High School Musical
"I keep having to shake my head and wonder why they want my autograph. It's like, unreal. I can't believe it, actually. Usually I'm the one stopping people and saying, 'Hey can I have your autograph?' It's weird to be in the other position!” Zac Efron (on being newly famous)
Starting out with guest spots on "Firefly," "ER," "The Guardian," and "CSI: Miami," Hollywood heartthrob Zac Efron began receiving notice while playing Cameron Bale, Nikki's (played by Kay Panabaker) best friend and on and off again boyfriend, on the WB drama series “Summerland” (2004-2005). He eventually struck gold in 2006 when he snagged the lead role of singing teen basketball star Troy Bolton in the mega hit Disney Channel Original Movie "High School Musical," as well as the television sequel "High School Musical 2" (2007) and the feature film "High School Musical 3: Senior Year" (2008).
Meanwhile, he also appeared in the TV series "Navy NCIS: Naval Criminal Investigative Service," "The Suite Life of Zack and Cody," "Heist," and "The Replacements," and starred in the TV movie "Miracle Run" (2004). On the big screen, he could be seen in the films "The Derby Stallion" (2005) and "Hairspray" (2007). Next, the movie hunk will star in the films "Me and Orson Welles," "17 Again," and "Footloose."
“I think its fine for girls to ask boys out. I actually prefer it.” Zac Efron
This 5' 9" actor has been on the cover of every major American teen girl magazine, including BOP, Tigerbeat, M, Popstar, AstroGirl, J-14, Quizfest, Teen Dream, and Twist. He was one of Empire Magazine's “100 Sexiest Movie Stars” (2007), Moviefone's “Hottest 25 Stars Under the Age of 25” (2008), Entertainment Weekly's “30 Under 30” (2008), TV Guide “Top 10 Teen Star Countdown” (2008), and Forbes.com's “Hollywood's Top-Earning Tweens.” He is currently dating his "High School Musical" co-star, Vanessa Anne Hudgens.
“I'll never try to put on a fake image. I'm just Zac.” Zac Efron
Childhood and Family:
Born in San Luis Obispo, California, on October 18, 1987, Zachary David Alexander Efron was raised in nearby Arroyo Grande, California. The older son of David Efron and Starla Baskett, Zac has one younger brother named Dylan. His parents are both electrical engineers who met while working at the same power plant.
Zac, nicknamed Zacquisha, Hollywood, or Zefron, graduated from Arroyo Grande High School in June 2006. He was then accepted into the University of Southern California, but decided to work on film projects instead of attending the college. He did attend the Pacific Conservatory of the Performing Arts, a community college located in Santa Maria, California, during 2000 and 2001.
Playing in both basketball and baseball leagues as a kid, Zac owns an autographed baseball collection. He is a huge fan of the San Francisco Giants and enjoys reading, surfing, golf, skiing, rock climbing, and snowboarding. He also plays the piano and can juggle. His guilty pleasures are comic books and video games. He has two Australian Shepherds, Dreamer and Puppy, and a Siamese cat named Simon.
“It’s been great. I grew up so far removed from this industry and so far away from L.A. I just fell in love with theater and after being so focused on school my whole life and musical theater, specifically, being my creative outlet, I can’t believe that it has turned into something more than that. I’m grateful and thankful and amazed at how it’s all turned out. I’m still on the craziest ride of my life.” Zac Efron
When he was 11, Zac Efron was encouraged by his father to begin acting and take singing lessons. He subsequently appeared in high school theater productions and worked in a theater called The Great American Melodrama and Vaudeville. He has performed in such plays as “Gypsy,” "Auntie Mame," “Peter Pan,” “Little Shop of Horrors,” and “The Music Man.”
Efron was later signed to the Creative Artists Agency after being recommended to an agent in Los Angeles by his drama teacher, Robyn Metchik, the mother of actors Aaron Michael Metchik and Asher Metchik. He made his TV debut in a November 2002 episode of Fox’s space series “Firefly,” and followed it up with guest spots in the hit NBC medical drama "ER" and the CBS television drama series "The Guardian." He worked in his first TV movie in the comedy "The Big Wide World of Carl Laemke" (2003).
In 2004, Efron got his break when he snagged the role of Cameron Bale on the WB drama series “Summerland,” which ran from June 1, 2004, to July 18, 2005. Appearing as a recurring star in season one, Efron became part of the main cast in season two.
During this time, Efron also portrayed one of two autistic twins in the Lifetime original movie “Miracle Run” (2004; with Mary-Louise Parker and Aidan Quinn) and co-starred with Leigh Allyn Baker in the comedic TV movie "Triple Play" (2004). He also guest starred in an episode of CBS’ crime drama series "CSI: Miami” and starred as Patrick McCardle in director Craig Clyde's dramatic film, "The Derby Stallion" (2005).
2006 saw Efron land his most popular role to date, that of Troy Bolton, in the hit Disney Channel Original Movie "High School Musical," alongside Vanessa Hudgens, Ashley Tisdale, Lucas Grabeel, Corbin Bleu, and Monique Coleman. He would later reprise the role for the television sequel "High School Musical 2" (2007) and the feature film "High School Musical 3: Senior Year" (2008). Efron's work in the film earned him two Teen Choice Awards in 2006, one for TV - Choice Breakout Star and another one for TV - Choice Chemistry (shared with real life girlfriend Vanessa Hudgens).
When asked about his onscreen chemistry with Vanessa Hudgens in "High School Musical," Zac revealed, “At callbacks, it was a mix-and-match session. We were stuck together through the entire process. But at the time, we didn't know if it was chemistry or just they didn't like us or what was going on. I guess we noticed it from the beginning. I still don't know what it is. I think it's just...I don't know...she's fun.”
Efron also played the lead role in the comedic TV movie "If You Lived Here, You'd Be Home Now" (2006), and guest starred in an episode of CBS’ drama series "Navy NCIS: Naval Criminal Investigative Service," Disney Channel Original Series’ starring twin brothers Cole and Dylan Sprouse, "The Suite Life of Zack and Cody," the short-lived NBC action drama "Heist," and Disney Channel’s animated series "The Replacements.” He was also cast as Link Larkin, Amber's (played by Brittany Snow) boyfriend and a male dancer in Adam Shankman's film version of the 2002 Broadway musical and a remake of John Waters' 1988 comedy film, “Hairspray” (2007), with Amanda Bynes, Queen Latifah, and John Travolta. His performance in the film earned him a MTV Movie Award for Breakthrough Performance, a Young Hollywood Award for One to Watch, and a Hollywood Film Award for Ensemble of the Year.
“Amanda Bynes and I have become close since filming 'Hairspray.' It's so weird because I grew up watching her.” Zac Efron
Efron has wrapped up his latest film project, "Me and Orson Welles," a period-drama film directed by Richard Linklater based on Robert Kaplow's novel of the same name in which he co-stars as 17-year-old aspiring actor Richard Samuels, opposite Christian McKay and Claire Danes. He is currently working on his upcoming film projects, "17 Again," a comedy by Burr Steers, and "Footloose," a remake of the hit 1984 musical in which he will take over the character that made actor Kevin Bacon famous.
MTV Movie: Breakthrough Performance, "Hairspray," 2008
Young Hollywood: One to Watch, "Hairspray," 2007
Hollywood Film Festival: Hollywood Film Award - Ensemble of the Year, "Hairspray," 2007
Teen Choice: TV - Choice Breakout Star, "High School Musical," 2006
Teen Choice: TV - Choice Chemistry, "High School Musical," 2006, shared with Vanessa Hudgens