Lea Michele Sarfati (born August 29, 1986 in the Bronx, New York City, U.S), known professionally as Lea Michele, is an American actress and singer. Michele debuted on Broadway in 1995 as a replacement in the role of Young Cosette in the original New York production of Les Miserables. This was followed by her performance of the role of Tateh's daughter, the Little Girl, in the 1998 original Broadway cast of Ragtime.
In 2004, Michele played "Shprintze" and "Chava" in the Broadway revival of the musical Fiddler on the Roof. Regionally, she has appeared in the title role in The Diary of Anne Frank.
Since the age of 14, she played the role of Wendla in Steven Sater and Duncan Sheik's musical version of Spring Awakening since early workshops; following it up to the Broadway production. Around the same time the show was set to go to Broadway, she was given the role of Eponine in the Broadway revival of Les Misérables. She chose to remain with Spring Awakening, which debuted on Broadway December 10, 2006. Michele was nominated for a Drama Desk Award for her performance in Spring Awakening, as Lead Actress in a Musical.
On May 18, 2008, Michele left Spring Awakening with co-star Jonathan Groff and was replaced by former Wendla understudy Alexandra Socha. She performed in a reading of Sheik and Sater's new musical, Nero, in July 2008 at Vassar College, also featuring Idina Menzel and Michael Arden. On August 8, 9 and 10, 2008, Michele portrayed Eponine in the Hollywood Bowl's Les Misérables concert.
Michele can be heard on the original Broadway cast recordings of Ragtime and Spring Awakening, as well as the 2003 revival recording of Fiddler on the Roof.
Michele now stars in the Fox television show Glee, where she plays the star female singer of a high school glee club, Rachel Berry. The pilot aired on May 19, 2009, and the show is currently playing on Thursday nights on FOX.
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