|April 30, 1986|
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Born April 30, 1986 in Savannah, GA to Ron and Mary Agron, she was raised in San Francisco, CA. A burgeoning performer from a young age, Agron began to take dance lessons at the age of three and continued studying ballet and jazz dance throughout her childhood. Involved in musical theater as a teen at Burlingame High School, Agron became interested in acting and aspired to pursue a professional career upon graduation. Relocating to Los Angeles at the age of 18, she enrolled in acting classes and appeared in a number of student films to gain experience. Agron made her professional acting debut in 2006, landing a small role in "After Midnight: Life Behind Bars," a forgettable made-for-TV movie about LA's nightlife.
Though not the most promising career start, Agron used that role to land a series of small TV parts in episodes of "CSI: NY" (CBS, 2004-2013), Nickelodeon's "Drake & Josh" (2004-07), and "Shark" (FOX, 2006-08). She went on to appear opposite Kristen Bell as rich-kid Hearst College student Jenny Budosh on the popular teen detective series, "Veronica Mars" (UPN/The CW, 2004-07). Agron next appeared as a cat-loving retail-store greeter in "It's a Mall World," a series of short webisodes for American Eagle Outfitters directed by actor and future "Heroes" star Milo Ventimiglia. The webisodes aired online and ran as an advertising campaign during episodes of MTV's "The Real World: Sydney" (2007-08).
In 2007, Agron received a major career boost when cast as stuck-up head cheerleader Debbie Marshall opposite the indestructible Claire Bennet (Hayden Panettiere) on the second season of NBC's superhero drama "Heroes." After a four-episode arc on the hit series, Agron appeared on the CBS crime drama "Numb3rs" (2005-2010), as well as in a number of small projects, including the web-based series "Celebrities Anonymous" (2009), the short film "Dinner with Raphael" (2009) and "A Fuchsia Elephant" (2009), a 10-minute short which Agron wrote, directed and starred in.
Agron's big break was still to come, however, arriving in the form of yet another primetime cheerleader; this time as musically gifted head "Cheerio" Quinn Fabray on the breakout musical hit, "Glee" (2009- ). Created by Ryan Murphy of "Nip/Tuck" (FX, 2003-2010) fame, the pilot was initially broadcast after Fox's perennial hit "American Idol" (2002- ) in May 2009. Somewhat surprisingly, the episode - sans any A-list talent outside of film comedienne Jane Lynch - pulled in a solid 9.6 million viewers and hooked audiences for the show's fall premiere. Centered on a group of misfit glee club students at an Ohio high school, "Glee" caught on quickly with viewers, leading fans of the series to anoint themselves 'Gleeks.' Picked up to full series after its third episode, "Glee" rose to become one of the network's top new shows, with sales from the series' first soundtrack landing on Billboard's Top Ten sales chart only two months after the series' fall premiere.
With her dance and musical theater background, Agron was a natural fit for the show. She had performed a rendition of Frank Sinatra's "Fly Me to the Moon" during her audition for the series - a mere day before filming was set to start on the pilot - so there was no doubt in her vocal skills. However, it was not until the second episode that Agron's true talents began to shine. When Quinn decides to infiltrate the glee club in order to keep an eye on boyfriend Finn Hudson (Cory Monteith), she leads the Cheerios into a sugar-sweet rendition of Dionne Warwick's "Say a Little Prayer" - a number that showcased Agron's vocals and gift for musical theater. Faced with a teen pregnancy as the series progressed, Quinn began to develop as a character, allowing Agron to delve deeper as an actress and make possible the seemingly impossible - bringing vulnerability and likability to the often-caricatured bitchy, popular high school girl.
After a small role in the musical misfire "Burlesque" (2010), Agron starred in the little-seen low-budget horror movie "The Hunters" (2011) and subsequently landed a major part in the sci-fi movie "I Am Number Four" (2011), opposite Alex Pettyfer, who she briefly dated. Opting to appear more infrequently on "Glee," she was later featured in the crime comedy "The Family" (2013), with no less than Robert De Niro and Michelle Pfeiffer playing her mafia-affiliated parents.