|Real Name: Vanessa Anne Hudgens|
|Birth Place: Salinas, California|
|Hair Color: Brown/Black|
Vanessa Hudgens first gained attention by starring in the smash hit “High School Musical” (2006) and “High School Musical 2” (2007), next to sexy blond teen hunk Zac Efron. “HSM” became the smash hit of the decade for Disney, with the two stars setting the bar for a new generation of Disney celebrity Hollywood super stars from Miley Cyrus to Corbin Bleu.
Vanessa Hudgens was born December 14, 1988 in Salinas, California, and has lived in Oregon and Southern California with her mom and dad and younger sister Stella. Vanessa came from a culturally diverse background, with her father being Irish and Native American, and her mother a mix of Filipino, Chinese and Spanish. This combination gave her a unique look that Hollywood loved.
When Hudgens was only nine years old, she appeared in local productions of “Carousel,” “The Wizard of Oz” and “Cinderella.” After a successful television commercial audition, she relocated to Los Angeles with her family to seek a full time acting career. Vanessa made her first debut with a part in “Thirteen” (2003), a look at modern day teenage living starring Holly Hunter and Evan Rachel Wood.
Her next big break was in a role starring with Bill Paxton in “Thunderbirds” (2004), an action adventure thriller based on the 1960’s television series, a story where having averted a major disaster on an oil rig, the Thunderbirds have returned home to their secret base when their space station is damaged. Hudgens was then hired and cast in guest appearance roles in sitcoms like “Quintuplets” (2004) and “Still Standing” (2006), before working on “The Suite Life of Zack and Cody” (2005–2013 ), and "Drake And Josh" (2006) with Drake Bell. What happened next would change her life forever.
In 2005, the Disney Channel was looking to create a movie musical by using young teen stars who grew up watching variety shows and musicals. After an audition, Hudgens was given the role of Gabriella Montez, a new student who finds herself attracted to East High’s star basketball player and pretty boy Troy Bolton played by hunk Zac Efron. Starring with Ashley Tisdale, they try out for the school musical and set out to make it one that will go down in school history
“High School Musical” became Disney's most seen film, with a $50 million dollar box office the first weekend alone.The soundtrack was also a smash hit, becoming the best selling album of 2006, with songs like “Breaking Free” and “When There Was Me and You”.
Vanessa Hudgens was a certified Hollywood movie star and everybody wanted to see more of her!
Hudgens then signed a record deal and released her first album "V". The album went gold, and the song “Come Back to Me” became a radio and MTV sensation. Another song called “Say OK” joined Hudgens and Efron in the MTV and VH1 music video, starting rumors that the two were more than just friends and were romantically connected.
The massive success of “High School Musical” also spun off a profitable concert tour, starring the cast, and her co-stars Bleu, Tisdale, Lucas Grabeel and Monique Coleman. Zac was the only original cast member who could not take part in the tour because he was filming the movie musical “Hairspray” (2007) alongside super star celebrity actors like John Travolta, Michelle Pfieffer, and Amanda Bynes.
Vanessa Hudgens and Zac Efron not only sang and danced their way through “HSM,” they also fell in love. The two dated for several months, finally announcing their romance while vacationing in Hawaii during the summer of 2007. They were photographed on the beach kissing and immediately became young Hollywood’s newest love birds, following in the footsteps of Johnny Depp and Winona Ryder in the 1980's, and Justin Timberlake and Britney Spears in the 1990's. Young teen fans started calling the couple “Zanessa”.
The tabloid exposure of the young love birds only helped her career, and the sequel "High School Musical 2” that was released in 2007 with an appearance by Miley Cyrus. It came as no surprise that a third “High School Musical” project was announced, but this time it would be produced as a feature movie.
During 2007, “High School Musical 2” smashed all television records. The production of the third “High School Musical" movie ran into a major problem however, when The National Enquirer reported they were preparing to print nude photos of the actress. Many thought it was a publicity stunt, until a full frontal naked photo of her was found on the internet. It was confirmed by her agent that the pictures were taken privately and it was a shame they had released to the internet.
Despite the problems, "High School Musical 3: Senior Year" (2008) was completed on time. As seniors in high school, Troy Bolton and Gabriella struggle with the idea of being separated from one another as college approaches. Along with the rest of the Wildcats, they stage a spring musical to address their experiences, hopes and fears about their future.
Hudgens wrapped the year appearing in the dramatic comedy "Will" (2009), about a high school outcast's bond with a popular girl over their shared love of music that results in them assembling a rock group that looks to win their school's upcoming battle of the bands competition.
Hudgens started taking on more serious roles like the fantasy
romance movie “Beastly” (2011) - a modern day take on the "Beauty and
the Beast" story where a New York teen is transformed into a hideous
monster in order to find true love. Vanessa then took a supporting role
in the low budget fantasy adventure movie “Sucker Punch” (2011) about a
young girl who is institutionalized by her abusive stepfather where she
envisions a plan which will help her escape from the mental facility.
Vanessa Hudgens was becoming more believable in her movie
roles and that proved itself to be true when she was cast alongside
Dwayne Johnson and Michael Caine in the long anticipated fantasy
adventure “Journey 2” where a young man partners with his mom's husband
on a mission to find his grandfather who is thought to be missing on a
But it was 2012 before Vanessa got her first big serious role
as Agnes 'Apple' Bailey in the movie “Gimme Shelter” (2012) about a
teenager who sets out to find her Wall Street father and is forced to
live on the streets in a desperate journey of survival. Then Hudgens
tried her hand at a thriller working with Nicolas Cage
and John Cusack in “The Frozen Ground” (2012) where an Alaska State
Trooper partners with a young woman who escaped the clutches of serial
killer to bring the murderer to justice.
But Hudgens says she’s a comedian at heart, so in 2012 she
return to comedy with her friends Selena Gomez and James Franco for
“Spring Breakers” (2013) about four college girls who land in jail
after robbing a restaurant in order to fund their spring break vacation
and find themselves bailed out by a drug and arms dealer who wants them
to do some dirty work.
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