Entertainer of the Year 2010: Cast of 'Glee' is No. 3!
The cast of "Glee" comes in at No. 3 in "Extra's" Entertainer of the Year poll!
Since its 2009 premiere, the FOX phenomenon has captured the hearts and giddy souls of American audiences older than the "High School Musical" crowd, but still who crave the musical theatricality provided weekly by "Glee."
The show's avid followers download every mashup and cover, as the cast sings everything from old show tunes to new music, spotlighting artists like Lady Gaga, Madonna and Britney Spears -- who love the show right back.
Stars Lea Michele ("Rachel") and Matthew Morrison ("Mr. Schuester") come from a Broadway background; Kevin McHale ("Artie") was formerly in the boy band NLT; and newcomers Chris Colfer ("Kurt"), Cory Monteith ("Finn"), Amber Riley ("Mercedes") and Dianna Argon ("Quinn") all made their singing debut on the show. Then there's veteran comedic actress Jane Lynch, who delivers some of the best written zingers in TV history.
Here are 67 must-know facts about the show. Plus, check out other great "Glee" content!
The pilot of "Glee" premiered after the finale of "American Idol" in 2009, and averaged 9.619 million viewers. The pilot generated a lot of buzz before returning four months later.
The show picked up four months after the pilot aired, on September 9, 2009.
Scalpels to Solos
Ryan Murphy and Brad Falchuk — the men who created "Nip/Tuck" — and Ian Brennan are the creators of "Glee."
"Glee" takes place at the fictional William McKinley High School in Lima, Ohio.
The show revolves around the lives of the Glee Club, the Acafellas (an all-male singing group) and the Cheerios (the cheerleading squad).
The Real Will Schuester
Matthew Morrison was born in California on October 30, 1978.
Matthew — called Matty Fresh by his friends — wanted to be an entertainer since he was a kid. He's starred in numerous Broadway productions and has been nominated for a Tony Award. His big break came when he landed the role of Link Larkin in "Hairspray."
Matthew was a member of the boy band LMNT.
Love for 'Mattress'
Morrison's self-proclaimed favorite role was for television in 'Once Upon a Mattress' — a made-for-TV musical for TV starring Carol Burnett.
Jane Lynch is Sue Sylvester, the head coach of the cheerleading squad or "Cheerios," and the Glee Club's arch-nemesis.
Lynch, born and raised in Illinois, works as a writer, actress and comedian.
Jane received her bachelor's degree in theater from Illinois State University, and an MFA in theatre from Cornell University.
Lynch wrote and starred in the award-winning play, "Oh Sister, My Sister."
Jayma Mays stars as Emma Pillsbury, the school's germaphobic guidance counselor who has feelings for Will.
Jayma Suzette Mays was born in Grundy, Virginia on July 16, 1979.
Mays starred in the film "Epic Movie," where she met her actor husband Adam Campbell.
Jayma graduated with a degree in Performing Arts from Radford University in Radford, Virginia.
Small Screen Roles
Mays has had small roles in the television shows "Six Feet Under," "The Comeback," "Entourage," "Stacked," "How I Met Your Mother," "Heroes," "Ghost Whisperer" and "Ugly Betty."
Jessalyn Gilsig plays Terri Schuester, Will's demanding wife and former high school sweetheart.
Gilsig was born in Montreal on November 30, 1971.
Love and Hollywood
Jessalyn is married to producer Bobby Salomon. They welcomed daughter Penelope on September 26, 2006.
Gilsig began acting at age 12 and graduated from McGill University with a degree in English.
Jessalyn previously starred on "Boston Public."
Gilsig scored a role on "Nip/Tuck" in 2003, and stayed with the show until 2008. "Glee" offered Jessalyn the chance to work with the creators of the surgical drama once again.
Dianna Agron stars as Quinn Fabray, Finn's girlfriend who is head of the Cheerios and Celibacy Club, who later joins the Glee Club.
Dianna was born in Savannah, GA on April 30, 1986.
In the Kitchen
Agron's hobbies include cooking and being outdoors.
Proud to PETA
Dianna is a strict vegetarian and a supporter of PETA.
Agron has appeared on the TV shows "Shark," "Close to Home," "CSI: New York," "Numb3rs" and "Veronica Mars."
On the show, Agron plays a devoted Christian, but in real life, she is Jewish.
Lea Michele plays Rachel Berry, talented star of the Glee Club who is often bullied by the Cheerios and football players.
Lea from the Bronx
Lea was born on August 29, 1986 in Bronx, New York.
Michele was born in the Big Apple, but raised in New Jersey.
On the Stage
Lea started acting when she was a child, and scored a role in the 1990's Broadway production of Les Misérables.
Michele was nominated for a 2009 Teen Choice Award for Choice TV Breakout Star: Female, for her work as Rachel in "Glee."
Lea proved she is an actress to watch — she landed a spot on Entertainment Weekly's 2009 "Summer Must List" as one of "Summer's Must Songbirds" for "Glee."
Lea has been real-life pals with "Glee" co-star Jenna Ushkowitz since they were eight years old.
Cory Monteith stars as Finn Hudson, star quarterback of the school's football team who risks alienation by his friends for joining the Glee Club.
Neighbor from the North
Cory was born on May 11, 1982 in Calgary, Alberta.
Welcome to Wal-Mart
Before getting his big acting break, Monteith worked various odd jobs, including a Wal-Mart greeter, taxi driver, telemarketer and construction worker.
Cory also scored a spot on Entertainment Weekly's 2009 "Summer Must List" as one of "Summer's Must Songbirds" for "Glee."
Chris Colfer stars as Kurt Hummel, a flamboyant male soprano in the "Glee" club who is bullied by the football team, but later joins the team in hopes of pleasing his father.
Christopher Paul Colfer was born on May 27, 1990 in Fresno, California.
During his time in high school, Chris was involved with Speech & Debate, Drama, the FFA, was President of the Writer's Club, Editor of the School Literary Magazine, and was Captain of Destination Imagination.
Before breaking into acting, Colfer worked as a cookie scooper at his high school and as a clerk at a dry cleaner.
When he was a senior in high school, Chris wrote and directed "Shirley Todd," a musical spoof of "Sweeney Todd."
Like his character on "Glee," Colfer is openly gay — but admitted in an interview with The Advocate that coming out in high school "wasn't an option" for him.
Colfer practices the art of Sai, a traditional Okinawan weapon.
Amber Riley stars as Mercedes Jones, a fashion-conscious diva who's destined for stardom in the Glee Club.
Amber Patrice Riley was raised in Long Beach, California, where she currently lives with her family.
When she was 17, Riley tried out for "American Idol" but didn't make the cut.
Riley has performed in numerous theater productions including "Alice in Wonderland," "A Midsummer Night's Dream," "Into the Woods" and "Mystery on the Docks" with the Los Angeles Opera.
Kevin McHale as Artie Abrams, an electric guitar player and paraplegic member of the Glee Club.
Kevin Michael McHale was born on June 14, 1988 in Plano, Texas.
McHale — called Kevy, KevKev, Kev and Special K by his friends — is known for his big smile.
Singin' with the PCD
Kevin was a member of the boy band NLT (Not Like Them) and has opened for the Pussycat Dolls.
McHale was almost cast as McLovin in the hit movie "Superbad," but lost the role to Christopher Mintz-Plasse.
Jenna Ushkowitz stars as Tina Cohen-Chang, an Asian-American gothic student with a speech impediment, who is also a member of the Glee Club.
To the U.S.A.
Jenna Noelle Ushkowitz was born on April 28, 1986 in Seoul, South Korea. She was adopted by American parents and raised in Long Island, New York.
You Oughta Be in Pictures
Jenna began her professional career as a model when she was 3, modeling for print ads.
Jenna appeared opposite "Glee" co-star Lea Michele in "Spring Awakening" on Broadway in 2008.
Bachelor of Arts
Jenna graduated from Marymount Manhattan College in New York, where she earned a Bachelors of Arts in Acting and Theater Performance.
From the Field to Glee Club
Mark Salling portrays Noah "Puck" Puckerman, a friend of Finn's on the football team who at first disapproves of Finn joining the Glee Club, but later joins the Glee Club himself.
Mark Salling was born on August 17, 1982 in Dallas, Texas, and is a big fan of Tex-Mex food.
Salling is a gifted songwriter and musician — his band Jericho recently released their debut album, titled "Smoke Signals." He also teaches guitar.
Several characters from "Glee" have Twitter accounts, including Quinn Fabray, Rachel BerryKurt Hummel and Sue Sylvester.
Top of the Charts
iTunes downloads of the musical selections from "Glee" have now surpassed the 1 million mark, with nearly every song entering the Top 200 upon release.