John Megna

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John Megna
John Megna.jpg
Megna in the Star Trek episode "Miri" (1966)
Born John Ingolia
(1952-11-09)November 9, 1952
Queens, New York City, New York, United States
Died September 4, 1995(1995-09-04) (aged 42)
Los Angeles, California, United States
Cause of death AIDS-related complications
Occupation Stage, film, television actor, director and teacher
Years active 1959–1984
Known for To Kill a Mockingbird
Relatives Connie Stevens (half-sister)

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

Early life[edit]

Megna was born in Queens, New York, as John Ingolia. His father was a pharmacist[citation needed], 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.[1]


At age 6, Megna made his acting debut in Frank Loesser's Broadway musical Greenwillow. At 7, he starred in All the Way Home, an adaptation of James Agee's novel about the effect of a father's death on his family.[2] 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.[3] He also taught Honors English at Hollenbeck Jr High in East Los Angeles Ca


John Megna died from AIDS-related complications on September 4, 1995, at Midway Hospital in Los Angeles, California, at the age of 42.[2]




  1. ^ a b c "John Megna". Internet Movie Database. 
  2. ^ a b "John Megna, 42, 'Mockingbird' Star". The New York Times. September 7, 1995. 
  3. ^ 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. 

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