Born Lea Michele Sarfati
August 29, 1986 (age 26)
The Bronx, New York, United States
Education Tenafly High School
Occupation Actress, singer
Years active 1995–present
Known for Glee, Spring Awakening
Lea Michele Sarfati (born August 29, 1986), known professionally as Lea Michele, is an American actress and singer, best known for her performance as Rachel Berry on the Fox television series Glee. Michele began working professionally as a child actress on Broadway in productions such as Les Misérables, Ragtime, and Fiddler on the Roof. In 2006, she originated the lead role of Wendla in the Broadway musical Spring Awakening.
Michele was born in the Bronx, New York City. She is the only 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 Catholic, and has stated that her father “gladly” attends church with her and her mother. She grew up in 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 pronunciation of her last name.
- Met Gala: Lea Michele (fabsugar.com)
- Lea Michele & Cory Monteith: Vancouver Departing Couple! (justjared.com)
- Emmys: Lea Michele (bellasugar.com)
- Get Lea Michele’s Big Bedhead Braid (bellasugar.com)
- Lea Michele Talks Fashion and Fur, Not Cory Monteith (celebs.gather.com)
- Lea Michele Leads the Pack of Beauties at the Do Something Awards (fabsugar.com)
- Lea Michele & Chris Colfer Jet to NYC for ‘Glee’ Filming! (justjared.com)
- Lea Michele & Cory Monteith Fly Their Love Back To LA! (perezhilton.com)
- Lea Michele and Cory Monteith: Thanksgiving Events Revealed! (celebs.gather.com)
- Lea Michele: ‘Tonight Show’ Appearance! (justjared.com)