Lea Michele Sarfati (born August 29, 1986), known professionally as Lea Michele, is an American actress and singer. Michele began working professionally as a child actor on Broadway in productions such as Les Misérables. She appeared in several more musicals before being selected for the lead role in the musical Spring Awakening, earning a Drama Desk Award nomination for her performance. Her role as Rachel Berry in the Fox television series Glee has resulted in Emmy and Golden Globe nominations.

Early life

Lea was born in The Bronx, New York, the daughter of Edith Sarfati, a nurse, and Marc Sarfati, a delicatessen owner.[1] Michele's mother is Italian American and Catholic, while her father is of Spanish-Sephardic Jewish ancestry.[2] Michele grew up in Tenafly, New Jersey, where she attended Tenafly High School. She attended Stagedoor Manor in the Catskills, a performing arts training center. She was then later accepted to the Tisch School of the Arts at New York University, but opted to continue working on stage.


At eight years old Lea Michele went with a friend to an open call for a musical. Michele decided on a whim she wanted to try out. She was offered the part and in two weeks from her very first audition she was starring on Broadway.[3] Michele debuted on Broadway in 1995 as a replacement in the role of Young Cosette in the original New York production of Les Misérables. This was followed by her performance of the role of Tateh's daughter, the Little Girl, in the 1998 original Broadway cast of Ragtime. In 2004, Michele played "Shprintze" and "Chava" in the Broadway revival of the musical Fiddler on the Roof.

She played 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 20.[4] Around the same time that the show was set to go to Broadway, she was offered the role of Eponine in the Broadway revival of Les Misérables.[5] She chose to remain with Spring Awakening, which debuted on Broadway in December 2006. Michele was nominated for a Drama Desk Award for her performance in Spring Awakening in the category of Outstanding Actress in a Musical.[6]

On May 18, 2008, Michele left Spring Awakening with co-star Jonathan Groff. She performed in a reading of Sheik and Sater's new musical, Nero, in July 2008 at Vassar College.[7] On August 8 through 10, 2008, Michele portrayed Eponine in the Hollywood Bowl's Les Misérables concert.

Michele is on the original Broadway cast recordings of Ragtime and Spring Awakening, as well as the 2003 Broadway revival cast recording of Fiddler on the Roof.

Michele currently stars in the Fox television series Glee (2009–present), where she plays the star singer of a high school glee club, Rachel Berry. The pilot aired on May 19, 2009. 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, Golden Globe Award, and Teen Choice Award for her performance in the role. Her cover of The All-American Rejects' "Gives You Hell" reached number 1 on the Irish charts and the top 40 on the US Billboard 200.[8]

Michele was included in Time Magazine's 2010 list of the 100 Most Influential People In the World.[9] FHM named her #7 on 2010 Sexiest Women List, which was the highest ranking for a new entry on the list that year.[10] May 2010, named her #16 in Hot 100 of 2010, saying " Lea Michele is just a perfect storm of hotness"[11] In May 2010, Michele was chosen for Victoria’s Secret Sexy List 2010 for having the "Sexiest Smile".[12]


Michele is active in participating in charities for gay rights and animal rights. In April 2010 Michele appeared in a PSA for PETA speaking out against fur.[13] In 2008, Michele was a part of the PETA ad campaign titled, "Buck Cruelty! Say No to Horse-Drawn Carriage Rides," [14] In September 2010 Michele was honored by PETA for her work for animals.[15] In support of gay rights, Michele performed at the Human Rights Campaign Dinner in November 2009.[16][17] Also in November 2009, Michele and Jonathan Groff performed for True Colors Cabaret, a fundraiser in support of gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender equality.[18] In 2008, Michele performed at a benefit concert called "Alive in the World" [19] to aid the Twin Tower Orphan Fund. Michele has also been active with Broadway Cares/Equity Fights AIDS.





  • "Spring Awakening" as Wendla – Lincoln Center (February 2005)
  • Alive in the World – Benefit Concert – as Phoebe, (Jan. 2008) [19]
  • Unsung 2007: 'Tis The Season To Be Naughty - Lucille Lortel Theater, NY (Dec 2007)[25]
  • Feinstein's (Feb 2008 and April 2008) [26]
  • Flopz n' cutz Concert with Landon Beard, Joe's Pub (April 2008) [27]
  • Les Misérables Concert as Eponine at the Hollywood Bowl (Aug. 2008) [22]
  • Upright Cabaret (August 2008) [28]
  • Broadway Chance Style: Up Close & Personal (Sept 2008) [29]
  • Spring Awakening Holiday Benefit Concert – Joe's Pub (December 2008) [30]
  • True Colors Benefit with Jonathan Groff (November 2009)[31]
  • Glee Live! In Concert! as Rachel Berry, Phoenix, LA, Chicago, NY. (May 2010)
  • Glee TV Academy Event at the Music Box LA, (July 27, 2010)

Other Projects

Film and television

Awards and nominations

Year Award Category Result Notes
2007 Drama Desk Award Outstanding Actress in a Musical Nominated Spring Awakening Audience Award Favorite Leading Actress in a Broadway Musical Won
Favorite Female Breakthrough Performance Won
Favorite Onstage Pair (with Jonathan Groff) Won
2009 New York Television Festival Award Best Nonscripted Host or Star Won Around the Block
Teen Choice Award Choice TV Breakout Star Nominated Glee
Satellite Award Best Performance by an Actress in a Musical or Comedy Television Series Won
2010 Golden Globe Award Best Actress in a Television Series – Comedy or Musical Nominated
Screen Actors Guild Award Outstanding Performance by an Ensemble in a Comedy Series Won
NewNowNext Award Brink of Fame: Actor Won
Teen Choice Award Choice TV Actress: Comedy Nominated
Choice Music: Group (with Glee Cast) Nominated
Emmy Award Outstanding Lead Actress In A Comedy Series Nominated


Main article: Glee Cast discography


  1. "Lea Michele bio"
  2. Miller, Gerri (August, 2009). "Glee Club Glory". JVibe. Retrieved 2009-08-02.  Check date values in: |date= (help)
  3. [1] TeenVogue
  4. Drama Desk Official website
  5. "Diva Talk: Chatting With 'Spring Awakening' 'Les-Mizs' Lea Michele Plus News of Ebersole Eder"
  6. D. Rooney."Musicals pose Tony voting crunch", April 26, 2007
  7. Bacalzo, Dan. "Arden, Carlson, Menzel, Michele, Robbins, et al. Set for Sater and Sheik's Nero", June 23, 2008
  8. "'Glee Cover Takes Top Spot In Ireland"
  9. Lea Michele – The 2010 TIME 100 – TIMETime Magazine
  10. Lea Michele – FHM #7, June 3, 2010
  11. [2]
  12. [3]
  13. "Lea Michele Says No to Fur in PETA Ad"
  14. [4] Braodway World
  15. [5] Radar
  16. [6], November 24, 2009
  17. "STAGE TUBE: Lea Michele Sings 'On My Own' at the Human Rights Campaign Dinner", November 29, 2009
  18. [7] BroadwayWorld
  19. 19.0 19.1 [8] Alive in the World
  20. [9] Playbill
  21. [10] Broadway World
  22. 22.0 22.1 22.2 22.3 [11]
  23. [12] Playbill
  24. [13] Playbill
  25. [14]
  26. [15]
  27. [16]
  28. [17] Broadway World
  29. [18] Playbill
  30. [19]
  31. [20] Broadway Buzz
  32. [21] Talking Broadway Regional News and Reviews
  33. [22] Dove
  34. [23] Dolce Films under portfolio screening room
  35. McNary, Dave (June 11, 2010). "Lea Michele heads to 'Oz'". Variety. Archived from the original on June 15, 2010. Retrieved June 15, 2010. 

External links

  1. REDIRECT Template:IMDb name
hr:Lea Michele

it:Lea Michele he:ליאה מישל nl:Lea Michelepl:Lea Micheleru:Мишель, Лиа sv:Lea Michele tr:Lea Michele

Ad blocker interference detected!

Wikia is a free-to-use site that makes money from advertising. We have a modified experience for viewers using ad blockers

Wikia is not accessible if you’ve made further modifications. Remove the custom ad blocker rule(s) and the page will load as expected.