The Life and Career of Zac Efron

Photo Credit: Warner Bros. Pictures
June 4th, 2012

The Life and Career of Zac Efron

--Zachary David Alexander Efron was born on October 18, 1987 in San Luis Obispo, California. Efron began acting professionally as a teenager, and he quickly became known for his leading role in the Disney Channel "High School Musical" movies. Efron's father is an electrical engineer, while his mother is a former secretary. Efron also has a younger brother. He has stated that his childhood was fairly normal and he grew up in a normal middle class family. Although Efron's grandfather was Jewish and his last name is Hebrew, he has stated that he is an agnostic and has never been particularly religious.

While in school, Efron was known as a class clown, but he also took his grades very seriously. It was his father who first encouraged him to start acting when he was just 11 years old. He later appeared in a number of theater productions while in high school. He also performed in The Great American Melodrama and Vaudeville. In addition, he took singing lessons as a child. His drama teacher recommended him to a talent agent.

Although Efron was accepted to the University of Southern California following his graduation from Arroyo Grande High School, he elected to defer his studies to work on various movie projects. For a short while, he attended Pacific Conservatory of the Performing Arts. Beginning in 2002, Efron landed several guest roles on a number of TV programs. Eventually, Efron became a recurring cast member on the WB series "Summerland." In 2003, Efron appeared in the Lifetime movie "Miracle Run" as the character Steven Morgan. Efron was later nominated for a Young Artist Award for his performance in the film. Two years later, Efron appeared in "The Derby Stallion."

The following year, Efron appeared in the first "High School Musical" movie as the character Troy Bolton. Although Efron later stated he had low expectations for the role, playing this character proved to be a career breakthrough for him. The movie was so popular that Efron went on to gain worldwide recognition. Not only did Efron gain notice as an actor, he also gained recognition as a singer.

In early 2006, Efron appeared on the Billboard Hot 100 with two songs from the movie. Within one week, Efron had five songs on the chart at the same time. It was later revealed that Efron's voice was overdubbed with the voice of another singer during his vocals in the movie. Efron also appeared in the movie version of "Hairspray" in 2006. Unlike his role in "High School Musical," Efron handled his own vocals for the "Hairspray" role. In the summer of 2007, "High School Musical 2" was released. Efron appeared in a leading role in the movie "Me and Orson Welles" the next year. He was originally scheduled to appear in the remake of the movie "Footloose." Efron later dropped out of the project to concentrate on other projects. In 2008, Efron reprised his original role in the movie "High School Musical 3: Senior Year." Efron's next role was a part in "17 Again." During 2008, Efron appeared in a number of advertisements and hosted "Saturday Night Live." He also signed to play the leading character in the film "Charlie St. Cloud." The movie was released the following year.

In 2011, Efron was named second on the Most Beautiful list published by People magazine. That same year, he also appeared in the film project "New Year's Eve." The following year, Efron added a bit of variety to his career by voicing the character of Ted Wiggins in the children's movie "The Lorax." He also appeared in "The Lucky One."

Among Efron's newest projects is the film "The Paperboy." The movie marks a significant evolvement in Efron's career and a departure from his typical roles as a teen idol. The film, which also stars Oscar winner Nicole Kidman, premiered at the Cannes Film Festival. The 1960s-era drama is already receiving significant attention. One scene in the movie has gained particular notoriety. Kidman's character urinates on Efron's character to relieve his pain following a jellyfish sting on the beach. This is not the only scene in the movie that has received attention. The movie, directed by Lee Daniels, is also becoming known for its fairly graphic sex scenes. The film is scheduled to be released in theaters beginning in November.

Efron was romantically linked with "High School Musical" co-star Vanessa Hudgens for several years. The couple separated in late 2010.

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