Lea was born in Bronx, NY as Lea Michele Sarfati. She is an only child and was born to a nurse and a real estate agent whose names are Edith Thomasina and Mark David Sarfati respectively. Her mother had an Italian-American background and was a Catholic while her father was a Jew. She was, however, raised a Catholic and went to church with both of her parents. They moved to Tenafly, New Jersey when she was four years old. She began acting at an early age. Her parents were supportive of this, and they even rented an apartment in Manhattan for them to use when she went there to perform on Broadway. She received her elementary education from Rockland Country Day School in
. She took up her stage name Lea Michele from the start when she first worked in
While participating on Ragtime, she got homeschooled as she had to live in Toronto during that period. On completion, she attended the Tenafly High School and actively participated in sports, music and debate activities. During her teenage, she helped her father in his deli and later worked part-time in a bar mitzvah dress shop. She paused acting for a while to continue studying. She went to Stagedoor Manor, Catskills to get trained in performing arts. She joined the Our Time Cabaret which was a touring troupe and performed in several productions. She eventually had to drop out to pursue acting when she got a part in Spring Awakening. Even though she was accepted at NYU, she continued to focus on her acting.
She performed at the Lincoln Center in 2005 as Wendla as a part of Spring Awakening which then went to Broadway for which she got nominated for a Drama Desk Award. She performed for two benefits in 2008. In May of 2008, she left Spring Awakening and joined the cast of Les Miserables and portrayed the character of Eponine. She received mainstream success when she was chosen by the creator of Fox’s Glee, , to be a part of the comedy-drama. Murphy spent months on Broadway when he found Lea as he was looking for artists who were well-versed with what happens in theatre. Lea was given the role of Rachel Berry who was a spoiled diva with a beautiful voice. She has won a Satellite Award, NewNowNext Award, Teen Choice Award and a People’s Choice Award and has also been nominated for the Golden Globe as well as an Emmy Award for her amazing performance as Rachel. She was among the 100 Most Influential People In the World list by Time.
Many of the songs sung by Lea as Rachel have been released online and have made their way on the charts. Several of her cover songs have also been placed on the Billboard Hot 100. She has also been nominated because of her singing for the Golden Globe Awards. In 2010 and then again the next year, she was a part of the concert tour by Glee which was taken by many positive reviews. She has also starred in the movie called New Year’s Eve in which she acted and sang as well. She lent her voice to Dorothy Gale in the movie called Legends of Oz: Dorothy’s Return, which was an animated musical. She began working on her solo album from 2012. Her first release was in 2013 with the single Cannonball. It reached number 75 on the charts.
It was followed by four other singles including If You Say So which was dedicated to his boyfriend,
, who passed away during that time. The album was charted at number four on Billboard 200. In 2013, she collaborated with Harmony Books and Random House and signed a deal to release a book called Brunette Ambition which included part memoirs and several guidance tips. It reached number 9 on the Bestseller’s List (U.S.) a week after its release. Her next book was released soon after and was called You First: Journal Your Way to Your Best Life in 2015 with Random House. She appeared in an episode of FX’s Sons of Anarchy in 2014. She was signed for a role in the horror-comedy TV series called Scream Queens which premiered in 2015.
Since 2015, she has already been working on her second album and is set to make it close to her roots and have a soulful theatrical effect. She supports a number of charities, works with non-profit organisations and participates in various benefits to help in any way she can. She says in her book that it is important to have a role model and tells that her role model is
, and she was also influenced by actress Natalie Wood along with Audra McDonald. Her voice has been praised by many critics and is even considered ‘’a little too perfect’’ by Rolling Stone.
Her performances are always power packed. On the side, she has done several commercials like for HP TouchPad, Chevrolet, Dove and Nike after being featured in a marketing campaign by Gap Inc. She has a house in Brentwood in which she moved after selling her old LA home. She dated Glee co-star Cory from 2011 until his demise in 2013. She has dated Matthew Paetz, a model and coach, and Robert Buckley since, both of which ended soon.