Lea Michele

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 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. Michele performs in the soprano range.

Early life
Michele was born in the Bronx, New York City. She is the daughter of Edith, a nurse, and Marc Sarfati, a delicatessen owner. Her mother is Italian American and Roman Catholic, while her father is a Spanish-Sephardic Jew. Michele was raised around both of her parents' religions. She grew up in Nanuet, NY and Tenafly, New Jersey. She attended Rockland Country Day School for elementary school in New York and then Tenafly High School. 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. 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.

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 pronounciation of her last name.

Career
Michele made her Broadway debut in 1995 as a replacement in the role of Young Cosette in Les Misérables. This was followed by the role of Tateh's daughter, the Little Girl, in the 1998 original Broadway cast of Ragtime. In 2004, Michele played Sphritze in the Broadway revival of the musical Fiddler on the Roof. She also sang on the 2004 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 and Off-Broadway and finally originating the role in the Broadway production in 2006 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 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.

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

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 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.[citation needed] Her cover of The All-American Rejects' "Gives You Hell" reached the top 40 on the US Billboard 200. Michele is featured 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 No.7 on 2010 Sexiest Women List. 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. She was ranked 28th on the Maxim 2011 Hot 100. She was number 10 on the AfterEllen hot 100 list for 2011.

In 2010, Michele joined the cast of the animated film 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, released in 2011.

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

Read Also : Lea Michele Picture Gallery
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