Lea Michele Sarfati (born August 29, 1986), known by her stage name Lea Michele, is an American actress and singer. Michele began working as a child actress on Broadway in shows like Ragtime and Les Misérables. She was the first person to play the character Wendla in the musical Spring Awakening and now plays Rachel Berry in the Fox television series Glee.
Lea Michele Sarfati
August 29, 1986
|Occupation||Actress, singer, dancer|
Michele was born in the Bronx, New York City, in 1986. Her mother is Edith Sarfati, a nurse, and her father is Marc Sarfati, a deli owner. Michele's mother is Italian American and Roman Catholic, while her father is a Spanish Sephardic Jew. Michele grew up in New York City and Tenafly, New Jersey. She went to Rockland County Day School  for elementary school in New York and then Tenafly High School. Michele was home schooled one year while working in Toronto Canada on Ragtime. She went to 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 instead continued working on stage.
At eight years old, Michele went with a friend to an open casting call for a musical. She decided on a whim she wanted to try out. She was offered the part and made her debut on Broadway in 1995 as a replacement in the role of Young Cosette in the New York City showing of Les Misérables. Then, in 1998, she played Tateh's daughter, the Little Girl, in the original Broadway cast of Ragtime. In 2004, Michele played Shprintze and Chava in the Broadway revival of the musical Fiddler on the Roof. She also sang on the 2003 Broadway revival cast recording of 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 playing the role in the Broadway production at the age of 20. 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. She decided to remain with Spring Awakening, which debuted on Broadway in December 2006. She was nominated for a Drama Desk Award for her acting in Spring Awakening in the category of Outstanding Actress in a Musical.
On May 18, 2008, Michele left Spring Awakening with co-star Jonathan Groff. She acted in a reading of Sheik and Sater's new musical, Nero, in July 2008 at Vassar College. From August 8–August 10, 2008, she played Eponine in the Hollywood Bowl's Les Misérables concert. She sings on the original Broadway cast recordings of Ragtime and Spring Awakening.
Michele stars in the Fox television series Glee, where she plays the star singer of a high school glee club, Rachel Berry. The pilot debuted 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, two nominations for a Golden Globe Award, and Teen Choice Award for her performance in the role. Her cover of The All-American Rejects' "Gives You Hell" reached the top 40 on the US Billboard 200. Michele is the lead singer in 14 of the top 20 selling Glee songs as of 2010.
Michele was included in Time magazine's 2010 list of the 100 Most Influential People In the World. FHM named her #7 on 2010 Sexiest Women List, which was the highest ranking for a new entry on the list that year. Michele was named to People Magazine's Best Dressed List of 2010 as "The Newbie" and she was voted "2010 Most Stylish Star" by E! Online.
In 2010, Michele joined the cast of the animated movie Dorothy of Oz, voicing the lead role of Dorothy Gale. That same year, she joined the cast of Garry Marshall's romantic comedy New Year's Eve.
Michele is active in charities for gay rights and animal rights, as well as in numerous other charities. In 2008, Michele was a part of the PETA ad campaign "Buck Cruelty! Say No to Horse-Drawn Carriage Rides". In April 2010, Michele appeared in a PSA for PETA speaking out against fur clothing. In September 2010, Michele was honored by PETA for her work for animals. In addition to working with PETA, Michele is also a vegan.
In support of gay rights, Michele performed at the Human Rights Campaign Dinner in November 2009. In the same month, Michele and Jonathan Groff sang in the True Colors Cabaret, a fundraiser in support of gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender equality.
In 2008, Michele performed at a benefit concert, "Alive in the World", to aid the Twin Tower Orphan Fund. Michele has also been active with Broadway Cares/Equity Fights AIDS. For Broadway Cares, Michele has participated in Broadway Barks, Broadway Bares, Easter Bonnet Competition and The Flea Market and Grand Auction. In October 2010, Michele performed at a benefit concert for the Painted Turtle, a camp for children with illnesses. The concert celebrated the 35th anniversary of The Rocky Horror Picture Show, with Michele playing the lead role of Janet Weiss for the benefit. In February 2011 she performed for The Grammy's MusiCares Benefit in Los Angeles, California. Money earned by the event go to help musicians in need.
Awards and nominationsEdit
|2007||Drama Desk Award||Outstanding Actress in a Musical||Nominated||Spring Awakening|
|Broadway.com Audience Award||Favorite Leading Actress in a Broadway Musical||Won|
|Favorite Female Breakthrough Performance||Won|
|Favorite Onstage Pair (with Jonathan Groff)||Won|
|2008||Grammy Award for Best Musical Show Album||Original Broadway Cast, including Lea Michele||Won||Spring Awakening|
|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|
|Gold Derby TV Award||Outstanding Lead Actress In A Comedy Series||Nominated|
|Emmy Award||Outstanding Lead Actress In A Comedy Series||Nominated|
|PETA's 30th Anniversary Gala and Humanitarian Awards Award||Honor||Won|
|Billboard's Women in Music Triple Threat Award||Honor||Won|
|Glamour Woman of the Year Award||US TV Actress of the Year||Won|
|Satellite Award||Best Performance by an Actress in a Musical or Comedy Television Series||Nominated||Glee|
|2011||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||Nominated|
|Grammy Award||Best Pop Performance by a Duo or Group with Vocals ("Don't Stop Believin")||Nominated|
|Grammy Award||Best Compilation Soundtrack Album for a Motion Picture, Television or Other Visual Media||Nominated|
- "Lea Michele: Biography". TV Guide. Retrieved December 10, 2010.
- ""Little Miss Big-Time"". Glamour. 2010-09-03. Retrieved 2010-11-02.
- Yuan, Jada (2009-08-23). "Choir Girl". NY Magazine. Retrieved 2010-11-01.
- "EXCLUSIVE: Glee Star Lea Michele's Childhood Photos". 22 May 2010.
- Freydkin, Donna (2010-05-10). "Lea Michele never stopped believing". USA Today. Retrieved 2010-11-02.
- Bonanos, Christopher (2010-07-11). "Jazz Hands, Everyone!". New York Magazine. Retrieved 2010-11-02.
- Gans, Andrew (2006-11-04). "DIVA TALK: Chatting with Spring Awakening's Lea Michele Plus News of LuPone, Kritzer and Gravitte". Playbill. Retrieved 2010-11-02.
- Messer, Lesley (2010-05-11). "Who Is Lea Michele's Broadway Star Beau?". People. Retrieved 2010-11-02.
- "Dramadesk: Awards for the best Casino Action". www.dramadesk.com.
- "Diva Talk: Chatting With 'Spring Awakening'/'Les-Mizs' Lea Michele Plus News of Ebersole Eder" playbill.com
- D. Rooney."Musicals pose Tony voting crunch", Variety.com, April 26, 2007
- Bacalzo, Dan. "Arden, Carlson, Menzel, Michele, Robbins, et al. Set for Sater and Sheik's Nero", theatermania.com, 23 June 2008.
- "'Glee Cover Takes Top Spot In Ireland", digitalspy.com
- Lea Michele – The 2010 TIME 100, Time Magazine
- Lea Michele – FHM #7, gleehab.com, 3 June 2010.
- REUTERS. "Actresses Zoe Saldana, Lea Michele land on People magazine's 'Best Dressed' top 10 - NY Daily News". nydailynews.com.
- "Celebrity Photos, Celebrity Pictures, Celebrity Pics". E! Online.
- "Dorothyofoz •". Dorothyofoz.
- "Quick Takes: 'Glee' star Lea Michele cast in animated 'Dorothy of Oz'". 12 June 2010 – via LA Times.
- "Glee's Lea Michele to Celebrate New Year's Eve". MovieWeb.com. 2010-10-22. Retrieved 2010-11-20.
- "Tops in Blue to perform at Super Bowl". January 31, 2011. Retrieved February 7, 2011.
- , Broadway World
- "Lea Michele Says No to Fur in PETA Ad" eonline.com
-  Radar
- "'Glee' star Lea Michele hits Alicia Silverstone's blog". Mother Nature Network. 2010-10-25. Retrieved 2010-11-20.
-  broadwayworld.com, November 24, 2009
- "STAGE TUBE: Lea Michele Sings 'On My Own' at the Human Rights Campaign Dinner", broadwayworld.com, November 29, 2009.
- Glikas, Bruce. "Lea Michele and Jonathan Groff Reunite Onstage at True Colors Cabaret", BroadwayWorld.com, November 30, 2009
- "Alive in the World". Alive in the World. Retrieved 2010-11-20.
- "Rocky Horror Picture Show Tribute, With Lea Michele, Matthew Morrison, Presented October 28". Playbill.com. Retrieved 2010-11-20.
-  Playbill