Born Lea Michele Sarfati in 1986 in the Bronx, New York, Sarfati is professionally known as Lea Michele. She is a singer, an actress, and an author who has appeared on stage and screen. Her mother is Catholic and her father is a Sephardic Jew.

In 1995, she made her stage debut as Cossette in Les Miserable. She continued to do stage through adulthood, but she also did commercials in hopes of getting into television and/or film. Michele was selected for the starring role of Rachel Berry of the show Glee, which became an international phenomenon. She has had smaller parts in movies, but is still trying to make that transition. Currently, she is on the show Scream Queens with Jamie Lee Curtis.