Born in the Bronx, New York City to Edith, a nurse, and Marc, a deli owner, Lea Michele Sarfati aka Lea Michele is an actress and singer.
She is a mix of Spanish and Italian ancestry, and though her father is Jewish, she was raised Catholic. Lea grew up as an only child in Tenafly, New Jersey. She attended high school, but was also home schooled when she was working.
When she wasnt working on Broadway, she worked in a Bat Mitzvah dress shop. She said she was in the clique in high school of the least cool of the cool kids, but actually I was friends with everyone (seventeen.com). Lea was also worried that people wouldnt like her, but now she tries not to worry and focuses on being happy.
Though she was accepted to the Tisch School of the Arts at New York University, she decided to keep working professionally. Lea Michele chose her stage name because she was teased about the pronunciation of her last name.
Lea Michele made her Broadway debut in Les Miserables, followed by Ragtime and Fiddler on the Roof. But she is probably best known to most audiences for her role on the Fox series Glee.
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The success of the show has allowed Lea Michele to branch out. She is part of the voice cast for the animated film Dorothy of Oz, and was part of the ensemble in New Years Eve. She is also a spokesperson for Candies clothing and footwear. Lea Michele is also working on a solo album.
Lea Michele told Harpers Bazaar, I dont stop. Its my nature. People have to tell me to slow down. I plan on playing every role on Broadway. I want to do Evita. I want to do Sweeney Todd. We want to do WickedI want to do movies, make music. Glee is only the beginning.
She added, How many managers told me, Get a nose job. Youre not pretty enough. But I proved them wrong. When asked about her alleged diva behavior, Lea Michele said, People have to remember this is all new for us. Were all reasonably young. Ive learned some lessons. But people are going to say what they want to say. I know who I am, and Im not perfect.
Lea Michele also has 10 tattoos, but theyre small.
Lea is active in charities, including those concerning gay rights and animal rights. Regarding gay rights, Lea Michele said, I grew up in a very, very different world than a lot of people did. Everyone I knew was gay the weirdoes were the straight people (Nylon Magazine).
When not filming, Lea Michele lives in an apartment near New Yorks West Village.
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