Lea Michele currently stars in Funny Girl on Broadway.
Lea Michele Sarfati is an actor and singer best known for playing Rachel Berry in the television series Glee and originating the role of Wendla in the Tony Award-winning musical Spring Awakening on Broadway.
Born August 29, 1986, in The Bronx, New York, Michele made her Broadway debut early in life. While attending an audition with a friend at age 8, Michele unexpectedly auditioned for and landed the role of Young Cosette in Les Misérables. Later, she joined a Toronto-based production of Ragtime in 1998 and returned to Broadway in 2004 for the revival of Fiddler on the Roof as Shprintze.
As a high school student in New Jersey, Michele attended the Stagedoor Manor performing arts training center, where she was in productions such as Side by Side by Sondheim and The Who’s Tommy. During her final year, she landed the role of Wendla in the workshop of Duncan Sheik’s Spring Awakening, which she would also perform off Broadway. During this time, Michele was accepted into New York University’s Tisch School of the Arts but turned it down to continue performing on stage.
Spring Awakening opened on Broadway in 2006, with Michele portraying Wendla alongside Jonathan Groff as Melchior. She turned down an offer to play Éponine in Les Misérables on Broadway, choosing to stay with Spring Awakening instead. She exited the production alongside Groff in 2008.
Michele made her silver screen breakout in 2009 as Rachel Berry on the hit comedy musical series Glee. Michele received Golden Globe and Emmy Award nominations for her portrayal of Rachel and remained a regular on the show for six seasons. Michele has also starred in other television shows, including Scream Queens, alongside Jamie Lee Curtis, and The Mayor, alongside Brandon Micheal Hall and Yvette Nicole Brown.
In addition to her stage and screen work, Michele has released three studio albums. Her first album, 2014’s Louder, debuted at number 28 on the Billboard 200 chart. In 2017, she released Places, followed by Christmas in the City in 2019.
Michele reunited with her Spring Awakening cast for a performance at the 75th annual Tony Awards and a one-night-only concert, which became the documentary Spring Awakening: Those You’ve Known.
In 2022, Michele returned to Broadway and took over the role of Fanny Brice in the Funny Girl revival alongside Ramin Karimloo and Tovah Feldshuh.