In early 2009, Lea won the role of "Rachel Berry" on the FOX television smash hit, Glee, and since the show's premiere on May 19, 2009, Lea has since received worldwide critical and public acclaim for her performance on the show.She received the 2009 Satellite Award for Best Actress in a Series, Comedy or Musical and later won a Screen Actors Guild Award, as well.Lea was raised in Tenafly, New Jersey, where she eventually attended and graduated from Tenafly High School.
After spontaneously deciding to audition, she was offered the role and, two weeks later, she was starring on Broadway.
Lea debuted on Broadway in 1995 as a replacement for the role of "Young Cosette" in the original New York production of "Les Misérables".
Around the same time that the show was set to go to Broadway, Lea was offered the role of "Eponine" in the Broadway revival of "Les Misérables".
However, she chose to remain with "Spring Awakening", which debuted on Broadway in December 2006.
Following her theatrical debut in "Les Misérables", Lea was cast in the role of Tateh's daughter, "the Little Girl", in the 1998 original Broadway cast of "Ragtime" and, in 2004, Lea portrayed "Shprintze" and "Chava" in the Broadway revival of the musical "Fiddler on the Roof".When she was fourteen-years-old, Lea was given the role of "Wendla" in Steven Sater and Duncan Sheik's musical version of "Spring Awakening", starring in early workshops to off-Broadway and, finally, originating the role in the Broadway production at the age of twenty.