American actress Tika Sumpter, who was born on June 20, 1977 in Texas, started acting when she was 17. Coming from a big family of singers, she is one of seven siblings. She began her career upon discovering her talents in music, co-founding the group Twise (Tika with Precise). Part hip-hop and part R&B, Tika is known for her smooth renditions of the raps of Precise. Tika studied communications at Marymount Manhattan College, and later pursued acting at The Weist Barron Acting Studio.
She later became a !$#!#tail waitress at New York City's Life, where she was encouraged by her boss to pursue acting. She first ventured into modeling, scouting numerous agencies before she found one that fit her. Developing her acting career led her to play roles for Mobius Pictures’ educational films. Sumpter also became a successful voiceover artist before becoming the co-host of Best Friends Date, an N Network production.
Tika Sumpter later landed the part of Layla Williamson on the soap opera One Life to Live. Her character was once a waitress at Restaurant Capricorn upon returning to Llanview from Los Angeles. She then befriended the restaurant's owner, Antonio Vega, who was fighting for custody of his daughter, Jamie. In 2006, Williamson was cast in a guest-starring role in the series Law & Order: Special Victims Unit.
Sumpter is also known as a model for Cunningham, Escott, Slevin and Dipene (CESD). This enabled her to strengthen her skills and work on her resume, succeeding in the industry because of their good partnership. Other credits to her name are national commercials. She has appeared in ads for Hewlett-Packard, Cascade, Lowe’s Home Improvement, and Liz Claiborne’s Curve fragrances. One of the roles that she is proud of is being in the campaign against cigarettes and smoking, appearing in the public service announcement, Truth. She was also seen in an AIDS awareness campaign with the acclaimed hip-hop artist, Common.
(Photo courtesy of IMDb.com)