Lea Michele (born Lea Michele Sarfati, August 29, 1986) 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 made her film debut in 2011’s “New Year's Eve” starring alongside Ashton Kutcher. She performs in the soprano range.
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. She was nominated for a Drama Desk Award for her performance in “Spring Awakening” in the category of Outstanding Actress in a Musical.
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. Michele received the People's Choice award of Best Actress in a Comedy in 2012. 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. In December 2010 Michele received Billboard's First-Ever Triple Threat Award.
Several of her solo covers have reached the Top 40 on the Billboard Hot 100 Singles chart, including “Gives You Hell” by The All-American Rejects, “The Only Exception” by Paramore, “Firework” by Katy Perry, “Without You” by David Guetta feat. Usher, and the original song “Get It Right.” To date, over 70 songs featuring Michele as a lead have reached the Billboard charts, more than any other “Glee” cast member.