Lea Michele Sarfati is an American actress, singer, songwriter, and author who was born on August 29, 1986. She started her career on Broadway as a child actress in productions of Les Misérables (1995–1996), Ragtime (1997–1999), Fiddler on the Roof (2004–2005), and Spring Awakening (2006–2008). Michele rose to fame as Rachel Berry on the Fox television show Glee (2009–2015), for which she garnered an Emmy Award nomination, two Golden Globe nominations, four People’s Choice Awards, three Teen Choice Awards, and a Satellite Award.
Michele and the rest of the Glee ensemble received four Screen Actors Guild Award nominations for Outstanding Ensemble in a Comedy Series, as well as three Grammy Award nominations for songs recorded for the show, which spawned many Billboard chart successes. Michele went on to play Hester Ulrich on Fox’s Scream Queens from 2015 to 2016, as well as Valentina Barella on ABC’s The Mayor (2017).
‘Glee’ Actors and Other Co-Stars Speak out On Lea Michele Controversy
Many of Michele’s former coworkers from numerous productions have backed up Ware’s remark, establishing a pattern of her apparent on-set behaviour in the midst of the scandal.
When Michele posted about George Floyd with the #BlackLivesMatter hashtag, Ware stepped forward with her claims. “Remember when you made my first television gig a living hell?!?!?” Ware wrote. I’ll never forget it. I believe you informed everyone that if you had the chance, you’d’s— in my wig!’ and other terrible microaggressions that made me doubt a Hollywood career.”
After Ware’s tweet sparked widespread outrage on social media and cost Michele a brand partnership, she issued a lengthy apology statement on Instagram, writing, “While I don’t recall ever making this specific statement and I have never judged others based on their background or skin colour, that’s not really the point.” What matters is that I plainly acted in a way that caused harm to others.”
Early Childhood Development and Education
Sarfati, Lea Michele, was born in the Bronx, New York.
Edith Thomasina, a retired nurse, and Mark David Sarfati, a real estate agent and former delicatessen owner, are her parents. Her father is a Sephardic Jew with origins from Thessaloniki, Greece, and her mother is an Italian American with relatives from Rome and Naples. Michele was reared in her mother’s Catholic faith, and her father “gladly” attended church with them, according to Michele. She was born in the Bronx and lived there for the first four years of her life before moving to Tenafly, New Jersey, with her parents.
Michele’s family also rented an apartment in Manhattan to live in while she was playing on Broadway. Michele attended Rockland Country Day Education in Congers, New York, for primary school.
Michele has been using her middle name since she was a child. She gave her name as Lea Michele on her first audition, for the role of Young Cosette in Les Misérables, and has used it professionally ever since. Michele revealed that she purposefully omitted her surname because she had been teased about how to pronounce it. She sang “Angel of Music” from The Phantom of the Opera during the audition, which was the only musical she knew at the time. Michele went to provide support for a buddy, but she ended up getting the part.
Michele was homeschooled in 1997 while living and working in Toronto, where she appeared in a Ragtime play. Michele attended Tenafly High School for her high school education. She was a member of the volleyball squad, debate team, and choir during her time there. Michele worked part-time at a bat mitzvah outfit boutique in her teens when she wasn’t performing on stage. She worked at her father’s deli as well.
Heather Morris Ponders Why No One Informed Fox Executives About Glee Co-Star Lea Michele.
An alumnus of Glee Heather Morris reflects on why she didn’t speak up about her costar Lea Michele’s problematic behaviour on the set of the hit Fox sitcom (through the perspective of 2021).
Morris was a guest on the latest episode of Danny Pellegrino’s podcast, Everything Iconic With Danny Pellegrino, and the presenter brought up the news from last summer about multiple Glee alums accusing Michele of not being the kindest during their time on the show. Actress Samantha Ware began the backlash by tweeting that Michele made her time on set a “living hell.”
Pellegrino explicitly asked Morris to expand on her tweet from 2020, in which she acknowledged Michele was terrible to work with her experience, but also took responsibility for not addressing the matter at the time. Morris, who portrayed Brittany S. Pierce in the musical drama, said she received “shade” for her remarks about 2020.