Zachary David Alexander "Zac" Efron (born October 18, 1987) is an American actor and singer. He began acting professionally 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 2007 film version of the Broadway musical Hairspray. 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 2007 issue.
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. He has a younger brother, Dylan, and had a self-described "normal childhood" in a middle class family. 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 but endorsed being a class clown. Although self-described as not academically gifted, he remained focused enough to achieve an overall GPA of 4.3. Efron's father encouraged him to begin acting when Efron was 11-years-old. 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.
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. 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.
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.
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, even though his singing voice was overdubbed. 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, England, 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 was 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 Drew 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.
Efron with Vanessa Hudgens at the 81st Academy Awards.
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[when?] 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. Efron's performance and the film received positive reviews. Efron was not able to perform with his fellow castmates in High School Musical: The Concert because of commitments on the film Hairspray. 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 reprised his role in High School Musical 3: Senior Year, which was theatrically released on October 24, 2008. His next role was in 17 Again, a high school-set comedy-drama produced by Adam Shankman and based on a pitch by Jason Filardi; the plot involved an adult who is transformed into a 17-year old (played by Efron). 17 Again was released in 2009.
In early 2008, Efron was cast in 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 was introduced to North America via the Toronto Film Festival on September 5, 6, and 11, 2008 and was released in 2009. Efron was also scheduled to star in Paramount's musical remake of the film Footloose, and has said that he would like to add his "own little bit of flair" to the role originated by Kevin Bacon. In March 2009 he dropped out of the film. Efron was quoted as saying that while it was a promising gig, he left the project because he "was looking for a new challenge, and this was another musical."
Efron signed on to play a role in the movie "The Death and Life of Charlie St. Cloud" In 2009, Efron was revealed to be connected to the live action rendition of the Japanese anime Full Metal Panic, simply entitled "Panic". He is also starring in the title role of the live-action adaptation of the Jonny Quest cartoons.
On April 8, 2009, Efron's participation in a comedic short video entitled "Zac Efron's Pool Party" for the website Funny Or Die was released for public viewing. On April 11, 2009, Efron hosted an episode of Saturday Night Live. In early June 2009 it was confirmed that Efron would be making a guest appearance during the sixth season of HBO's comedy series Entourage.
Efron owns an apartment in Los Angeles, California. On January 15, 2008, Efron was hospitalized at Cedars-Sinai Medical Center in Los Angeles for an emergency appendectomy.
Efron was also on the Forbes Celebrity 100 list in 2008, as number 92 with an estimated earning of $5.8 million from June 2007 to June 2008. As of April 5, 2009, his personal wealth equaled about $10 million.
Vanessa Hudgens confirmed in an October 2007 interview with Teen that she and Efron began dating in 2005 during the filming of High School Musical.
Year Film Role Notes
2003 Melinda's World Stuart Wasser
The Big Wide World of Carl Laemke Pete Laemke
2004 Miracle Run Steven Morgan
Triple Play Harry Fuller
2005 The Derby Stallion Patrick McCardle
2006 If You Lived Here, You'd be Home Now Cody
High School Musical Troy Bolton
2007 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)
Me and Orson Welles Richard Samuels
2010 The Death and Life of Charlie St. Cloud Charlie St. Cloud post-production
2011 Jonny Quest Jonny Quest
Year Title Role Notes
2002 Firefly Young Simon Tam "Safe" (ep. 1.5)
2003 The Guardian Luke Tomello "Without Consent" (ep. 3.15)
ER Bobby Neville "Dear Abby" (ep. 10.3)
2005 Summerland Cameron Bale 16 episodes
CSI: Miami Seth Dawson "Sex & Taxes" (ep. 3.19)
The Replacements Davey Hunkerhoff "Davey Hunkerhoff / Ratted Out" (ep. 1.10)
2006 Heist Pizza Delivery Guy "Pilot" (ep. 1.1)
The Suite Life of Zack & Cody Trevor "Odd Couples" (ep. 2.1)
NCIS Danny "Deception" (ep. 3.13)
2008 Robot Chicken Billy Joel "Tell My Mom" (ep. 4.5)
2009 Saturday Night Live Himself/Host Episode 34.20
Saturday Night Live Himself "Chat with the Stars"
Entourage Himself "Security Briefs" (ep. 6.9)
Year Title Artist Role
2005 Sick Inside Hope Partlow Love interest
2006 Say OK Vanessa Hudgens Love interest
Efron Arrives at Tiff '08 Premiere of Me and Orson Welles
Year Film Role Notes
2004 The 6th Annual Family Television Awards Himself - Presenter Presenter
2005 Totally Suite New Year's Eve Himself Presenter
2006 2006 MTV Movie Awards Himself Presenter
2006 Disney Channel Games Himself Disney Channel special
2006 The Teen Choice Awards Himself Presenter
2006 High School Musical Dance-Along Himself Disney Channel special
2006 Get'cha head in the game: the choreography of High School Musical Himself Disney Channel special
2007 Hairspray: Inside the Recording Booth Himself Presenter
2007 Hairspray' Extentions Himself Documentary
2007 It's 'Hairspray'! Himself Documentary
2007 Nickelodeon Kids' Choice Awards Himself Presenter
2007 Rachael Ray Himself 1 episode
2007 Punk'd Himself 1 episodes
2007 MTV Movie Awards Himself Presenter
2007 Richard & Judy Himself 1 episode
2007 Welcome to the '60s: On the Set of 'Hairspray' Himself TV episode
2007 HBO First Look Himself 1 episode
2007 Total Request Live Himself 1 episode
2007 Access Hollywood Himself 1 episode
2007 The Oprah Winfrey Show Himself 1 episode
2007 Live with Regis and Kathie Lee Himself 1 episode
2007 The Teen Choice Awards Himself (TV)
2007 Australian Idol Himself One episode
2007 TRL Italy Himself 1 episode
2007 El hormiguero Himself 1 episode
2007 You Can't Stop the Beat: The Long Journey of 'Hairspray' Himself (TV)
2007 HSM2: Crazy Cast Questions Himself Disney Channel special
2007 HSM2: The Making of a Music Scene Himself Disney Channel special
2007 HSM2: Rehearsal Cam Himself Disney Channel special
2008 Good Morning America Himself Presenter
2008 2008 MTV Movie Awards Himself Presenter
2008 ESPY Awards Himself Presenter
2008 High School Musical: Get in the Picture Himself Disney Channel special
2008 The Teen Choice Awards Himself (TV)
2008 MTV Video Music Awards Himself (TV)
2008 HSM2: On Location Himself Disney Channel special
2008 HSM2: Making of Humuhumunukunukuapua'a Himself Disney Channel special
2008 Le grand journal de Canal+ Himself 1 episode
2007-2008 The Tonight Show with Jay Leno Himself 2 episodes
2008 Boogie Himself 1 episode
2008 Fantástico Himself 1 episode
2008 HSM3 & Chocolate Fudge! Himself Disney Channel special
2008 Saturday Disney Himself Disney Channel special
2008 Young Hollywood: A to Zac Himself (TV)
2008 E! True Hollywood Story Himself 1 episode
2009 Golden Globe Awards Red Carpet Special Himself (TV)
2009 Zac Goes Back Himself Documentary
2009 Going Back to 17 Himself Documentary
2009 Zac's Dance Flashback Himself Documentary
2009 The 66th Annual Golden Globe Awards Himself (TV)
2009 HSM3: Prom - The Night of Nights Himself Disney Channel special
2009 HSM3: Cast Goodbyes Himself Disney Channel special
2009 HSM3: New Cast Profiles Himself Disney Channel special
2009 HSM3: Senior Awards Himself Disney Channel special
2009 81st Annual Academy Awards Himself (TV)
2009 E.S.L.: Entertainment as a Second Language Himself unknown episodes
2009 The Movie Loft Himself 1 episode
2009 Rove Live Himself 1 episode
2009 Ant & Dec's Saturday Night Takeaway Himself 1 episode
2009 The Graham Norton Show Himself 1 episode
2009 Nickelodeon Kids' Choice Awards Himself 1 episode
2009 Zac Efron's Pool Party Himself (TV)
2009 This Morning Himself 1 episode
2009 Australia's Funniest Home Video Show Himself 1 episode
2009 Saturday Night Live Himself 1 episode
2007-2009 Up Close with Carrie Keagan Himself 2 episodes
2009 Live Results Show Himself Audience Member
2009 American Idol: The Search for a Superstar Himself 1 episode
2009 Ellen: The Ellen DeGeneres Show Himself 2 episodes
2009 Jimmy Kimmel Live! Himself 3 episodes
2007-2009 Entertainment Tonight Himself 36 episodes
2009 Días de cine Himself 1 episode
2009 Hollywood's Hot List Himself (TV)
2009 20 to 1 Himself 1 episode
2009 MTV Movie Awards Himself (TV)
2009 Inside the Cinema Himself (TV)
2009 The Teen Choice Awards Himself (TV)
2009 Security Briefs Himself (TV)
2009 Entourage Himself 1 episode
2009 The ONE Show Himself 1 episode
2009 GMTV Himself 1 episode
2009 Made in Hollywood Himself 1 episode
2009 The View Himself 1 episode
2009 Late Show with David Letterman Himself 1 episode
2009 Xposé Himself 2 episode
2009 Live from Studio Five Himself 3 episodes
2009 The Charlie Rose Show Himself 1 episode
2010 Top 20 Under 25 Himself (TV)
2010 15th Annual Critics' Choice Movie Awards Himself (TV)
* 2007: Hairspray Soundtrack – July 10, 2007
* 2007: High School Musical 2 Soundtrack - August 14, 2007
* 2008: High School Musical 3: Senior Year Soundtrack - October 21, 2008
Year Single Peak chart positions Album
US US Pop UK AUS
2007 "Ladies Choice" — — 96 — Hairspray (soundtrack)
"What Time Is It?" 6 6 20 20 High School Musical 2
"Bet on It" 46 35 65 —
"You Are the Music In Me" (with Vanessa Hudgens and Olesya Rulin) 31 28 26 86
"You Are the Music In Me (Sharpay Version)" (with Ashley Tisdale) — 95 89 —
"Gotta Go My Own Way" (with Vanessa Hudgens) 34 31 40 —
"Everyday" (with Vanessa Hudgens) 65 46 55 —
2008 "Now or Never" (with High School Musical 3 cast) 68 41 41 92 High School Musical 3:
Senior Year (soundtrack)
"A Night to Remember" (with High School Musical 3 cast) 108 — — 96
"Right Here, Right Now" (with Vanessa Hudgens) 119 — — —
"Can I Have This Dance" (with Vanessa Hudgens) 98 — — 84
"The Boys Are Back" (with Corbin Bleu) 101 — — 72
"—" denotes releases that did not chart
Awards and nominations
* 2006 - Teen Choice Award: Choice Breakout Star
* 2006 - Teen Choice Award: Choice Chemistry for High School Musical (with Vanessa Hudgens)
* 2007 - Kids' Choice Award: Best Male Actor
* 2007 - Teen Choice Award: Choice Male Hottie
* 2007 - Hollywood Film Award: Ensemble of the Year (shared with the rest of the Hairspray cast)
* 2007 - Young Hollywood Award: One to Watch in Hairspray
* 2008 - MTV Movie Award: Breakthrough Performance for Hairspray
* 2009 - MTV Movie Award: Best Male Performance for High School Musical 3: Senior Year
* 2009 - Teen Choice Award: Choice Movie Actor Comedy for 17 Again
* 2009 - Teen Choice Award: Choice Movie Actor Music/Dance for High School Musical 3: Senior Year
* 2009 - Teen Choice Award: Choice Rockstar Moment for 17 Again
* 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 — "Come So Far".
* 2009 - MTV Movie Award: Best Kiss for High School Musical 3: Senior Year (shared with Vanessa Hudgens)
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* Zac Efron (2006, ISBN 1584152508)