Lea Michele (images -- some NSFW | Web site | Twitter)
Hometown: She was born in The Bronx and grew up in Tenafly, N.J., according to her Wikipedia profile.
Best Known For: Lea was a successful Broadway performer before landing the lead role of Rachel on the musical dramedy series Glee, a show that Ye Olde Podcaster fiercely resisted watching until about two-thirds of the way through its first season because he is usually quite adverse to musicals, unless they're parodying the genre or have a serious mean streak.
But I digress. Her work on Glee has made her part of an ensemble that has broken records in terms of sheer volume of songs hitting the music charts. Prior to the series, she was part of the well-regarded musical Spring Awakening, an edgy tale of blossoming sexuality with music by former power-pop performer Duncan Sheik.
Obligatory Edgy Stuff: While she's done a bit of charity and advocacy work for issues and groups that are controversial (PETA), even if they don't all deserve to be (gay rights issues), probably the biggest gossip surrounding Lea is the perhaps inevitable "diva" label. Ye Olde Podcaster takes no stance on the veracity of any such rumors, just acknowledges they're out there.
Dianna Agron) is among an ensemble playing high-school students -- never mind she's in her 20s, the Hollywood norm -- and because she'd already made a mark for herself as a singer, dancer, and actress without taking her clothes off (topless love scene in Spring Awakening aside). Ye Olde Podcaster takes no real stance here, either; it would be hypocritical to condemn the publication of photos he saw and enjoyed, and the photos running with this profile don't exactly feature her modeling the latest in burqa couture.
|With Glee co-star Dianna Agron.|
TV and Web series credits: Glee, season 2 (Amazon | iTunes) * Glee, season 1 (Amazon | iTunes)
Voice work: Dorothy of Oz (2012) (Amazon | iTunes) * The Cleveland Show, season 2: "How Do You Solve a Problem Like Roberta?" (Amazon | iTunes) * The Simpsons, season 22: "Elementary School Musical" (Amazon | iTunes)
Film and TV-movie credits: New Year's Eve (Amazon | iTunes)
Musical work: Too many works too list with Glee cast (Amazon | iTunes) * The Sound of Music: 45th Anniversary Edition (Amazon | iTunes) * Spring Awakening: Original Cast Recording (2006) (Amazon | iTunes) * Fiddler on the Roof: Revival Cast Recording (2004) (Amazon | iTunes) * Ragtime: Original Cast Recording (1998) (Amazon | iTunes)