Template:Use mdy dates Template:Infobox person Lea Michele Sarfati (born August 29, 1986),[1] known professionally as Lea Michele, is an American actress and singer. Michele began working professionally as a child actress on Broadway in productions such as Ragtime and Les Misérables. She originated the role of Wendla in the musical Spring Awakening and currently plays Rachel Berry in the Fox television series Glee and made her film debut in New Year's Eve starring alongside Ashton Kutcher. Michele performs in the soprano range.[2]

Early life Edit

Michele was born in the Bronx, New York City. She is the only daughter of Edith, a nurse, and Marc Sarfati, a delicatessen owner.[1] Her mother is Italian American and Roman Catholic, while her father is a Spanish Sephardic Jew.[3][4] Michele was raised Catholic, and has stated that her father "gladly" attends church with her and her mother.[5][6] She grew up in Tenafly, New Jersey. She attended Rockland Country Day School[7] for elementary school in New York and then Tenafly High School.[5][8] Michele was home schooled one year while working in Toronto, Ontario on Ragtime. She attended Stagedoor Manor in the Catskills, a center for performing arts training.[9] She was then later accepted to the Tisch School of the Arts at New York University, but opted instead to continue working professionally on the stage.[10][11]

Michele adopted her stage name at an early age; when she went on her first audition, she gave her name as "Lea Michele," and has used it ever since. She has stated that she changed it because she was teased about the pronunciation of her last name.[12]

Career Edit

Stage rolesEdit

Michele made her Broadway debut in 1995, as a replacement in the role of Young Cosette in Les Misérables.[13][14] This was followed by the role of Tateh's daughter, the Little Girl, in the 1998 original Broadway cast of Ragtime.[14][15] In 2004 (during her Senior Year of High School), Michele played Sphritze in the Broadway revival of the musical Fiddler on the Roof.[14][16] She also sang on the 2004 Broadway revival cast recording of Fiddler on the Roof.[17]

File:Lea Michele 2009.jpg

She played the role of Wendla in Steven Sater and Duncan Sheik's musical version of Spring Awakening, starring in early workshops and Off-Broadway and finally originating the role in the Broadway production in 2006 at the age of 20.[18] 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.[19] She elected to remain with Spring Awakening, which debuted on Broadway in December 2006. She was nominated for a Drama Desk Award for her performance in Spring Awakening in the category of Outstanding Actress in a Musical.[20]

On May 18, 2008, Michele left Spring Awakening with her co-star Jonathan Groff, where they were both replaced the next day by Michele's understudy Alexandra Socha and newcomer Kyle Riabko. She performed in a reading of Sheik and Sater's new musical, Nero, in July 2008 at Vassar College.[21] She portrayed Eponine in the Hollywood Bowl's Les Misérables concert in August 2008.[22]

Film, television, and other workEdit

Michele stars in the Fox television series Glee, where she plays the star singer of a high school glee club, Rachel Berry. She has won a Screen Actors Guild Award for an outstanding ensemble performance[23] and the 2009 Satellite Award for best actress.[24] Michele received the People's Choice award of Best Actress in a Comedy in 2012.[25] She also received nominations for an Emmy Award,[26] two nominations for a Golden Globe Award, and Teen Choice Award for her performance in the role.[27] In December 2010 Lea Michele received Billboard's First-Ever Triple Threat Award.[28] Several of her solo covers have reached the top 40 on the US Billboard Hot 100, including "Gives You Hell" by The All-American Rejects, "The Only Exception" by Paramore, "Firework" by Katy Perry, "Without You" by David Guetta feat. Usher, and the original song "Get It Right". Michele is the featured lead singer in 14 of the top 25 selling Glee songs as of Feb. 2012. Also as of Feb. 2012, over 70 songs featuring Michele as a lead have reached the Billboard charts, more than any other cast member.[28]

Michele was included in TIME magazine's 2010 list of the 100 Most Influential People In the World.[29] FHM named her No.7 on 2010 Sexiest Women List.[30] Michele was named to People Magazine's Best Dressed List of 2010 as "The Newbie"[31] and she was voted "2010 Most Stylish Star" by E! Online.[32] She was ranked 28th on the Maxim 2011 Hot 100.[33] She was number 10 on the AfterEllen hot 100 list for 2011.[34] Michele ranked 14th on the 2012 Maxim Hot 100.[35] Women's Health Magazine placed Lea Michele as the 3rd Best 2012 Summer Bodies.[36]

In 2010, Michele joined the cast of the animated film Dorothy of Oz,[37] voicing the lead role of Dorothy Gale.[38] She filmed a role in Garry Marshall's romantic comedy New Year's Eve, which was released in 2011.[39]

Before Super Bowl XLV, on February 6, 2011, she performed "America the Beautiful" with the Air Force Tops In Blue.[40]

Candie's announced in 2012 that Lea will be the new spokesperson for their clothing/footwear brand.[41]


Michele is active in charities for gay rights and animal rights. In 2008, Michele was a part of the PETA ad campaign "Buck Cruelty! Say No to Horse-Drawn Carriage Rides".[42] In April 2010, Michele appeared in a PSA for PETA speaking out against fur clothing.[43] In September 2010, Michele was honored by PETA for her work for animals.[44]

In the support of gay rights, Michele performed at the Human Rights Campaign Dinner in November 2009.[45][46] In the same month, Michele and Jonathan Groff performed for True Colors Cabaret, a fundraiser in support of gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender equality.[47]

In 2008, Michele performed at a benefit concert, "Alive in the World",[48] to aid the Twin Towers Orphan Fund. Michele has also been active with Broadway Cares/Equity Fights AIDS. For Broadway Cares, Michele has participated in Broadway Barks, Broadway Bares, The Easter Bonnet Competition and The Flea Market and Grand Auction.[49]

In October 2010, Michele performed at a benefit concert for The Painted Turtle. The concert celebrated the 35th anniversary of The Rocky Horror Picture Show, with Michele playing the lead role of Janet Weiss for the benefit.[50] In February 2011, she performed for The Grammys' MusiCares Benefit in Los Angeles CA.[51] In April 2012 performs for The Jonsson Cancer Center Foundation (JCCF) at UCLA, 17th annual signature fundraiser, Taste for a Cure.[52]

In July 2012, Michele donated a signed hand print to Valspar Hands for Habitat which was then auctioned off at a charity auction. Money raised from the auction benefits Habitat for Humanity’s disaster response programs, which provide immediate and long-term response and solutions to natural disasters such as the recent tornados in the Midwest and Southeast which damaged and destroyed the homes of thousands. In a statement she said:

“I am honoured to be partnering with Valspar Paint and Habitat for Humanity to help support those who need our support following natural disasters to get on the pathway to recovery,” Lea shared in a statement. “Everyone deserves a safe and secure place to live and it’s a great feeling to know that through Valspar Hands for Habitat, we are bringing hope and comfort to families in need.[53]

Credits Edit

File:Lea Michele 2012.jpg


Readings and workshops

  • Burt Bacharach and Steven Sater collaboration (November 2009)[54]
  • Nero as Octavia (July 2008)[55]
  • Samson and Delilah as Delilah[56]
  • King as Anisette[56]
  • Wuthering Heights as Lucy[56]
  • Hot and Sweet as Naleen (September 2006)[57]
  • Spring Awakening as Wendla – Roundabout Theatre Company (2000 and June 2001)[58]

Concerts and events

  • "Broadway Eastern Bonnet" 2004 benefit performance as Sphrintze (with casts of Avenue Q and Fiddler on the Roof)
  • Spring Awakening as Wendla – Lincoln Center (February 2005)
  • Unsung 2007: 'Tis The Season To Be Naughty – Lucille Lortel Theater, New York (December 2007)[59]
  • Alive in the World, benefit concert – as Phoebe (January 2008)[48]
  • "Broadway Eastern Bonnet" 2008 benefit performance as Wendla (with cast of Spring Awakening)
  • Feinstein's (February, April and June 2008)[60]
  • Flopz n' cutz Concert with Landon Beard, Joe's Pub (April 2008)[61]
  • Les Misérables Concert as Eponine at the Hollywood Bowl (August 2008)[56]
  • Upright Cabaret (August 2008)[62]
  • Broadway Chance Style: Up Close & Personal (September 2008)[63]
  • Spring Awakening Holiday Benefit Concert – Joe's Pub (December 2008)[64]
  • Human Rights Campaign Dinner, performer (November 2009).[45]
  • True Colors Benefit with Jonathan Groff (November 2009)[47]
  • Glee Live! In Concert! as Rachel Berry; Phoenix, Los Angeles, Chicago, New York City (May 2010)
  • Glee TV Academy Event at the Music Box, Los Angeles (July 27, 2010)
  • Rocky Horror Picture Show 35th Anniversary To Benefit The Painted Turtle, as Janet Weiss, Los Angeles (October 2010)[65]
  • Super Bowl XLV – as performer ("America the Beautiful") Dallas, Texas (February 2011)[66]
  • MusiCares Person of the Year tribute honoring Barbra Streisand, performer, Los Angeles (February 2011)[51]
  • Glee Live! In Concert! as Rachel Berry; 22 cities, 40 shows, 4 countries: US, Canada, England, Ireland (May–July 2011)
  • The Jonsson Cancer Center Foundation (JCCF) at UCLA, 17th annual signature fundraiser, Taste for a Cure. April 2012[52]

Other projects

  • Ragtime as Little Girl, Toronto Centre for the Arts, Toronto, Ontario (1997)
  • The Diary of Anne Frank as Anne Frank, Washington, D.C. (2005)[67]
  • Spring Awakening as Wendla, Atlantic Theatre Company, off Broadway (May–August 2006)
  • Dove commercials as spokesperson (2010)[68]
  • Chevrolet commercial, as Rachel Berry: Glee Super Bowl commercial (February 2011)[69]
  • Nike workout application as spokesperson (2011)[70]
  • HP TouchPad commercial (2011)[71]
  • Candies as spokesperson (2012)[72]



Year Title Role Notes
1998 Buster & Chauncey's Silent Night Voice for various characters
2011 Glee: The 3D Concert Movie Rachel Berry/Herself Concert movie
2011 New Year's Eve Elise Film debut
2012 Dorothy of Oz Dorothy Gale Lead role


Year Title Role Notes
2000 Third Watch Sammi "Spring Forward Fall Back" (Season 1, episode 19)
2008 Around the Block Herself Pilot
2009–present Glee Rachel Berry Lead role
2010 Template:Sortname Sarah (voice) "Elementary School Musical" (Season 22, episode 1)
2011 Template:Sortname Rachel Berry (voice) "How Do You Solve a Problem Like Roberta?" (Season 2, episode 11)
2012 The Glee Project Herself Guest Star (Season 2, episode 1 "Individuality")

Awards and nominations Edit

Year Award Category Result Notes
2007 Drama Desk Award Outstanding Actress in a Musical Template:Nom Spring Awakening Audience Award Favorite Leading Actress in a Broadway Musical Template:Won
Favorite Female Breakthrough Performance Template:Won
Favorite Onstage Pair (with Jonathan Groff) Template:Won
2008 Grammy Award Best Musical Show Album (Original Broadway Cast, including Lea Michele) Template:Won
2009 New York Television Festival Award Best Nonscripted Host or Star Template:Won Around the Block
Teen Choice Award Choice TV Breakout Star Template:Nom Glee
Satellite Award Best Performance by an Actress in a Musical or Comedy Television Series Template:Won
2010 Golden Globe Award Best Actress in a Television Series – Comedy or Musical Template:Nom
Screen Actors Guild Award Outstanding Performance by an Ensemble in a Comedy Series Template:Won
Gay People's Choice Awards Favorite Breakout Actress Template:Won
NewNowNext Award Brink of Fame: Actor Template:Won
Teen Choice Award Choice TV Actress: Comedy Template:Nom
Choice Music: Group (with Glee Cast) Template:Nom
Gold Derby TV Award Outstanding Lead Actress in a Comedy Series Template:Nom
Satellite Award Best Performance by an Actress in a Musical or Comedy Television Series Template:Nominated
Emmy Award Outstanding Lead Actress in a Comedy Series Template:Nom
PETA's 30th Anniversary Gala Humanitarian Awards Award – Honor Template:Won
Time Magazine 100 most influential people 2010 – Honor Template:Won
Billboard's Women in Music Triple Threat Award – Honor Template:Won
Victoria's Secret Sexiest 2010 Sexiest Smile – Honor Template:Won
2011 Golden Globe Award Best Actress in a Television Series – Comedy or Musical Template:Nom Glee
Screen Actors Guild Award Outstanding Performance by an Ensemble in a Comedy Series Template:Nom
Grammy Award Best Pop Performance by a Duo or Group with Vocals ("Don't Stop BelievinTemplate:' ") Template:Nom
Best Compilation Soundtrack Album for a Motion Picture, Television or Other Visual Media (Glee: The Music, Volume 1) Template:Nom
Variety Power of Women Award 2011 Lifetime Impact Honoree – Honor Template:Won
US Glamour Women of the Year Award The Diva Next door The Diva Next door – Honor Template:Won
UK Glamour Woman of the Year Award 2011 US TV Actress of the Year Template:Won's list of Top 20 Celebs Gone Good of 2011 Advocate for animal rights – Honor Template:Won
2012 People's Choice Award Favorite Actress in a Comedy – TV Template:Won Glee
Grammy Award Best Compilation Soundtrack for Visual Media (Glee: The Music, Volume 4) Template:Nom
Screen Actors Guild Awards Outstanding Performance by an Ensemble in a Comedy Series Template:Nom
UK Glamour Woman of the Year Award 2012 US TV Actress of the Year Template:Won
Teen Choice Awards 2012 Best Actress in a Comedy Template:Won
Movie Scene Stealer - New Year's Eve Template:Nominated New's Year Eve's Awards Advocate for animal rights Template:Pending

Discography Edit

Main article: Glee Cast discography
  • Ragtime: Original Cast Recording (1998)
  • Fiddler on the Roof: Revival Cast Recording (2004)
  • Spring Awakening: Original Cast Recording Grammy Award winner – Best Cast Recording (2006)

References Edit

  1. 1.0 1.1 Template:Cite web
  2. Template:Cite web
  3. Template:Cite news
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  5. 5.0 5.1 Stated on Inside the Actors Studio, 2012. Starting at the 9:40 mark
  6. "Glee Club Glory"
  7. "EXCLUSIVE: Glee Star Lea Michele's Childhood Photos" May 21, 2010, Radar Online
  8. Template:Cite news
  9. Template:Cite news
  10. Template:Cite news
  11. Template:Cite news
  12. Template:Cite web
  13. Waterman, Lauren."High School Musical: Glee's Lea Michele", October 12, 2009
  14. 14.0 14.1 14.2 "Lea Michelle listing Internet Broadway Database, accessed October 8, 2011
  15. Viagas, Robert."Entire Toronto 'Ragtime' Cast Headed for B'way", May 8, 1997
  16. Jones, Kenneth."Not Your Zayde's 'Fiddler on the Roof': Leveaux's Fresh Revival Opens on Broadway Feb. 26", February 26, 2004
  17. Template:Cite web
  18. Template:Cite web
  19. "Diva Talk: Chatting With 'Spring Awakening'/'Les-Mizs' Lea Michele Plus News of Ebersole Eder"
  20. D. Rooney."Musicals pose Tony voting crunch",, April 26, 2007
  21. Bacalzo, Dan. "Arden, Carlson, Menzel, Michele, Robbins, et al. Set for Sater and Sheik's Nero",, June 23, 2008.
  22. Gans, Andrew."A World About to Dawn: 'Les Misérables' Arrives at the Hollywood Bowl Aug. 8", August 8, 2008
  23. Template:Cite web
  24. Template:Cite web
  25. "Lea Michele Dedicates 2012 People’s Choice Award to Fans, Family & Her ‘Glee Club’" January 12, 2012, Celebuzz
  26. Template:Cite web
  27. "Teen Choice Awards 2010: Check out the nominees" August 8, 2010, On The Red Carpet
  28. 28.0 28.1 Glee Legacy at
  29. Lea Michele – The 2010 TIME 100, Time Magazine
  30. Lea Michele – FHM #7,, June 3, 2010.
  31. Template:Cite news
  32. "Top 10 Stylish Stars of 2010" 1. Lea Michele, E Online
  33. "2011 Hot 100" May 3, 2011, Maxim
  34. Template:Cite web
  35. [1] May 2012, Maxim.
  36. [2] May 2012, Women's Health.
  37. Template:Cite web
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  40. Template:Cite web
  41. "Lea Michele is Candie's new girl",, January 13, 2012
  42. "Spring Awakening Actress Lea Michele Joins PETA Campaign" Broadway World
  43. "Lea Michele Says No to Fur in PETA Ad"
  44. "Lea Michele And Alec Baldwin Team Up For The Animals" September 01, 2010, Radar Online
  45. 45.0 45.1 "Lea Michele Sings 'On My Own' at the Human Rights Campaign Dinner" November 24, 2009,
  46. "STAGE TUBE: Lea Michele Sings 'On My Own' at the Human Rights Campaign Dinner",, November 29, 2009.
  47. 47.0 47.1 Glikas, Bruce. "Lea Michele and Jonathan Groff Reunite Onstage at True Colors Cabaret",, November 30, 2009
  48. 48.0 48.1 Template:Cite web
  49. "Bundy, Groff and Ziemba Among Easter Bonnet Hosts; Esparza to Sing" 20 April 2007, Playbill
  50. Template:Cite web
  51. 51.0 51.1 "Kristin Chenoweth, Matthew Morrison, Lea Michele Honor Streisand at Feb. 11 MusiCares Gala" 11 Feb 2011, Playbill
  52. 52.0 52.1 "Taste for a Cure" April 20, This Week In Beverly Hills
  53. [3]
  54. Template:Cite web
  55. "Idina Menzel and Lea Michele Bring Nero to Vassar" Broadway World
  56. 56.0 56.1 56.2 56.3 "Photo Flash: Lea Michele Makes Her Sold Out LA Upright Cabaret Debut"
  57. "Katie Finneran, Lea Michele Complete Cast of NYMF’s Hot and Sweet" 9 August 2006, Playbill
  58. "Spring Awakening Workshopped at Roundabout Theatre Company" 13 July 2001, Playbill
  59. "BC/EF Hosts 'Unsung: 'Tis the Season to be Naughty' Dec.10",, December 9, 2007.
  60. "Spring Awakening Star Lea Michele Shines at Feinstein's",
  61. Gans, Andrew. "Cody, von Essen, Michele, McCartney, Rapp and More Set for Flopz n' Cutz 4",, March 4, 2008.
  62. "Lea Michele To Make Hollywood Cabaret Debut 8/15-8/16",, June 20, 2008.
  63. Gans, Andrew. "Broadway Chance Style Benefit, with Bundy, Michele, Espinosa, Cusick, Presented Sept. 27, Playbill, September 27, 2008.
  64. "Photo Coverage: SPRING AWAKENING Holiday Concert at Joe's Pub",, December 16, 2008.
  65. Benigno, Anthony. "Halloween gets the star treatment: Lea Michele, Jack Nicholson headline 'Rocky Horror' tribute show", New York Daily News, October 29, 2010.
  66. "Lea Michele to Sing at Super Bowl" January 28, 2011, New York Magazine
  67. Lyon, Tracy. "Washington D.C.",
  68. Lea Michele's Dove Commercial YouTube
  69. Chevoret Super Bowl ad YouTube
  70. "Lea Michele's Nike Training Club App (VIDEO)" 24 March 2011, Huffington Post
  71. "New HP TouchPad Ad Stars Glee’s Lea Michele" 21 July 2011, by Dan Ramirez, webOSroundup
  72. [4] "Glee's Lea Michele Is a Candie's Girl! Stylish Star Named New Spokeswoman"] January 12, 2012, E Online

External links Edit

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Template:Authority control Template:ScreenActorsGuildAwards EnsembleTVComedy 2000–2009

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