Born: June 20, 1980
Date of Birth: June 20, 1980
Tika Sumpter has been working steadily for the better part of a decade, landing supporting roles in various television and film projects, but it wasn't until her breakthrough turn as a young Michelle Obama in the 2016 biopic Southside With You that she gained mainstream recognition and widespread critical acclaim.
Born in Queens, New York City, Tika's parents are Janice Acquista and Arthur Curtis Sumpter Sr. Tika attended Longwood Senior High School in Middle Island, where she was a cheerleader. Although she later majored in communications at Marymount Manhattan College, Tika's real dream was to become an actress. “I got bit by the bug at an early age. I remember watching TV as a kid and aspiring to act,” she told Hope For Women magazine in 2014. She began taking acting classes between school and waitressing, but quickly realized that she needed to start putting herself out there. "My hunger was everything I needed," she said.
Tika began her career as a model, and appeared in commercials for Hewlett-Packard and Liz Claiborne. In 2004, she landed a co-hosting job for the N network series Best Friend's Date. Unfortunately, the show was cancelled after three episodes. However, the following year she earned a lead role on the popular daytime soap opera One Life to Live. Her work as Layla Williamson would earn her a NAACP Image Award nomination for Best Actress in a Daytime Series.
Following the end of her five-year stint on One Life to Live, Tika made her feature film debut as Nikki in the dance sequel Stomp the Yard: Homecoming (2010). She then landed a recurring role as Raina Thorpe on the hit CW series Gossip Girl, followed by another recurring role as Jenna Rice on the CBS sports drama series The Game.
In 2012, Tika was cast in a remake of the 1976 musical Sparkle. She played Delores "Dee" Anderson, alongside an all-star cast made up of Jordin Sparks, Whitney Houston, Mike Epps, and Carmen Ejogo. The talented actress then received her most high-profile role to date, starring as Kevin Hart's love interest in the buddy cop comedy blockbuster Ride Along (2014). Over the next couple of years, Tika made appearances in several films, including the comedy My Man is a Loser (2014) and the James Brown biopic Get On Up (2014).
In 2016, she reprised her role as Angela in the comedy sequel Ride Along 2, once again starring alongside Kevin Hart and Ice Cube. That same year, Tika landed the coveted role of Michelle Robinson (later Obama) in the romantic biopic Southside With You. She also produced the film, which co-stars Parker Sawyers as Barack Obama nearly 20 years before he became president. Of her role as the future first lady, Tika admitted to RogerEbert.com that she was initially nervous to portray a part in such an important love story, but said, "After you dismantle the Obama of it all and just bring it down to the studs of, they’re 25 and 28 years old, getting to know each other, figuring out this world, it was just more exciting or more fun than anything."
The talented actress can most recently be seen as Candace Young, a main cast member, on the Tyler Perry series The Haves and the Have Nots.
Filmography:Southside With You (2016)