her mother relocated her and siblings to the Navajo Indian reservation in Chinle, Arizona, where she spent most of her childhood.
Since 2016, Echikunwoke has been dating comedian and actor Chris Rock, who is 18 years older than her. Rock was previously married to Malaak Compton from 1996 to 2016 and they have two daughters together, Lola Simone Rock and Zahra Savannah Rock.
During the 2008 US Presidential election, she supported the future President Barack Obama.