29 August 1986, Bronx, New York, USA
Lea Michele Sarfati
5' 2½" (1.59 m)
Lea Michele Sarfati was born in The Bronx, New York to parents Edith and Marc Sarfati. Her mother, a nurse, is Italian American and Roman Catholic, while her father, a delicatessen owner, is of Spanish-Sephardic Jewish ancestry. Even though she was born in New York, Lea was raised in Tenafly, New Jersey where she eventually attended and graduated from Tenafly High School.
At the age of eight years old, Lea went with a friend to an open casting call for an up-and-coming musical. After spontaneously deciding to audition, she was offered the role and, two weeks later, she was starring on Broadway. Lea debuted on Broadway in 1995 as a replacement for the role of "Young Cosette" in the original New York production of "Les Misérables". Following her theatrical debut in "Les Misérables", Lea was cast in the role of Tateh's daughter, "the Little Girl", in the 1998 original Broadway cast of "Ragtime" and, in 2004, Lea portrayed "Shprintze" and "Chava" in the Broadway revival of the musical "Fiddler on the Roof".
When she was fourteen-years-old, Lea was given the role of "Wendla" in Steven Sater and Duncan Sheik's musical version of "Spring Awakening", starring in early workshops to off-Broadway and, finally, originating the role in the Broadway production at the age of twenty. Around the same time that the show was set to go to Broadway, Lea was offered the role of "Eponine" in the Broadway revival of "Les Misérables". However, she chose to remain with "Spring Awakening", which debuted on Broadway in December 2006. Lea was later nominated for a Drama Desk Award for her performance in "Spring Awakening" in the category of Outstanding Actress in a Musical. After two years of starring in "Spring Awakening", Lea left the show with co-star and good friend, Jonathan Groff, to pursue more performing opportunities.
In early 2009, Lea won the role of "Rachel Berry" on the FOX television smash hit, "Glee" (2009), and since the show's premiere on May 19, 2009, Lea has since received worldwide critical and public acclaim for her performance on the show. She received the 2009 Satellite Award for Best Actress in a Series, Comedy or Musical and later won a Screen Actors Guild Award, as well. Along with her award wins, Lea has also received Golden Globe, Emmy, and Teen Choice Award nominations. It has quickly been established by this young woman's impressive and gifted talent, as well as her natural poise and grace, that this is only the beginning of a beautiful and successful career.
Her singing voice
Originated the Broadway role of "Wendla" in the musical "Spring Awakening".
She is of Spanish and Italian descent.
She was roommates with "Glee" (2009) co-star Dianna Agron .
Worked with "Glee" (2009) co-stars, Jenna Ushkowitz and Jonathan Groff, on the musical Spring Awakening.
Best friends with actor Jonathan Groff.
"Glee" (2009) creator, Ryan Murphy, wrote the part of Rachel Berry with her in mind.
Has two cats, Claude and Sheila, named after characters from the musical "Hair".
She was accepted to the Tisch School of the Arts at New York University, but opted to continue working on stage.
She was home-schooled for one year while she lived in Toronto, where she was performing in the original cast of Ragtime and again when the show was brought to Broadway.
Her favorite novel is "Girl with a Pearl Earring" by Tracy Chevalier.
Was in a relationship with actor Theo Stockman since November 2009 but broke up in September 2011.
Named to People Magazine's Best Dressed List of 2010.
In October 2010, Lea performed at a benefit concert for the Painted Turtle, a camp for children with chronic illnesses. The concert celebrated the 35th anniversary of The Rocky Horror Picture Show, where she played the role of Janet Weiss for the benefit.
She is very active in participating in charities for gay rights and animal rights.
Was ranked #7 on FHM 100 Most Sexiest Women in the World (2010).
Was included in Time Magazine's 100 Most Influential People in the World (2010).
In April 2010, Lea appeared in a PSA for PETA speaking out against fur, and later that same year in September, she was honored by PETA for her work for animals.
She enjoys baking in her spare time.
When she was not working on Broadway during high school, Lea worked in a Bat Mitzvah dress shop where her duties were cleaning and vacuuming.
On March 25, 2011, in Los Angeles, she got into a car accident while driving home from work. Her car was hit by another car when she was driving, but she managed to walk away without any injuries.
Loves record players.
Has lived with "Glee" (2009) co-stars Heather Morris, Naya Rivera, Dianna Agron, Jonathan Groff, Chris Colfer, and Jenna Ushkowitz.
She has 14 tattoos.
In 2011, Lea jumped up 6 spots from her previous ranking in "The 2011 After Ellen's Hot 100 List", coming in at #10.
Was ranked #28 on Maxim magazine's Hot 100 Women of 2011 list.
Ranked #47 in the 2011 FHM list of " 100 Sexiest Women in the World".
Is a fan of pop singer Kylie Minogue and Fanny Brice.
Ranked #12 in People's "25 Beauties (and Hotties) at 25" list in 2011.
Like her "Glee" (2009) character Rachel Berry, she is a Vegan.
In Jan. 2012, Michele became the new spokes women for Candies.
Voted #19 on Ask Men's top 99 'most desirable' women of 2012.
One of my favorite things about Spring Awakening is that it is enjoyable and important for both kids and adults to see.
I consider myself lucky to be an only child because if I had other siblings, my mother would not have been able to take me to every audition and be so supportive of my career.
Where Are They Now
(July 2009) Filming the first season of "Glee" (2009) in Los Angeles, California, USA.
(July 2010) Filming the second season of "Glee" (2009) in Los Angeles, California, USA.
(January 2011) Filming New Year's Eve (2011) in New York City, New York, USA.
(September 2011) Los Angeles, California, filming season 3 of "Glee" (2009) and recording the "Glee Christmas" album.