Jenna Noelle Ushkowitz was born in Seoul, South Korea on April 28, 1986, but grew up in East Meadow, N.Y., after she was adopted. She attended Holy Trinity Diocesan High School on Long Island, which is known for its theater department, and went on to attend Marymount Mahattan College.
Starting young, Ushkowitz began acting in commercials at 3, and eventually moved on to various small roles on television. In 1996 she made her first Broadway appearance in the revival of The King and I.
Eventually, Ushkowitz ended up back on Broadway in Spring Awakening with soon-to-be costar, Lea Michele.
In 2009, Ushkowitz landed a role on Fox’s musical high school show Glee as insecure, stuttering Tina Cohen-Chang. Throughout the season, her character loses the fake stutter, starts auditioning for solos and begins dating glee-mate, Artie Abrams.