Tika Sumpter is an American actress, singer and model best known for her television roles as Layla Williamson on One Life to Live, as Raina Thorpe on Gossip Girl and as Jenna Rice on The Game.
Tika joined One Life to Live in July 2005 and was nominated as Best Actress in a Daytime Series by the NAACP Image Awards for 2008.
She also has a starring role as Candace Young, Hanna's estranged daughter, Benny's sister, and Jim's mistress who's less than half his age and is a roguish, crafty jezebel with a very presumptuous, saucy attitude, in the primetime soap opera The Haves and the Have Nots.
Prior to working with ABC Daytime Television, in the summer of 2004, she co-hosted an original show for the MTV owned N Network called Best Friends Date and played principal roles in several Mobias Pictures educational films shown in high schools nationwide, raising awareness on teen issues such as pregnancy, sex, drugs, peer pressure and the general struggles all teens face.
While doing these films, Sumpter studied acting with soap veteran Larkin Malloy (Travis Montgomery on All My Children) at Graystone Studios and also with Marc Jones of The Barrow group.
Tika's vocal talents came as no surprise, as she grew up the fourth child of a family of singers in Queens and Middle Island, NY. She discovered her vocal abilities as a teenager and has been singing her entire life.
At the age of 17, Tika worked as a door hostess at famed New York nightspot Life, where the club's owner was very supportive of her strong passion for acting, even referring her to an agent he knew.
She went on to study at Marymount Manhattan College and completed acting courses at The Weiss Barron Acting studio, while also meeting with modeling/acting agencies for representation.
For a short time, she took on modeling assignments before signing with a major commercial and theatrical agency. Tika was almost immediately booking national commercials for international brands including Liz Claiborne's Curve fragrances, Hewlett Packard, Lowes Home Improvement and Cascade.
She also did some very prominent Public Service Announcements (PSA's) for a national anti-smoking campaign and an AIDS awareness campaign.
While film and television work remain the priority, Tika still finds time for songwriting and recording sessions whenever possible.
She co-wrote and recorded several original pop songs and performed a track called Paint the World, America's Anthem on the independent compilation CD One Life, Many Voices featuring cast members from One Life to Live in the effort to aid victims of Hurricane Katrina.
She is also now co-writing songs and working on an alternative Pop/Rock album with prominent songwriter Chris Pelcer.
From January to May 2011, Sumpter appeared on Gossip Girl as Raina Thorpe, the daughter of Russell Thorpe and Chuck Bass/Nate' former love interest. She played singer Jason Derülo's girlfriend in the video for his song "It Girl".
In 2012 she played one of the sisters, Dolores, in the music-themed film Sparkle alongside Jordin Sparks, Whitney Houston, Derek Luke & Carmen Ejogo. Sparkle is a remake of the 1976 film of the same name inspired by the story of The Supremes.