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Lea Michele was born on 29th August 1986, in Bronx, New York.Sarfati discovered her passion for performing at an early age. Growing up in Tenafly, New Jersey, she was drawn to nearby New York City's vibrant theater scene. At the age of 8, Michele landed the role of young Cosette in the Broadway production of Les Miserables.

Michele moved on to another Broadway production, Ragtime, in 1995. She played the Little Girl, the quiet daughter of a Jewish immigrant. The cast included such well-known Broadway talents as Audra McDonald and Brian Stokes Mitchell. She landed another break in 2004 with a role in a revival of Fiddler on the Roof starring Alfred Molina.

The production depicts a group of German teenagers who explore their sexuality. Michele had to handle some serious and sometimes explicit material in her role as Wendla. "I'm in a see-through nightgown and in a beating scene," she explained to WWD. Wendla becomes involved with Melchoir (played by Jonathan Groff) with disastrous results. Off stage, the two performers became best friends.

The role of an ambitious teenager who dreams of stardom appears to be a good fit for the actress. "Rachel is me when I was that age. She knows what she loves and who she is. She doesn't get caught up in what other people think is important," Michele told New York magazine. Her portrayal of Rachel earned Michele her first Emmy Award nomination in 2010.