Michele at the 38th People's Choice Awards, January 11, 2012.
|Birth name||Lea Michele Sarfati|
August 29, 1986 |
Bronx, New York, United States
|Origin||Tenafly, New Jersey|
|Genres||Broadway, vocal, pop rock, pop, dance-pop|
|Associated acts||Sia Furler, Christina Perri, Felicia Barton, Jaden Michaels|
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's portrayal of Rachel has received much critical praise and has earned her two Golden Globe nominations and an Emmy nomination. 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. On film, Michele has starred alongside Ashton Kutcher, Robert De Niro and Hillary Swank in Garry Marshall's 2011 romantic comedy movie New Year's Eve, and has voiced the character of Dorothy Gale in the upcoming animated movie Legends of Oz: Dorothy's Return. Michele signed to Columbia Records as a solo recording artist in 2012. Her first single "Cannonball" was released on December 10, 2013. Her debut album Louder is set to be released on March 4, 2014.
- 1 Early life
- 2 Career
- 3 Philanthropy
- 4 Personal life
- 5 Stage
- 6 Filmography
- 7 Discography
- 8 Awards and nominations
- 9 References
- 10 External links
Michele was born in the Bronx, New York City. She is the only child 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.
Michele has the vocal range of a soprano. She made her Broadway debut in 1995, at the age of 8, 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 (during her senior year of high school), Michele played Shprintze 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 Bergmann 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 Éponine 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, where they were both replaced the next day by Michele's understudy Alexandra Socha and newcomer Kyle Riabko. She performed in a reading of Sheik and Sater's new musical, Nero, in July 2008 at Vassar College. She portrayed Éponine in the Hollywood Bowl's Les Misérables concert in August 2008.
Michele stars in the Fox musical comedy-drama series Glee as Rachel Berry, the show's female lead and star singer. In casting Glee, series creator Ryan Murphy sought out actors who could identify with the rush of starring in theatrical roles. Instead of using traditional network casting calls, he spent three months on Broadway, where he found Michele. The role of Rachel was written specifically for Michele. The pilot episode was filmed in late 2008. In an interview with The Washington Post, Michele commented on her casting, saying: "I was kind of just thrown into this—this is one of the first television jobs I've ever had. Of course being able to sing helps bring a sense of comfort. The character I'm playing is really outgoing—she performs in her everyday life as though she's performing in front of a huge audience." She took the role because of Rachel's characterization, and explained: "Not only is she a singer, but she has so much heart—I think it's what we need on TV. A show that is filled with heart and love that is funny. It sends an amazing message to kids about the arts and being who you are." Chicago Tribune's Maureen Ryan wrote that Michele "not only has an amazing voice but manages to make her character, spoiled diva Rachel Berry, more than a humorless stereotype." Denise Martin of The Los Angeles Times commented in her review of the episode "The Rhodes Not Taken": "If there's any justice in the world, Lea Michele will win a Golden Globe and an Emmy for playing Rachel."
Michele has won a number of awards for her portrayal of Rachel. At the 2009 Satellite Awards, she won the award for Best Performance by an Actress in a Musical or Comedy Television Series. In 2010, Michele won the NewNowNext Awards for Brink of Fame: Actor. In 2009, she was nominated for a Teen Choice Award in the category "Choice TV Breakout Star". That same year, Michele was nominated for a Golden Globe in the category Best Actress - Television Series Musical or Comedy, and an Emmy Award for Outstanding Lead Actress in a Comedy Series. She received another Teen Choice Award nomination in 2010 for "Choice TV Actress: Comedy". Michele was included in Time magazine's 2010 list of the 100 Most Influential People In the World. She won the 2012 People's Choice Award for Favorite TV Comedy Actress. Several songs performed by Michele as Rachel have been released as singles, available for digital download. In December 2010, Michele received Billboard's First-Ever Triple Threat Award. Her cover of The All-American Rejects' "Gives You Hell" reached the top 40 on the US Billboard Hot 100. Michele is featured as lead singer in 14 of the top 20 selling Glee Cast songs as of 2010. Michele was nominated for two Grammy Awards in 2011. The first for Best Pop Performance by a Duo or Group with Vocals ("Don't Stop Believin'"), the second for Best Compilation Soundtrack Album for a Motion Picture, Television, or Other Visual Media (Glee: The Music, Volume 1). Michele said of the first Grammy nomination: "I like that it's for 'Don't Stop Believin'', which is for the whole cast, so that we all get to go. That's just awesome." She was nominated again for Best Actress - Television Series Musical or Comedy at the 2011 Golden Globe Awards.
In 2010, Michele joined the cast of the animated film Legends of Oz: Dorothy's Return, voicing the lead role of Dorothy Gale. She filmed a role in Garry Marshall's romantic comedy New Year's Eve, which was released in 2011. Before Super Bowl XLV, on February 6, 2011, she performed "America the Beautiful" with the Air Force Tops In Blue. On September 18, 2012, it was announced that Michele would be working on her first solo album. She started recording for the album soon after on October 1, 2012. She has stated that it is a 'pretty slow process' but she wants the album to be more 'pop/rock driven' instead of Broadway influenced. Michele was a presenter at the 2013 Golden Globes, co-presenting the award for Best Actress in a TV Series with Nathan Fillion. In May 2013, it was announced that Michele had signed a deal with Harmony Books, Random House Inc. to pen a part memoir, part how-to book entitled Brunette Ambition. The book is set for release on May 13, 2014. On November 27, 2013, Michele announced via her Twitter page that the first single from her debut album Louder will be "Cannonball," out on December 10, 2013. She performed "Cannonball" live for the first time on The Ellen DeGeneres Show, December 12, 2013.
Michele is active in charities for gay rights and animal rights. In 2008, Michele was a part of the PETA ad campaign "Buck Cruelty! Say No to Horse-Drawn Carriage Rides". In April 2010, Michele appeared in a PSA for PETA speaking out against fur clothing. In September 2010, Michele was honored by PETA for her work for animals.
In the support of gay rights, Michele performed at the Human Rights Campaign Dinner in November 2009. In the same month, Michele and Jonathan Groff performed for True Colors Cabaret, a fundraiser in support of gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender equality. In 2008, Michele performed at a benefit concert, "Alive in the World", to aid the Twin Towers Orphan Fund. Michele has also been active with Broadway Cares/Equity Fights AIDS. For Broadway Cares, Michele has participated in Broadway Barks, Broadway Bares, The Easter Bonnet Competition and The Flea Market and Grand Auction.
In October 2010, Michele performed at a benefit concert for The Painted Turtle. The concert celebrated the 35th anniversary of The Rocky Horror Picture Show, with Michele playing the lead role of Janet Weiss for the benefit. In February 2011, she performed for The Grammys' MusiCares Benefit in Los Angeles, CA. In April 2012, Michele performed for The Jonsson Cancer Center Foundation (JCCF)'s 17th annual signature fundraiser, Taste for a Cure, at UCLA with her Glee co-star, Darren Criss. In October 2012, Michele and Criss also performed together at the Big Brother & Big Sisters Of Greater Los Angeles 2012 Stars Gala.
In July 2012, Michele hosted the launch of Valspar Hands for Habitat charity auction and donated a signed hand print to be auctioned off along with many other celebrity hand-prints. Money raised from the auction benefits Habitat for Humanity’s disaster response programs, which provide immediate and long-term response and solutions to natural disasters such as the recent tornados in the Midwest and Southeast which damaged and destroyed the homes of thousands. In June 2013, Michele co-hosted the launch of Feed America for Target stores. Proceeds from the lifestyle collection will benefit Feeding America, the nation’s leading domestic-hunger relief charity. In August 2013, Michele once again donated a hand print to Valspar Hands for Habitat charity auction.
Michele began working alongside Canadian actor Cory Monteith in 2008, when they were cast as love interests on Glee. They became an official couple in late 2011. They remained a couple until his death in July 2013. Following his death, Michele wrote a song about Monteith titled "If You Say So" which features on her debut album, Louder. Another song on the album, "You're Mine," is also dedicated to Monteith.
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. In June 2010, AfterEllen ranked Michele 16th on their annual Hot 100 list for 2010, voted for by lesbian and bisexual readers. In 2011, the British popular men's magazine FHM ranked her 47th on their annual 100 Sexiest Women list. In May 2011, Michele ranked 28th on the Maxim 2011 Hot 100. Michele placed at number 10 on Glamour's 50 Best Dressed Women of 2011. She appeared on AfterEllen's Hot 100 list of 2011, placing at number 10. The following year, she ranked number 11 on the AfterEllen Hot 100 for 2012. Women's Health magazine placed Lea Michele as the 3rd Best 2012 Summer Bodies. Candie's announced in 2012 that Michele will be the new spokesperson for their clothing/footwear brand. Later that same year, it was announced that Michele had signed a deal to be the newest spokesperson for the L'Oreal Paris hair and make-up brand. In April 2012, she placed at number 37 on Glamour Magazine's 50 Best Dressed Women of 2012 list. Michele ranked 14th on the Maxim 2012 Hot 100, and placed at number 39 the following year on the Maxim 2013 Hot 100. She ranked number 42 on the AfterEllen Hot 100 list of 2013. She placed at number 76 in FHM's 100 Sexiest Women list of 2013. Glamour ranked Michele number 19 in their 50 Best Dressed Women of 2013 list.
- Les Misérables as Young Cosette (1995–96)
- Ragtime as the Little Girl (1998–99)
- Fiddler on the Roof as Shprintze and Chava (2004–05)
- Spring Awakening as Wendla Bergmann (2006–08)
Readings and workshops
- Burt Bacharach and Steven Sater collaboration (November 2009)
- Nero as Octavia (July 2008)
- Samson and Delilah as Delilah
- King as Anisette
- Wuthering Heights as Lucy
- Hot and Sweet as Naleen (September 2006)
- Spring Awakening as Wendla – Roundabout Theatre Company (2000 and June 2001)
Concerts and events
- "Broadway Eastern Bonnet" 2004 benefit performance as Sphrintze (with casts of Avenue Q and Fiddler on the Roof)
- Spring Awakening as Wendla – Lincoln Center (February 2005)
- Unsung 2007: 'Tis The Season To Be Naughty – Lucille Lortel Theater, New York (December 2007)
- Alive in the World, benefit concert – as Phoebe (January 2008)
- "Broadway Eastern Bonnet" 2008 benefit performance as Wendla (with cast of Spring Awakening)
- Feinstein's (February, April and June 2008)
- Flopz n' Cutz Concert with Landon Beard – Joe's Pub (April 2008)
- Les Misérables Concert as Éponine at the Hollywood Bowl (August 2008)
- Upright Cabaret (August 2008)
- Broadway Chance Style: Up Close & Personal (September 2008)
- Spring Awakening Holiday Benefit Concert – Joe's Pub (December 2008)
- Human Rights Campaign Dinner – as performer (November 2009)
- True Colors Benefit with Jonathan Groff (November 2009)
- Glee Live! In Concert! as Rachel Berry; Phoenix, Los Angeles, Chicago, New York City (May 2010)
- Glee TV Academy Event at the Music Box Theater, Los Angeles (July 27, 2010)
- Rocky Horror Picture Show 35th Anniversary To Benefit The Painted Turtle, as Janet Weiss, Los Angeles (October 2010)
- Super Bowl XLV – as performer ("America the Beautiful") Dallas, Texas (February 2011)
- MusiCares Person of the Year tribute honoring Barbra Streisand – as performer, Los Angeles (February 2011)
- Glee Live! In Concert! as Rachel Berry; 22 cities, 40 shows, 4 countries: US, Canada, England, Ireland (May–July 2011)
- The Jonsson Cancer Center Foundation (JCCF) at UCLA, 17th annual signature fundraiser, Taste for a Cure. (April 2012)
- Big Brothers Big Sisters Of Greater Los Angeles 2012 Rising Stars Gala (October 2012)
- L'Oreal Paris USA Women of Worth event – as ambassador, New York City (December 2013)
- Ragtime as Little Girl, Toronto Centre for the Arts, Toronto, Ontario (1997)
- The Diary of Anne Frank as Anne Frank, Washington, D.C. (2005)
- Spring Awakening as Wendla, Atlantic Theatre Company, off Broadway (May–August 2006)
- Dove commercials as spokesperson (2010)
- Chevrolet commercial, as Rachel Berry: Glee Super Bowl commercial (February 2011)
- Nike workout application as spokesperson (2011)
- HP TouchPad commercial (2011)
- Candie's as spokesperson (2012)
- L'Oreal Paris as spokesperson (2012)
|1998||Buster & Chauncey's Silent Night||Christina|
|2011||Glee: The 3D Concert Movie||Rachel Berry/Herself||Concert movie|
|2011||New Year's Eve||Elise||Film debut|
|2014||Legends of Oz: Dorothy's Return||Dorothy Gale||Lead role, Voice|
|2000||Third Watch||Sammi||"Spring Forward Fall Back" (Season 1, episode 19)|
|2008||Around the Block||Herself||Pilot|
|2009–present||Glee||Rachel Berry||Lead role|
|2010||The Simpsons||Sarah (voice)||"Elementary School Musical" (Season 22, episode 1)|
|2011||The Cleveland Show||Rachel Berry (voice)||"How Do You Solve a Problem Like Roberta?" (Season 2, episode 11)|
|2012||The Glee Project||Herself||Guest Star (Season 2, episode 1 "Individuality")|
|2013||Top Chef||Herself||Guest Judge (Season 11, episode 5 "Lea Michele's Halloween Bash")|
- Louder (2014)
- Ragtime: Original Cast Recording (1998)
- Fiddler on the Roof: Revival Cast Recording (2004)
- Spring Awakening: Original Cast Recording (2006)
Awards and nominations
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- Stated on Inside the Actors Studio, 2012. Starting at the 9:40 mark https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xyfCHFy8r-k
- "Glee Club Glory" Jvibe.com
- "EXCLUSIVE: Glee Star Lea Michele's Childhood Photos" May 21, 2010, Radar Online
- Freydkin, Donna (May 10, 2010). "Lea Michele never stopped believing". USA Today. Retrieved 2010-11-02.
- Bonanos, Christopher (July 11, 2010). "Jazz Hands, Everyone!". New York Magazine. Retrieved 2010-11-02.
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- Jones, Kenneth."Not Your Zayde's 'Fiddler on the Roof': Leveaux's Fresh Revival Opens on Broadway Feb. 26" playbill.com, February 26, 2004
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- D. Rooney."Musicals pose Tony voting crunch"[dead link], Variety.com, April 26, 2007
- Bacalzo, Dan. "Arden, Carlson, Menzel, Michele, Robbins, et al. Set for Sater and Sheik's Nero"[dead link], theatermania.com, June 23, 2008.
- Gans, Andrew."A World About to Dawn: 'Les Misérables' Arrives at the Hollywood Bowl Aug. 8" playbill.com, August 8, 2008
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- Wieselman, Jarett (May 19, 2009). "Meet The Cast of 'Glee,' I Did!". New York Post. Retrieved June 1, 2009.
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- "2009 14th Annual Satellite Awards Nominations". International Press Academy. Archived from the original on December 2, 2009. Retrieved December 17, 2009.
- "Logo Announces Winners for NewNowNext Awards". Logo (Logo). Retrieved February 15, 2011.
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- "The 67th Annual Golden Globe Awards Nominations". Golden Globes. December 15, 2009. Retrieved February 15, 2011.
- "Glee". Academy of Television Arts and Sciences. Retrieved August 10, 2011.
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- "People's Choice Awards 2012 Nominees". People's Choice Awards. Retrieved January 29, 2012.
- Linder, Brian (November 4, 2009). "Glee: The Music – Vol. 1 Review". IGN. Retrieved December 5, 2009.
- Linder, Brian (December 8, 2009). "Glee: The Music, Vol. 2 Review". IGN. Retrieved December 9, 2009.
- Glee Legacy at Billboard.com
- Daniel Kilkelley (April 29, 2010). "Music - News - 'Glee' cover takes top spot in Ireland - Digital Spy". DigitalSpy.com.
- Kathy Henderson (April 13, 2010). "What's Up, Lea Michele? All About Glee, Newfound Fame and (Sigh!) Jonathan Groff". Broadway.com. Retrieved May 17, 2011.
- "'Glee' Star Lea Michele Celebrates Two Grammy Nominations". Jocelyn Vena (MTV). December 2, 2010. Retrieved February 15, 2011.
- "The 68th Annual Golden Globe Awards Nominations". Golden Globes. December 14, 2011. Retrieved February 15, 2011.
- "Dorothy of Oz web site". Dorothyofoz.com. Retrieved 2012-02-13.
- "Quick Takes: 'Glee' star Lea Michele cast in animated 'Dorothy of Oz'". Los Angeles Times. June 12, 2010.
- "Glee's Lea Michele to Celebrate New Year's Eve". MovieWeb.com. October 22, 2010. Retrieved 2010-11-20.
- "Tops in Blue to perform at Super Bowl". January 31, 2011. Retrieved 2011-02-07.
- "Lea begins work on debut solo album". October 2, 2012. Retrieved October 2, 2012.
- "Golden Globes 2013: Jennifer Lawrence, Anne Hathaway and Adele Shine on Red Carpet". International Business Times. January 14, 2013. Retrieved 2013-01-15.
- "Lea Michele Memoir Brunette Ambition Scheduled For 2014 Release". May 23, 2013.
- "Lea Michele's 'Cannonball' to Be First Single From Debut Album". Billboard. 2013-11-27. Retrieved 2013-12-05.
- "Day 6 of 12 Days and Lea Michele, James Wolpert". December 12, 2013.
- "Spring Awakening Actress Lea Michele Joins PETA Campaign" Broadway World
- "Lea Michele Says No to Fur in PETA Ad" eonline.com
- "Lea Michele And Alec Baldwin Team Up For The Animals" September 01, 2010, Radar Online
- "Lea Michele Sings 'On My Own' at the Human Rights Campaign Dinner" November 24, 2009, Broadwayworld.com
- "STAGE TUBE: Lea Michele Sings 'On My Own' at the Human Rights Campaign Dinner"[dead link], broadwayworld.com, November 29, 2009.
- Glikas, Bruce. "Lea Michele and Jonathan Groff Reunite Onstage at True Colors Cabaret", BroadwayWorld.com, November 30, 2009
- "Alive in the World". Alive in the World. Retrieved 2010-11-20.
- "Bundy, Groff and Ziemba Among Easter Bonnet Hosts; Esparza to Sing" April 20, 2007, Playbill
- "Rocky Horror Picture Show Tribute, With Lea Michele, Matthew Morrison, Presented October 28". Playbill. Retrieved 2010-11-20.
- "Kristin Chenoweth, Matthew Morrison, Lea Michele Honor Streisand at Feb. 11 MusiCares Gala" 11 Feb 2011, Playbill
- "Taste for a Cure" April 20, This Week In Beverly Hills
- "Lea Michele & Darren Criss Look Adorable At Big Brothers & Big Sisters Gala, Perform ‘Falling Slowly'". socialite life. October 27, 2012. Retrieved July 14, 2013.
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- Waterman, Laura (December 2010). "O-M-Glee: Lea Michele and Cory Monteith". Teen Vogue. Retrieved July 25, 2013.
- "Life & Style Exclusive: Glee Co-Stars Lea Michele and Cory Monteith Dating!". Life & Style. February 21, 2012. Retrieved July 25, 2013.
- Nudd, Tim (May 17, 2012). "Lea Michele & Cory Monteith Smooch at Hockey Game". People. Retrieved July 25, 2013.
- Cory Monteith: 'Lea and I Are Dating'!. Los Angeles: The Ellen DeGeneres Show. December 6, 2012. Retrieved July 25, 2013.
- Macatee, Rebecca (December 10, 2012). "Lea Michele's the "Luckiest Girl in the World" With Glee's Cory Monteith, Talks Kate Hudson Feud Rumor". E!. Retrieved March 31, 2013.
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- "Cory Monteith died of heroin and alcohol overdose: B.C. coroner". The Globe and Mail. July 16, 2013. Retrieved July 16, 2013.
- "Lea Michele Records Song For Cory Monteith". Hollywood Life. November 5, 2013.
- "Lea Michele smoulders in sultry artwork for her first single Cannonball from debut album Louder". Mail Online. November 30, 2013.
- "Actresses Zoe Saldana, Lea Michele land on People magazine's 'Best Dressed' top 10". Daily News (New York). September 15, 2010.
- "Top 10 Stylish Stars of 2010" 1. Lea Michele, E Online
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- "Spring Awakening Workshopped at Roundabout Theatre Company" July 13, 2001, Playbill
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- "Photo Coverage: SPRING AWAKENING Holiday Concert at Joe's Pub", BroadwayWorld.com, December 16, 2008.
- Benigno, Anthony. "Halloween gets the star treatment: Lea Michele, Jack Nicholson headline 'Rocky Horror' tribute show", New York Daily News, October 29, 2010.
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- Chevrolet Super Bowl ad YouTube
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|Find more about Lea Michele at Wikipedia's sister projects|
|Media from Commons|
- Official website
- Lea Michele at the Internet Movie Database
- Lea Michele on Twitter
- Lea Michele at AllMusic
- Lea Michele at AllRovi
- Lea Michele at TV Tropes