Lea Michele

Date Of Birth:
29 August 1986
Place Of Birth:
New York City, New York
Best Known As:
Rachel Berry on the TV series Glee

Name at birth: Lea Michele Sarfati

Lea Michele played the tightly-wound super-student Rachel Berry in the TV series Glee. By the time that series started in 2009, Lea Michele was already a veteran of the New York stage, having appeared as a kid in Broadway productions of Ragtime, Les Miserables and Fiddler on the Roof. Glee was a celebration of nerdy high school choir culture -- the 'glee clubs' of the title -- and Michele's character was an insecure high school diva with designs on making it to Broadway. The show was a surprise hit, running for six seasons from 2009-15, and it put Michele in the spotlight; she received Emmy and Golden Globe nominations in 2010, and won People's Choice awards from 2012-14. In 2020, Lea Michele was in the news after an actress from Glee's sixth season, Samantha Marie Ware, said Michele had committed "traumatic microaggressions" against her and made her life a "living hell" during the show's filming. Ware, who is Black, seemed to imply that racism was involved in the actions she attributed to Michele. In reply, Michele issued an apology on Instagram, saying that while she didn't remember the specific allegations Ware made, "what matters is that I clearly acted in ways which hurt other people." Lea Michele was at the center of a big Broadway brouhaha in 2022, when she agreed to replace Beanie Feldstein in the lead of the Broadway revival of the play Funny Girl. Feldstein was forced out by producers after three months of less-than-stellar reviews and ticket sales, and Michele -- whose love of the show was a running plot point in Glee -- was waiting in the wings to take over as Fanny Brice.
Extra Credit

Lea Michelle pronounces her first name “LEE-ah”… Lea Michele married businessman Zandy Reich on March 9, 2019. Their son, Ever, was born in 2020… Lea Michele was in a relationship with her Glee co-star, Cory Monteith, when he died suddenly in 2013 of misadventure with drugs and alcohol.

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