Born: August 29, 1986
Date of Birth: August 29, 1986
Prior to becoming a household name due to her role on the critically acclaimed, Golden Globe Award-winning series Glee, Lea Michele had been working at her craft for many years. She made her Broadway debut as Young Cosette in Les Misérables at age eight. She also appeared on stage in Ragtime in Toronto and on Broadway and joined the 20th anniversary cast of Fiddler on the Roof. For her role as Wendla in the Tony Award-winning Broadway production of Spring Awakening, she earned a Drama Desk Award nomination for Outstanding Actress in a Musical.
Born in The Bronx and raised in Tenafly, New Jersey, Lea Michele Sarfati (her full name) is the only child of a Catholic mother and a Jewish father. She said during a 2011 interview with talk show host Jay Leno that she changed her name when she became an actress because she was teased about her last name at school, with other kids calling her 'Lea So-fatty' and 'Lea So-farty.'
In 2000, at age 13, Lea made her television debut with a guest appearance on the NBC-TV crime drama series Third Watch.
For her work on Glee, Michele has received both an Emmy nomination for Outstanding Lead Actress in a Comedy Series and two Golden Globe Award nominations for Best Television Actress, Comedy or Musical, along with a 2010 Teen Choice Award for Choice TV Actress and a 2009 nomination for Choice TV Breakout Female Star.
In between the second and third seasons of Glee, Lea managed to have time to film her movie debut in New Year's Eve (2011), directed by Garry Marshall and starring a number of A-List actors. More recently, she lent her voice to the animated film Legends of Oz: Dorothy's Return (2014).
Lea, who is a Vegan, has been honored by PETA for her work for animals. She has done several PSAs and videos for them. She lives with her two cats in Los Angeles.