Ebubennem Megalyn Ann Echikunwoke was born in Spokane, Washington, to Onigwe Echikunwoke, an Igbo Nigerian father, and Anita Laurie, an American of English, Irish and German descent. 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.
When Megalyn 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. Her mother subsequently raised Megalyn and her siblings on the Navajo Indian reservation in Chinle, Arizona. At age 14, Megalyn was discovered while performing in a theater production at an arts academy summer camp.
Megalyn Echikunwoke currently can be seen in the feature film "Late Night", opposite Emma Thompson, Amy Ryan, Mindy Kaling, Hugh Dancy and John Lithgow. She also starred in the 2018 film "Night School", opposite Kevin Hart and Tiffany Haddish. Additional film credits include: “Step Sisters,” “CHIPS,” “The Meddler” and “Damsels In Distress.” On the small screen, Echikunwoke has been featured in many projects, including "House of Lies", "Damien", "90210", "The Following", "24", "That 70s Show", "The 4400", "CSI: Miami" and "Mind Games". She also did voice-over work on "Vixen" and "Arrow". Echikunwoke is involved in and widely supports Amref Health Africa, the largest Africa-based healthcare nonprofit. In addition, she regularly supports the ReformLAJails, Girl Rising campaign, The GEANCO Foundation, Women for Women International, Urban Arts Partnership Organization, Young Storytellers, The American Civil Liberties Union and Equal Justice Initiative. Echikunwoke was raised in Chinle, Arizona, a town on a Navajo Indian Reservation and is of Igbo-Nigerian, English, Irish and German descent.