Lea Michele Sarfati (born August 29, 1986) is an American actress, singer, songwriter, and author. Possessing a soprano vocal range which spans multiple octaves, she is known for her performances of screen and stage. Michele has received various accolades, including a Screen Actors Guild Award and nominations for a Primetime Emmy Award, four Grammy Awards and two Golden Globe Awards. Time magazine named her one of the 100 most influential people in the world in 2010 and 2023.
Born and raised in New York City, she began her career as a child actress on Broadway, appearing in productions of Les Misérables (1995–1996), Ragtime (1997–1999), Fiddler on the Roof (2004–2005), and Spring Awakening (2006–2008). Michele came to prominence playing Rachel Berry, an overachieving high-school student on the Fox series Glee (2009–2015), receiving critical acclaim for her musical and character performance, winning a Screen Actors Guild Award for Outstanding Performance by an Ensemble in a Comedy Series, and earning nominations for a Primetime Emmy Award for Outstanding Lead Actress in a Comedy Series and two Golden Globe Awards in the same category. Michele and the rest of the Glee cast received three Grammy Award nominations for music recorded for the series, also spawning multiple hits on the Billboard charts. Michele subsequently starred as Hester Ulrich on the Fox series Scream Queens (2015–2016) and as Valentina Barella on the ABC sitcom The Mayor (2017).
Michele made her feature film debut in New Year's Eve (2011), and was signed to Columbia Records in 2012. She released her debut single the following year, "Cannonball", followed by her debut studio album, Louder (2014), which debuted at number 4 on the Billboard 200 chart in the United States. Three years later, she released her second studio album, Places (2017), which debuted at number 28 on the Billboard 200. In 2019, she released Christmas in the City, her third studio album, and in 2021 she released her fourth studio album Forever. Michele has also published two books, Brunette Ambition (2014) and You First: Journal Your Way to Your Best Life (2015).
In 2022, Michele returned to Broadway starring as Fanny Brice in the musical revival of Funny Girl, where she received widespread critical acclaim for her performance.