Taking a look back. Lea Michele may be best known for her role as Rachel Berry in Glee, but the actress’ life in the spotlight started long before that, as she made her debut on Broadway at the age of 8, playing a replacement Young Cosette in Les Misérables.

Three years later, she played Little Girl in Ragtime.

Although she stepped away from the stage in 2009 when Ryan Murphy wrote the role of Rachel Berry for her specifically, her love for Broadway was written into the character.

Following the show, the iconic writer and director included Michele in many of his projects.

In fact, when Glee ended in 2015, she signed on as the lead of his next series, Scream Queens.

The horror comedy, in which she starred alongside original scream queen Jamie Lee Curtis, didn’t include singing and the character was nothing like Rachel Berry.

Instead, she wore a neck brace and desperately tried to fit in with the It-Girls in school.