Lea Michele

Recent Role:

Rachel Berry on Glee


8/29/1986, The Bronx, New York, United States

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  • Credits
  • Biography
  • Lea was born to mother, Edith Sarfati, a nurse, and father, Marc Sarfati, a delicatessen owner. She grew up an only child in Tenafly, New Jersey. She attended Tenafly High School and Stagedoor Manor in the Catskills, a performing arts training center. She was then later accepted to the CAP21 program at the Tisch School of the Arts at New York University, but decided to continue working on stage instead. She made her Broadway debut in 1995 as a replacement cast member in Les Miserables as Young Cosette. Soon after, she moved to Toronto with her mother to act in the original company of Ragtime and in 1998 brought that show to Broadway. In 2001, Lea went on her first audition for Spring Awakening, and she would be a part of all workshops for that show. In 2004 Lea portrayed Shprintze and Chava in the revival of Fiddler on the Roof and regionally played Anne Frank in The Diary of Anne Frank that same year. She was part of the original cast of Spring Awakening both off-Broadway and on Broadway as Wendla in 2006 through 2008. She was nominated for a Tony Award as Outstanding Performance by a Lead Actress in a Musical and a Drama Desk Award for Best Lead Actress. On May 18, 2008, Lea and costar Jonathan Groff had their final performances of Spring Awakening and she was replaced by Alexandra Socha, a former understudy. On August 8-10, 2008 she played Eponine in Hollywood Bowl's concert of Les Miserables. She can be heard on the soundtracks for Ragtime, Spring Awakening, and Fiddler on the Roof. In May of 2009 after the finale of American Idol, Glee, a new comedy that features music on Fox, aired to much hype. Lea plays Rachel Berry on the show. The show returned in September 2009 for its initial 13 episode run, and has since been picked up for an additional back 9 for season one, as well as a 2nd season for the 2010-2011 Fox lineup.

    She has won a Screen Actors Guild Award for outstanding ensemble performance and the 2009 Satellite Award for best actress. She also received nominations for an Emmy Award, two nominations for a Golden Globe Award, and Teen Choice Award for her performance as Rachel Berry. She is also an active member of PETA and various gay rights groups.moreless

    Birth Name:

    Lea Michele Sarfati



    Birth Place:

    The Bronx, New York, United States

  • Photos (22)
  • Trivia & Quotes
  • Quotes (35)

    • Lea: (on her role model Celine Dion) I don’t think I’ve gone a day in my life without being inspired by Celine Dion. If you would’ve seen me at her concert in Las Vegas – like, I’m surprised I didn’t get kicked out. I was literally sitting at the edge of my seat like the happiest girl in the entire universe.

    • Lea: (on her album Louder) I did not sing one word on the record that I could not incorporate into some experience in my life. Whether it be current or past, every single song that I recorded is about me. It’s a peek into my life, past and present. Maybe it’s coming from my theater and performance background, but nothing felt right unless I could relate to it. I think it comes from being an actor too. It had to be real for me. And not every song is about a current relationship or a current moment – I have songs on the album that I wrote about past relationships and past memories – but they all mean something to me.

    • Lea: (on her biographic book, Brunette Ambition) The book really is about harnessing your tenacity, your drive and your ambition and getting to where you wanna be despite what people say you can or can’t accomplish. Also mixed in there are really fun chapters on beauty, health and fitness. I love it. I think it’s a fun book.

    • Lea: (on the influence of Glee) What I’ve always loved about Glee the most is that while we’re making people laugh – and while we’re singing and entertaining people – we are delivering a very important message and opening up people’s minds, even though they might not know it’s happening. I get letters from fans, parents and kids. Glee has really helped a lot of people, and I’m not just saying that. It really has.

    • Lea: I've always felt good about myself, that is to say, I've always felt beautiful, but I didn't necessarily think other people thought I was beautiful. Glee opened my eyes. That's what's so great about the show, it includes all different types of beauty.

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    Trivia (51)

    • Lea was two nicknames: Lee and Lele

    • Lea is 5' 2½" (1.59 m) tall.

    • Lea, together with the rest of the Glee cast, has been nominated four times (2010, 2011, 2012, and 2013) for a Screen Actors Guild Awards in the category of Outstanding Performance by an Ensemble in a Comedy Series, having won it only in the first year (2010).

    • Lea was nominated twice (2009 and 2010) for a Satellite Awards in the category Best Actress in a Series, Comedy or Musical, for her work in Glee, having won that award in the first year (2009)

    • Lea was nominated three time (2012, 2013 and 2015) for a People's Choice Awards in the category of Favorite TV Comedy Actress, for her role in Glee, and having won that award in the first two years (2012 and 2013)
      In 2014, Lea was also nominated, with her Glee co-star Naya Rivera, in the category of Favorite TV Gal Pals, having won that award as well.

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