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Zac Efron
Zac Efron 2007
Zac Efron, December 2006
Born Zachary David Alexander Efron
October 18, 1987 (1987-10-18) (age 29

)
San Luis Obispo, California, U.S.

Occupation Actor/Singer
Years active 2002 – present


Zachary David Alexander "Zac" Efron (born October 18, 1987) is an American actor and singer. He began acting in the early 2000s, and became known to young audiences after his roles in the Disney Channel Original Movie High School Musical, the WB series Summerland, and the film version of the Broadway musical Hairspray. Speaking to Newsweek in June 2006, director Adam Shankman described Efron as "arguably the biggest teen star in America right now. In 2007, right before the release of High School Musical 2, Rolling Stone declared him the "poster boy for tweenyboppers" and featured him in their late August issue.

Early life and background

Efron was born in San Luis Obispo, California and later moved to Arroyo Grande, California. His father, David Efron, is an engineer at a power plant, and his mother, Starla Baskett, is a former secretary who worked at the same power plant as Efron's father. Efron had a self-described "normal childhood" in a middle class family, and has a younger brother, Dylan. Efron is of Jewish ancestry and is an agnostic, having never been religious. He has said that he would "flip out" if he got a 'B' and not an 'A' in school, and that he was a "class clown." Efron's father encouraged him to begin acting when Efron was eleven. He subsequently appeared in theater productions at his high school, worked in a theater called The Great American Melodrama and Vaudeville, and began taking singing lessons. Efron performed in plays such as Gypsy, Peter Pan, Or The Boy Who Wouldn't Grow Up, Little Shop of Horrors, and The Music Man. Efron was recommended to an agent in Los Angeles by his drama teacher, Robyn Metchik (the mother of actors Aaron Michael Metchik and Asher Metchik). He was later signed to the Creative Artists Agency.

Education

Efron graduated from Arroyo Grande High School in 2006 and was then accepted into the University of Southern California, but he deferred his enrollment while he worked on film projects. He plans to return at some time Efron also attended Pacific Conservatory of the Performing Arts, a community college located in Santa Maria, California, which provided him with the opportunity to perform as a "young player" during the years of 2000 and 2001.

Acting career

In 2002, Efron began to appear in guest roles on several television series, including Firefly, ER, and The Guardian. He portrayed Cameron Bale on the now-cancelled WB series Summerland. Originally introduced as a recurring character, Efron became a regular cast member on the show in the second season in 2004, starring opposite the likes of Kay Panabaker, Lori Loughlin and Jesse McCartney. Since appearing in Summerland, he has also had guest roles on the shows CSI: Miami, NCIS (TV series), The Suite Life of Zack & Cody and The Replacements. In 2003, Efron starred in the Lifetime original television movie Miracle Run. He played Steven Morgan, one of two autistic twins. For his performance, he was nominated for a Young Artist Award for Best Performance in a TV Movie, Mini-series or Special — Supporting Young Actor. In 2005, he played a main character in Hope Partlow's music video for her song "Sick Inside." Also in 2005, he played horse-loving Patrick McCardle in The Derby Stallion, where his character wants to beat the town bully at the steeple chase race.

2006: High School Musical

In 2006, Efron starred in the Disney Channel original movie High School Musical as Troy Bolton, the popular student and captain of the basketball team. The film, which he initially made with "low expectations", helped Efron gain recognition among teenage audiences as both an actor and a singer. As a result, he placed as high as #4 on the IMDBPro's STARMeter for the week of January 29, 2006. In August 2006, Efron won a Teen Choice Award in the Breakout Star and the TV — Choice Chemistry categories, shared with Vanessa Hudgens. The film's cast, along with Efron, toured Sydney (Australia), London (UK), and other locations to promote the film.

Shortly after High School Musical aired, Efron debuted with two simultaneous charted songs on Billboard Hot 100 on February 4, 2006, with "Get'cha Head in the Game" and "Breaking Free," a duet with Vanessa Hudgens from the film. On the following week's chart, Efron had five simultaneous song credits from High School Musical: "Get'cha Head in the Game," "Start of Something New," "What I've Been Looking For: Reprise," "We're All in This Together" and "Breaking Free." "We're All in This Together" was credited to the whole High School Musical cast. "Breaking Free," at the time, made the fastest climb in the history of the Billboard charts, from #86 to #4 between the two weeks; the record has since been beaten by Beyoncé and Shakira's "Beautiful Liar. Efron also appeared in the 2006 Disney Channel Games as captain of the Red Team.

Efron's singing talents were disputed when it was revealed that Andrew Seeley's voice was blended with his on the soundtrack of High School Musical An August 23, 2007 interview in Rolling Stone magazine revealed that he had been cast in High School Musical after the songs were written, and the songs (written for a tenor) were somewhat out of his baritone vocal range. However, Efron stated in interviews that he felt his future is that of a serious dramatic actor, not necessarily a singer.

2007-present: Recent roles

On April 7, 2007, Efron appeared in an episode of Punk'd. Efron also starred in the music video for Vanessa Hudgens's single "Say OK", where he played her love interest. The video aired on March 16, 2007 on Disney Channel. That year, he was named one of People magazine's 100 Most Beautiful People in 2007. A picture and short profile of him was in the section "Coming of Age". In it, he related how he was always the shortest kid in school (he is now 5'8") and was teased for the "huge gap" in his teeth.

In 2006, Efron was cast as Link Larkin in a film version of Hairspray released on July 20, 2007. Efron performed all of his own vocals in the role, which was filmed in Toronto (Ontario) from September 5 to December 2, 2006. He cut and dyed his hair dark brown and gained about 15 pounds for the role. Both Efron's performance and the film have received positive reviews. Because of this, he was not able to perform with his fellow castmates in High School Musical: The Concert. Drew Seeley took over for him.

High School Musical 2 was released in August 2007, and Efron topped IMDBPro's Star Meter at #1, indicating that he was the most searched celebrity. Additionally, Lycos reported searches for Efron surged by 81% The film set a new record, becoming the most watched basic cable program in U.S. history, with 17.2 million viewers. Efron also appeared on the cover of the August 2007 edition of Rolling Stone. The article about him revealed that he hoped to someday play an action hero.

Efron presented the 2007 Teen Choice Award for "Favorite Movie" along with Queen Latifah, and later that year, he co-hosted the Nickelodeon Australian Kids' Choice Awards with The Veronicas on October 10 in Sydney.

Efron's upcoming roles include 17 Again, a high school-set drama/comedy produced by Adam Shankman and based on a pitch by Jason Filardi; the plot involves an adult who is transformed into a 17-year old (to be played by Efron). 17 Again will be released in 2009.

In early 2008, Efron was cast as the lead role in the film Me and Orson Welles. Based on Robert Kaplow's novel of the same name, the story, set in 1937 New York, tells of a teenager hired to star in Orson Welles' production of Julius Caesar, where he becomes attracted to a career-driven production assistant. The film was shot in the Isle of Man, London and New York, during February — April 2008. It is currently set for release in 2009 and was introduced to North America via the Toronto Film Festival on September 5, 6, and 11th 2008.

Efron reprised his role as Troy in High School Musical 3: Senior Year, released on October 24, 2008.

Efron is also scheduled to star in Paramount's musical remake of the film Footloose. He has said that he would like to add his "own little bit of flair" to the role originated by Kevin Bacon.

Personal life

Efron owns an apartment and has two dogs, Australian shepherds named Dreamer and Puppy. He also has a Siamese cat named Simon.

On January 15, 2008, Efron was hospitalized at Cedars-Sinai Medical Center in Los Angeles for an emergency appendectomy.

Zac Efron was also on the Forbes Celebrity 100 list in 2008, as number 92 with an estimated earning of $5.8 million from June of '07 to June of '08.

Vanessa Hudgens confirmed, in an October 2007 interview with Teen Magazine, that she and Efron had been dating since the filming of High School Musical.They were still dating as of September 3, 2008.

Filmography

Year Film/television Role Notes
2002 Firefly Young Simon Tam  
2003 Melinda's World Stuart Wasser
The Guardian Luke Tomello
ER Bobby Neville
The Big Wide World of Carl Laemke Pete Laemke  
2004 Miracle Run Steven Morgan
Room Raiders Himself TV show, Guest star
Triple Play Harry Fuller  
2005 Sick Inside by Hope Partlow - music video Love Interest
Summerland Cameron Bale TV show
CSI: Miami Seth Dawson
2006 If You Lived Here, You'd be Home Now Cody
Heist Pizza Delivery Guy
The Replacements Davey Hunkerhoff  
The Suite Life of Zack & Cody Trevor
High School Musical Troy Bolton
NCIS Danny
The Derby Stallion Patrick McCardle  
2007 Punk'd Himself Feat. Ashley Tisdale
Hairspray Link Larkin
High School Musical 2 Troy Bolton  
2008 High School Musical 3: Senior Year Troy Bolton  
2009 17 Again Mike O'Donnell (teen) April 17, 2009 Release
Me and Orson Welles Richard Samuels  
2010 The Death & Life of Charlie St. Cloud Carlie St. Cloud Filming

Discography

Soundtracks

Charted songs

Year Title Album Chart positions
U.S. U.S. Pop 100 UK AUS
2007 "Ladies' Choice" Hairspray Soundtrack - - 96 -
"What Time Is It?" High School Musical 2 Soundtrack 6 6 20 20
"Bet On It" 46 35 65 -
"You Are the Music In Me"
(with Vanessa Anne Hudgens and Olesya Rulin)
31 28 26 86
"You Are the Music In Me (Sharpay Version)"
(with Ashley Tisdale)
- - 89 -
"Gotta Go My Own Way"
(with Vanessa Anne Hudgens)
34 31 40 -
"Everyday"
(with Vanessa Anne Hudgens)
65 46 55 -
2008 "Now or Never"
(with Vanessa Hudgens)
High School Musical 3: Senior Year Soundtrack 68 - - -
"A Night to Remember"
(with High School Musical 3 Cast)
104 - - -

Awards and nominations

Awards

Nominations

  • 2005 - Young Artist Award: Best Performance in a TV Movie, Miniseries or Special by a Supporting Actor for Miracle Run
  • 2007 - Young Artist Award: Best Performance in a TV Movie, Miniseries or Special by a Lead Actor for High School Musical
  • 2008 - Critics Choice Award: Best Song for Hairspray (2007) Shared With: Queen Latifah, Nikki Blonsky, Elijah Kelley-For the song "Come So Far".
  • 2009 - MTV Movie Awards: Best Kiss (with Vanessa Hudgens)

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