November 9, 1952
Queens, New York City, U.S.
|Died||September 4, 1995
Los Angeles, California, U.S.
|Cause of death||AIDS-related complications|
|Occupation||Stage, film, television actor, teacher|
|Known for||To Kill a Mockingbird|
Megna was born in Queens, New York, as John Ingolia. His father was a pharmacist, and his mother was a one-time nightclub singer. He was a half-brother of Connie Stevens and an ex-brother-in-law of Eddie Fisher. He attended Holy Cross High School in Flushing, New York.
At age 6, Megna made his acting debut in Frank Loesser's Broadway musical Greenwillow. At 7, he reappeared on Broadway in All the Way Home, an adaptation of James Agee's novel about the effect of a father's death on his family. This led to his being cast as Charles Baker 'Dill' Harris, the toothy young summer visitor in the 1962 film To Kill a Mockingbird. That character was based on writer Truman Capote, a childhood friend and later associate of Harper Lee, the author of the original novel on which the movie was based.
Megna appeared in many television programs throughout the 1960s and 1970s; he portrayed a near-blind child in the Naked City episode "A Horse Has a Big Head - Let Him Worry!" he played a small role as one of the "Onlies" in the "Miri" episode of Star Trek: The Original Series, appeared as Stephan in I Spy(1967), and starred as Little Adam in the NASA-produced animated shorts The Big World of Little Adam. His other film appearances included Hush… Hush, Sweet Charlotte (1964), The Godfather: Part II (1974), The Boy in the Plastic Bubble (1976) with John Travolta, and Go Tell the Spartans (1978) with Burt Lancaster. He also acted in two car-chase films starring Burt Reynolds and directed by Hal Needham : Smokey and the Bandit II (1980) and The Cannonball Run (1981).
Megna graduated from Cornell University in Ithaca, New York, as a performing arts major. As an adult, he turned to stage directing. He was the founding director of L.A. Arts, a nonprofit theater group in Los Angeles. He later became a high school English teacher, and last taught at James Monroe High School in North Hills, California.
- Naked City
- Alfred Hitchcock Presents - The Magic Shop (1964) (TV)
- Star Trek (1966) (TV), episode "Miri"
- Skag (1980) (TV)
- The Mogul (1984)
- To Kill a Mockingbird (1962)
- Hush… Hush, Sweet Charlotte (1964)
- Blindfold (1965)
- The Godfather: Part II (1974) (uncredited in the role of Young Hyman Roth)
- The Boy in the Plastic Bubble (1976) (TV Movie)
- I Want to Keep My Baby (1976) (TV Movie)
- Go Tell the Spartans (1978)
- Smokey and the Bandit II (1980)
- The Cannonball Run (1981)
- The Ratings Game (1984)