Lea Michele: Snapshot

Lea Michele
Date of Birth
August 29, 1986
Birth Place
New York, N.Y.
At 24, Lea Michele has gone from Broadway veteran to Glee diva and Emmy-nominated actress – thanks in large part to her powerhouse voice and enviable red carpet style!

Before hitting all the right notes at McKinley High, Michele graduated from her own high school with a slew of Broadway credits under her belt: she played Young Cosette in Les Misérables at age 8; starred in Ragtime and Fiddler on the Roof; and fought against sexual repression in the Tony Award-winning musical Spring Awakening. But it's her divalicious role as Rachel Berry on Glee that's earned the budding fashionista Golden Globe and Emmy nominations, as well as a spot on Time's 100 most influential list.

In 2012, Michele and Glee costar Cory Monteith took their onscreen romance off-screen, smooching publicly at an NHL game. The actress stood by her man when he entered rehab a year later, but tragically, their relationship came to an end when Monteith was found dead in his hotel room in July 2013. In 2014 she finds love again, moving on (and in) with model/actor Matthew Paetz.

Lea Michele: Video

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The Golden Globes, meeting the President and (gulp!) performing at Radio City – the Glee star reveals her most "awesome" moments so far (01:02)

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Lea Michele: Five Fun Facts

  1. Lea Michele got into a car accident en route to her Glee audition. "I was turning into the FOX lot and a car hit me," she told PEOPLE. "But coming from the Broadway world, there's no excuses – that made me leave the car in the street and run up to the audition."
  2. Growing up, Lea Michele looked to Barbra Streisand as a beauty icon. "I remember…thinking, 'Finally, someone who has a Jewish nose, who didn't get a nose job,'" she told the New York Daily News.
  3. When Lea Michele first moved to L.A., her main goal was to land a guest spot on Grey's Anatomy.
  4. Lea Michele went partially nude for her role on Broadway's Spring Awakening. "When my dad would come, I would not expose myself that night. For. Sure," she told Allure.
  5. A devout animal lover, Lea Michele is a vegan. "I'm part of a traditional Italian family, so when I became a vegan, my mother learned how to make a version of lasagne I could still enjoy," she told InStyle.

Lea Michele: Biography


Lea Michele

Broadway Beginnings

At 8, Michele accompanies a friend to an open casting call for Broadway's Les Misérables, where she lands the role of Young Cosette. "I didn't know I could sing until I auditioned for Les Misérables," she tells Glamour. "My mother was like, 'You can't sing.' I'd never tried!" When she outgrows the role, the budding stage star follows up her debut with Ragtime in 1998 and Fiddler on the Roof in 2004.


Lea Michele

December 10

Leading Lady

Michele matures from child actor to stage ingénue with the role of Wendla in Spring Awakening. The coming-of-age rock musical, costarring Jonathan Groff, earns rave reviews and a Tony Award for best musical in 2007 – a year before Michele exits the show to pursue work in Hollywood.


Lea Michele

A Glee-ful Start

Michele jumps from stage to TV, playing neurotic glee club diva Rachel Berry in the FOX musical hit, Glee. "It was written for her," co-creator Ryan Murphy says of the role. "We had the prototype, which was a Reese Witherspoon Election-esque Broadway baby that was a mix of Barbra Streisand and Patti LuPone. I really believed in Lea's talent because her talent was once in a lifetime."

Read More on Lea Michele's Life

Photo Credits

Top Left: Gregg DeGuire/PictureGroup

BIOGRAPHY (top to bottom): Joan Marcus; Courtesy Jeffrey Richards Associates; Carin Baer/FOX

Edited by Julia Wang

Lea Michele

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