John Megna

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John Megna
John Megna.jpg
Megna in the Star Trek episode "Miri" (1966)
John Albert Flynn Ingolia

(1952-11-09)November 9, 1952
DiedSeptember 4, 1995(1995-09-04) (aged 42)
Cause of deathAIDS-related complications
OccupationActor, director, teacher
Years active1959–1984
Known forTo Kill a Mockingbird
RelativesConnie Stevens (half-sister)

John F. Megna (November 9, 1952 – September 4, 1995) was an American actor, director and teacher. His best known role is that of "Dill" in the film To Kill a Mockingbird.

Early life[edit]

John Anthony Megna was born in Ozone Park, Queens, New York, to Ralph W. Megna, a pharmacist[citation needed], and Eleanor McGinley, 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.[1]


At age 6, Megna made his acting debut in Frank Loesser's Broadway musical Greenwillow.[2] At 7, he starred in All the Way Home,[2] an adaptation of James Agee's novel about the effect of a father's death on his family.[3] This led to his being cast as Charles Baker "Dill" Harris, the toothy young summer visitor in the 1962 film To Kill a Mockingbird. The character was based on writer Truman Capote, a childhood friend and later associate of Harper Lee, the author of the original novel.[1]

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!", one of the "Onlies" in the "Miri" episode of Star Trek: The Original Series, Stephan in I Spy (1967), and Little Adam in the NASA-produced animated shorts The Big World of Little Adam.

His other film appearances include 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 NeedhamSmokey and the Bandit II (1980) and The Cannonball Run (1981).

Later career[edit]

Megna graduated from Cornell University in Ithaca, New York, as a performing arts major.

As an adult, he turned to directing plays. He was the founding director of L.A. Arts, a nonprofit theater group in Los Angeles.[1] He later became a high school English teacher, and last taught at James Monroe High School in North Hills, California.[4] He also taught Honors English at Hollenbeck Jr High in Boyle Heights.


John Megna died from AIDS-related complications on September 4, 1995, at Midway Hospital in Los Angeles, California, at the age of 42.[3]




  1. ^ a b c "John Megna". Internet Movie Database.
  2. ^ a b John Megna at IBDB
  3. ^ a b "John Megna, 42, 'Mockingbird' Star". The New York Times. September 7, 1995.
  4. ^ Jones, Brittney (October 15, 2012). "John Megna–Famous Actor Lost to HIV/AIDS". AIDS Response Effort, Inc. Winchester, Virginia. Archived from the original on January 22, 2015. Retrieved March 12, 2016.

External links[edit]