Tessa Lynne Thompson (born October 3, 1983) is an American actress. She played Jackie Cook on the television noir Veronica Mars, Nyla Adrose in the film For Colored Girls, and civil rights activist Diane Nash in Selma, and starred as Samantha White in Dear White People.

Early life:

Thompson was born in Los Angeles, California. She made her stage debut in a fifth grade play, starring as a tap dancing wolf, opposite Amber Tamblyn. She attended Santa Monica High School and was in many high school theatre productions. Thompson is the daughter of singer/songwriter Marc Anthony Thompson of the New York-based band Chocolate Genius, Inc.

Career:

Television:

Thompson, who started in Los Angeles professional theater, may be best known for her role as Jackie Cook on the UPN/CW neo-noir drama series Veronica Mars, starring as a series regular for the show's second season. Additional television appearances include a guest spot on the Cold Case episode "Best Friends" as Wilhemenia "Billie" Ducette, and as Dr. Richard Webber's niece, Camille, on the ABC medical drama Grey's Anatomy. In 2007, she was a part of the cast on the CW`s short-lived drama Hidden Palms, portraying Nikki Barnes. She most recently worked on guest star roles on Life and Private Practice, and appeared in the fourth season of Heroes. In 2010, she had a guest role as the wife of a detective on Detroit 187. In 2012, she had a guest role as Gavin Doran's daughter, Sasha, on 666 Park Avenue.

Film:

Thompson's first feature film appearance was in the 2006 remake of the horror film When a Stranger Calls playing the role of Scarlet. Thompson was next seen opposite Mary Elizabeth Winstead in the dancing film Make it Happen in 2008, and did two other films that year:The Human Contract and Periphery. In 2009, Thompson appeared in Red & Blue Marbles and Mississippi Damned.

She appeared in Tyler Perry's For Colored Girls in 2010, followed by Justin Simien's 2014 independent film Dear White People. Most recently, she portrayed civil rights activist Diane Nash in Selma, released in 2014.

Theater:

Thompson was nominated for an NAACP Image Award for her stage performance as Juliet in Romeo and Juliet: Antebellum New Orleans 1836 with The Theatre at Boston Court in Pasadena, California which was her professional debut and her first professional Shakespeare production. Subsequently, she has appeared in many more plays in Los Angeles.

Music:

Thompson worked with songwriter and producer Jesse Nolan and Stephen Edelstein titled Caught A Ghost. She is listed in the bio page of the band's website as providing "sultry vocals and percussions". The band's sound is explained on their website to "feature elements of classic Motown and stax volt compositions with influences from dubstep, 90s rap, and contemporary electronica".

Filmography:

Film:

Year

Title

Role

Notes

2006

When a Stranger Calls

Scarlet

2008

Make It Happen

Dana

2008

Human Contract, TheThe Human Contract

Waitress

2009

Mississippi Damned

Kari Peterson

2010

Everyday Black Man

Claire

2010

Exquisite Corpse

Liz

2010

For Colored Girls

Nyla Adrose

2011

Periphery

Caitlin

2011

Red & Blue Marbles

Becca

2012

Murder on the 13th Floor

Nia Palmer

2013

Automotive

Maggie

2013

South Dakota

Chris

2013

Grantham & Rose

Wallis

Completed

2014

Dear White People

Samantha White

African American Film Critics Association for Best Breakout Performance, Gotham Awards for Breakthrough Actor,

Nominated - NAACP Image Awards for Best Outstanding Actress in a Motion Picture,

Nominated - Black Reel Award for Best Actress

2014

Selma

Diane Nash

2015

Creed

Filming

2016

War on Everyone

Filming

????

Prop Is the Girl, TheThe Prop Is the Girl

Brit

Post-production

Television:

Year

Title

Role

Notes

2005

Cold Case

Wilhemina "Billie" Doucette

Episode: "Best Friends"

2005-2006

Veronica Mars

Jackie Cook

Regular role (22 episodes)

2006

Grey's Anatomy

Camille Travis

Episodes: "Deterioration of the Fight or Flight Response", "Losing My Religion",

2006

Initiation of Sarah, TheThe Initiation of Sarah

Esme

TV film

2007

Hidden Palms

Nikki Barnes

Main role (7 episodes)

2008

Life

Liza

Episode: "Trapdoor"

2009

Mental

Lainey Jefferson

Episode: "Lines in the Sand"

2009

Private Practice

Zoe

Episodes: "Yours, Mine & Ours", "Strange Bedfellows"

2009

Heroes

Rebecca Taylor

Episodes: "Hysterical Blindness", "Strange Attractors", "Shadowboxing"

2009

Three Rivers

Penelope Kirkell

Episode: "A Roll of the Dice"

2010

Betwixt

Jenny

TV film

2010

Blue Belle

Blue

Lead role (5 episodes)

2010-2011

Detroit 1-8-7

Lauren Washington

Episodes: "Local Hero/Overboard", "Home Invasion/Drive-By", "Blackout"

2011

Off the Map

Sydney

Episode: "A Doctor Time Out"

2011

Rizzoli & Isles

FBI Agent Anna Farrell

Episode: "He Ain't Heavy, He's My Brother"

2012-2013

666 Park Avenue

Sasha Doran

Recurring role (5 episodes)

2012-2013

Copper

Sara Freeman

Main role (19 episodes)

Awards and nominations:

Won- 2011 Black Reel Award for Outstanding Breakthrough Performance for For Colored Girls,

Won- 2011 Black Reel Award for For Colored Girls