Lea Michele is an American actress, singer, songwriter and author.
Let’s see some fun facts about her!
1. Lea Michele Sarfati was born August 29, 1986 in the Bronx, New York.
2. She is the only child of Edith Thomasina, a retired nurse, and Mark David Sarfati, a real estate agent and former delicatessen owner.
3. Her mother is an Italian American Catholic with ancestors from Rome and Naples, while her father is a Sephardic Jew with ancestors from Thessaloniki, Greece.
4. Michele was raised Catholic, and has stated that her father “gladly” attended church with her and her mother.
Michele spent the first four years of her life living in the Bronx, until she and her parents moved to the more suburban area of Tenafly, New Jersey.
5. The family also rented an apartment in Manhattan, where they would live when Michele was performing on Broadway.
6. Michele was educated at Rockland Country Day School for elementary school in Congers, New York.
7. Michele started using her middle name at an early age. When she went on her first audition, for the role of Young Cosette in Les Misérables, she gave her name as Lea Michele, and has used it professionally ever since.
8. Michele stated that she intentionally left off her surname because she was teased about its pronunciation.
9. During the audition, she sang “Angel of Music” from The Phantom of the Opera – the only musical she knew at the time. Michele went along to support a friend, but ended up landing the part herself.
10. In 1997, Michele was homeschooled while living and working in Toronto, where she performed in a production of Ragtime. For her high school education, Michele attended Tenafly High School.
11. During her time there, she was on the volleyball team, the debate team, and participated in choir.
12. In her teens, when she wasn’t working on the stage, Michele had a part-time job at a bat mitzvah dress shop.
13. She also worked at her father’s deli.
14. Michele refrained from auditioning for Broadway roles during her freshman, sophomore and junior years so she could focus on her education.
15. In the summers from 2000 to 2002, Michele attended Stagedoor Manor in the Catskills, a center for performing arts training.
16. At Stagedoor, she was part of the touring troupe Our Time Cabaret, and performed in productions of Side by Side by Sondheim and The Who’s Tommy.
17. In her final summer at the camp, Michele was to perform in a production of Sweet Charity, but instead booked the role of Wendla Bergmann in a workshop of Spring Awakening, forcing her to drop out.
18. She was later accepted to New York University’s Tisch School of the Arts, but opted instead to continue working professionally on the stage.
19. When Michele was 19 years old, her mother Edith was diagnosed with uterine cancer. Edith received treatment from the Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center in New York City.
20. Michele is known for playing Rachel Berry on the Fox television series Glee (2009–2015), for which she received a Satellite Award, a Screen Actors Guild Award, and three consecutive People’s Choice Awards.
21. From 2015 to 2016, she starred as Hester Ulrich on the Fox television series Scream Queens.
22. Michele made her feature film debut in New Year’s Eve (2011), and was signed to Columbia Records in 2012.
23. She released her debut single the following year, “Cannonball”, followed by her debut studio album, Louder (2014), which debuted at number 4 on the Billboard 200 chart in the United States.
24. Her second studio album, Places, is scheduled for release in April 2017. Michele has also published two novels, Brunette Ambition (2014) and You First: Journal Your Way To Your Best Life (2015).
25. Michele resides in a four-bedroom home in Brentwood, Los Angeles, which she purchased for $2.9 million in July 2015.
26. She previously rented an apartment in New York City’s West Village after graduating from high school.
27. She was in a relationship with her Glee co-star Cory Monteith from November 2011 until his death in July 2013.
28. The song “If You Say So” from her debut album was written about him. The song “Hey You” on her second album was also written for him.