Lea Michele Net Worth

Lea Michele

Lea Michele is an American actress who is most famously known for her role as Rachel Berry on Glee, which ran on Fox for six seasons. Aside for her work on the small screen, Michele has also dazzled audiences on the stage, appearing in a number of Broadway musicals, including Les Misérables, Fiddler on the Roof, and Spring Awakening.

Between an enchanting voice and her undeniable acting skills talent, Lea Michele’s net worth has seen steady growth over the decade as she’s has stolen the hearts of fans all over the world. Read on to learn about Lea Michele’s most successful projects and follow her career from its start until the present day.

Lea Michele in 2009
Photo Credit: Everett Collection

Her Early Years

Lea Michele was born on August 29, 1986, as Lea Michele Sarfati in the Bronx in New York City, New York. Her mother, Edith, is a retired nurse, and her father, David Sarfati, was a real estate agent and former deli owner.

Even though her career started at a very young age, Michele still prioritized school. Education was important to her and played an important part in her life. Even when she was acting in Ragtime and living in Toronto, she was homeschooled. She also worked on Broadway while attending school.

Michele attended school in New York City and, when her parents moved to New Jeresy, she attended school in Tenafly, New Jersey. During her high school years, she was into a number of different school activities, she was a member of the volleyball team, the debate team, and took part in choir.

She graduated from high school with a 3.67 GPA. And as a result, Michele was accepted into the Tisch School Of The Arts at New York University. However, she chose to stay in the theater industry. 

Lea Michele
Photo Credit: lev radin

Her Career

Lea Michele began her professional career at a very young age. She auditioned for Les Misérables at the age of eight and took on multiple roles in the production. She was an alternate for Young Cosette, Young Eponine, and the understudy for Gavroche. Her full name at the time was Lea Michele Sarfati. However, she dropped her last name and simply became Lea Michele. She has been using it as her stage name since 1995 and to this day.

Following her role in Les Misérables, she was cast in roles in the musicals Ragtime (1997-1999), Fiddler on the Roof (2004-2005), and Spring Awakening (2006-2008). Her work on Broadway set the stage for her to join the Ryan Murphy-created TV series Glee. The lead role of Rachel Berry would not only led to financial stability as Lea Michele’s net worth was starting to steadily rise but there was also no shortage of awards that followed.

Glee ran from 2009 to 2015, and Michele reported received a salary of $80,000 per episode. 

Photo Credit: Fox

Moving to LA

But taking a step back before Michele’s time on Glee, in 2006, she was nominated for the Drama Desk Award for Outstanding Actress in a Musical for her role in Spring Awakening. When she moved to Los Angeles in 2008, she performed at the Upright Cabaret at Mark’s Restaurant in Hollywood in between small roles and auditions.

Lea Michele
Photo Credit: Featureflash Photo Agency

After Glee hit it big, it resulted in Michele winning four People’s Choice Awards, three Teen Choice Awards, two Golden Globe and Emmy Award nominations, and a Satellite Award. All the cast members of Glee received three Grammy Award nominations for the music created for the show. And this also resulted in numerous singles on the Billboard charts. They also received a Screen Actors Guild Award for Outstanding Performance by an Ensemble in a Comedy Series.

Photo Credit: Jaguar PS

Later, Michele would make her big screen debut in 2011’s New Year’s Eve. The film had a star-studded cast that included Sarah Jessica Parker, Jessical Biel, and Ashton Kutcher – just to name a few. With a production budget of $56 million, the film grossed $142 million at worldwide box office

In 2015 through 2016 after Glee had wrapped, Michele appeared as Hester Ulrich on the Fox series Scream Queens. Then in 2017, Michele appeared as Valentina Barella on the ABC sitcom The Mayor

As her career shows, most of her roles have been in musicals, which isn’t surprising considering her incredible soprano vocal range. Michele received appreciation for her performance of the Barbra Streisand song “Don’t Rain on My Parade” from the musical “Funny Girl.” She also recorded four studio albums. In 2014, she released Louder. Then in 2017, she released Places. In 2019, she released Christmas in the City, followed by 2021’s a lullaby album, Forever.

Lea Michele
Photo Credit: DFree

Music, Books, and Brand Sponsorships

Recording her albums was just part of her journey. This included going on tours as well as performing in concerts on stage. Her professional life thus includes acting, voice acting, and being a singer-songwriter, dancer, writer, spokesperson for many charities, and model. The latter includes appearing in commercials for HelloFresh, HP, L’Oreal, Zola, Dove, and Candie’s.

Adding to Lea Michele’s long resume, it is worth mentioning her writing talent as well. On May 20, 2014, Michele published her debut book, Brunette Ambition. The book made the New York Times Best Seller List, and it was listed at position number three. On September 22, 2014, she published her second book, You First: Journal Your Way to Your Best Life.

Lea Michele
Photo Credit: Kathy Hutchins

The Human Rights Campaign, PETA, Broadway Cares/Equity Fights AIDS, Feeding America, and Habitat for Humanity are just a few of the causes that Michele is actively involved in. She frequently visits ill children in hospitals across the nation and performs at concerts for charity as well.

Lea Michele and Cory Monteith
Photo Credit: Featureflash Photo Agency

Her Personal Life

Lea Michele experienced heartbreak when her partner, Cory Monteith, passed away in July of 2013. Michele and Monteith had dated since 2012 after having filmed multiple seasons of Glee together.

Michele was also romantically linked to Matthew Paetz. The relationship reportedly lasted for two years.

Michele is now married to businessman Zandy Reich. They were married in 2019 after dating for two years. The couple lives together in California and welcomed their first baby, named Ever Leo, in August 2020. This is possibly the inspiration for her latest album.

Lea Michele has also not escaped controversy as she was accused of hostility and rudeness toward fellow Glee actors. She has since apologized. However, she did lose one of her sponsors, HelloFresh.

Lea Michele Net Worth
Photo Credit: lev radin

Lea Michele’s Net Worth

Between her hard work on stage, on television, in film, and all of her other endeavors, it’s not surprise that Lea Michele’s net worth is in the millions. As of 2022, her net worth is estimated at $12 million. And with Michele returning to Broadway starting September 6th in the iconic role of Fanny Brice in Funny Girl, there’s no doubt that her success will continue to skyrocket.


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