Zac Efron

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Real Name: Zachary David Alexander Efron
Birthday: October 18, 1987
Place of Birth: San Luis Obispo, California, USA

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Zac Efron was born on October 18, 1987. His real name is Zachary David Alexander. He started acting and singing in the early 2000s, and became well known to young teen audiences after his roles in the Disney Channel Original Movie "High School Musical" (2006), the WB series "Summerland", and the movie version of the Broadway musical "Hairspray". 

He was born in San Luis Obispo, California and later relocated to Arroyo Grande. His father, David, is an engineer at a power plant, and his mother, Starla Baskett, is a secretary who worked at the same power plant as his father. He had a normal childhood in a middle class family, and has a younger brother, Dylan. 

His father convinced him to start acting when he was only eleven years old; he then appeared in theater productions at his high school, worked in a local theater called the Melodrama, began taking singing lessons, performed in the plays "Gypsy", "Peter Pan", "Little Shop of Horrors", "The Music Man" and "Mame", performing at the Pacific Conservatory of the Performing Arts. He was referred to a manager in Los Angeles by his high school drama teacher. He has two dogs, Australian shepherds named Dreamer and Puppy, and a Siamese cat, named Simon.

In 2002, Efron began to appear in television guest roles on several shows, including "Firefly", "ER", and "The Guardian". He played Cameron Bale on the WB series "Summerland" working along side fellow young teen heart throb Jesse McCartney. Originally introduced as a returning character, he became a regular cast member of the show in the 2nd season of 2004, starring opposite Kay Panabaker and Lori Loughlin. He also had guest roles on the shows "CSI: Miami", "NCIS: Naval Criminal Investigative Service", "The Suite Life of Zack & Cody" and "The Replacements". 

In 2003, he acted as the lead in the Lifetime original television dramatic movie "Miracle Run" where he played Steven Morgan, one of two autistic twin brothers. For his role, Zac was selected for a Young Artist Award for Best Performance in a television Movie, Mini-series or Special - Supporting Young Actor. In 2005, he played the lead role in Hope Partlow's music video for her single "Sick Inside." Also in 2005, he played horse lover Patrick McCardle in "The Derby Stallion". In this film, his character tries to beat the town bully at the steeple chase race.

In 2006, he played a leading role in the Disney Channel original movie "High School Musical" as Troy Bolton, next to actresses Vanessa Anne Hudgens, Ashley Tisdale and Monique Coleman, as well as actors Lucas Grabeel and Corbin Bleu. The movie, which he made with "very few expectations", helped him gain attention with young teen audiences as both an actor and a singer. 

In August 2006, he won a Teen Choice Award in the Breakout Star and the Television Choice Chemistry categories, together with Vanessa Anne Hudgens. The film's cast and crew toured Sydney, Australia, London, England, and other destinations to market and promote the movie, although he didn't have a role in the "High School Musical Concert" that toured nationally and in Canada throughout the fall and winter 2006.

Shortly after "High School Musical" was released, he released two consecutive chart topping songs in February 2006, Billboard's Hot 100, with "Get'cha Head in the Game" and "Breaking Free," a double act with Vanessa Anne Hudgens from "High School Musical". 

On the next week's Billboard chart, he had five song credits, all from "High School Musical", including, "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." "Breaking Free" made the fastest climb in the history of the Billboard charts, from #87 to #4. He also had roles in the 2006 Disney Channel Games as captain of the Red Team.

His singing talents were in doubt when it was discovered that Andrew Seeley's voice was added with Zac's on the original soundtrack for "High School Musical".

On April 7, 2007, he appeared in an episode of Ashton Kutcher's "Punk'd" with High School Musical leading lady Tisdale, and was set up by two men pretending to steal a box at a local store only to find out that the "security guard" never saw the event happen. The "manager" questions both celebrities, but doesn't believe Efron when he explains what happened. 

During this same period, he starred in the music video for Hudgens' single 'Say OK', where he played the role of her romantic love interest. The video aired in March of 2007 on the Disney Channel. The same year, he was honored and named as one of People magazine's 100 Most Beautiful People in 2007. 

A still photo and small biography of the actor was shown in the section "Coming of Age," next to pop singer and actress Hilary Duff, actress Hayden Panettiere and R&B singer Chris Brown. In the photo spread, Zac told how he was always the shortest kid in school and was teased for the gap between  his teeth.

In 2006, he was cast as Link Larkin in the movie version of "Hairspray", also starring Amanda Bynes, Queen Latifah, Michelle Pfieffer, Amanda Bynes and John Travolta, and released in July 2007. He sang all of his own vocals in his performance, which was filmed in Ontario in September of 2006. He trimmed and colored his hair dark brown and added 15 pounds for his role. Both his performance and the film in general received good reviews from critics and the media.

His next role was the made for television "High School Musical 2", with all the original cast, where during the summer vacation a talent show is organized in a local country club and Troy, Gabriella, Sharpay, Ryan, Chad and Taylor take part in it.

In addition, he was hired and cast in the role of Mike in the comedy horror film "Seventeen Again", About a guy whose life didn't quite turn out how he wanted it to and wishes he could go back to high school and change it. He wakes up one day and is seventeen again and gets the chance to rewrite his life. 

Next up for the young Hollywood celebrity was the drama "Me And Orson Welles" (2009) starring Claire Danes, about a young teenager who is cast in the Mercury Theatre production of "Julius Ceasar" directed by a young Orson Welles in 1937. He was next cast in the sequel musical "High School Musical 3: Senior Year" (2009) reuniting most of the original cast where, as seniors in high school ,Troy 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.

He is also scheduled to star in Paramount's musical interpretation of the movie "Footloose", and has said he would like to add a personal "bit of flair" to the role originally created by Kevin Bacon.


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