Lea Michele (Rachel) (AKA @msleamichele on Twitter, or Lea Michele Sarfati on her state-issued driver’s license) has been grabbing more and more headlines ever since she nabbed the starring role of Rachel Berry on Glee. She’s been stealing the scene for much longer than that, though! Hardcore Lea Michele fans know that the actress first made her mark on Broadway in 1995, as a replacement Young Cosette in the original New York production of Les Miserables. Later, she appeared on-stage in Ragtime, Fiddler on the Roof, The Diary of Anne Frank, and Spring Awakening. Her performance as Wendla Bergman in Spring Awakening earned her a nomination for a Drama Desk Award for Outstanding Actress in a Musical.
Lea met Ryan Murphy, the creator of Glee, in 2007. After she auditioned for (and won) the part of Rachel Berry the following year, Ryan told Lea he had actually developed the role with her in mind. The pilot episode of Glee aired in May 2009, earning Lea a nomination for a 2009 Teen Choice Award in the TV: Breakout Star Female category. Talk about making an impression! She was also nominated for a 2010 Golden Globe in the Best Actress in a Musical or Comedy Series category, took home a 2010 SAG award for Outstanding Ensemble in a Comedy Series, and won a 2009 Satellite Award for Best Actress in a Series, Comedy, or Musical. Rachel would be proud of all Lea's accolades!
Glee also introduced Lea Michele to her real-life and on-screen love interest, Cory Monteith's (Finn Hudson). The two hooked up romantically in February 2012, and were virtually inseparable until his tragic death on July 13, 2013, of a heroin overdose. His passing is truly heartbreaking.
Random factoid: Lea has at least 13 tattoos — including a butterfly on her right foot, "Imagine" on her left foot, music notes on her shoulder, and a design on her right wrist. She revealed to Letterman that she's got another tattoo in an undisclosed location, but she’s since gotten far more than that. Now we're curious!
MUST-READ LEA MICHELE LINKS
- Lea Michele and Cory Monteith Are Definitely Dating — It’s Finally Official!
- Glee Stars Without Makeup: Who Has The Biggest Transformation? (PHOTOS)
- Glee Stars: Then and Now! Who’s Changed the Most Since Season 1?
- Confirmed: Glee’s Lea Michele Is the New Face of L’Oreal Paris!