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About Zac Efron

Updated on November 2, 2009

Zac Efron: From Tweeny-bopper to Hollywood Heart throb

This 5' 8" young actor is truly making mark in Hollywood.

Zac Efron, saved his spot to sure stardom by landing the lead role, Troy Bolton, in Disney Channel’s Original Movie “High School Musical”. In their late August 2007 issue, Rolling Stone featured an almost shirtless Zac on their cover. Although the magazine declared him as the "poster boy for tweenyboppers", it was clear that Zac Efron is shaping up to be a real American Heartthrob.

Zac Efron on the cover of Rolling Stone in the August 2007 issue.
Zac Efron on the cover of Rolling Stone in the August 2007 issue.

Life before stardom...

Efron was born in San Luis Obispo, California. But his family later moved to Arroyo Grande, California where he grew up mostly, together with his younger brother Dylan. Raised by a middle class family Efron describes his childhood as normal. His parents, David Efron, an engineer, and Starla Baskett, a secretary, worked at the same power plant.

Efron's father was the one who really encouraged him to begin acting. At the age of 11, Zac Efron worked in a theater called The Great American Melodrama and Vaudeville in his high school and began taking singing lessons at around the same time.  He took part in several school plays. Robyn Metchik, his drama teacher recommended Zac Efron to an agent in Los Angeles, he later signed to the Creative Artists Agency.

Zac Efron's TV footprint…

Efron began his professional acting career appearing in guest roles on several television series.

In 2002, he appeared in Firefly, ER, and The Guardian.

Before the WB TV series, Summerland, got cancelled, Zac portrayed the guest role of Cameron Bale, who eventually became a regular character in the series.

Later on, he also appeared in CSI: Miami, NCIS, The Suite Life of Zack & Cody and The Replacements.

In 2003, his performance in Lifetime original television movie Miracle Run, earned him a nomination for the Young Artist - Supporting Young Actor Award for Best Performance in a TV Movie, Mini-series or Special category.

In 2005, he starred in a music video, Hope Partlow's song "Sick Inside". In the same year, he played a role of a horse-loving character in The Derby Stallion.

Images of young Zac.
Images of young Zac.
Zac Efron sexy shower scene? Rumor has it, that Efron filmed a topless shower scene for HSM 3 - but it was edited out of the film.
Zac Efron sexy shower scene? Rumor has it, that Efron filmed a topless shower scene for HSM 3 - but it was edited out of the film.

High School Musical is Not Just a Movie… It’s Zac’s Big Break

In 2006, he landed the lead role of Troy Bolton in the Disney Channel original movie "High School Musical" (HSM). He played the character of a popular student, who is the captain of the basketball team.

The movie became a blockbuster sensation overnight and it secured Efron’s place in the Hollywood map. The young actor swept the hearts of teenage girls all over the globe.

As luck would have it, another blockbuster film in 2006, was added to Efron’s movie projects. He played, Link Larkin in a film version of the musical "Hairspray", the movie was released on July 20, 2007. Efron performed all of his own vocals in the role. Efron's performance received positive reviews.

In August 2007, after the release of "High School Musical 2", Efron topped IMDBPro's Star Meter at #1, which means he’s the most searched celebrity at the time. Lycos even reported searches for Efron surged by 81% after HSM 2 was released. The film itself set a new record, with 17.2 million viewers; it became the most watched basic cable program in U.S. history.

Breaking from his tweenybopper role, Efron was cast as the lead role in the film "Me and Orson Welles" in early 2008. The movie was based on Robert Kaplow's novel of the same name. The setting of the movie was 1937 New York. The film was launched via the Toronto Film Festival on September 2008 and was later released in 2009.

After "High School Musical 3: Senior Year", was released in October 2008, Efron’s next movie project was "17 Again". He played yet another lead role. The plot was about an adult who is transformed into a 17-year old, played by Efron. The movie was released in 2009.

Quote from Hairspray Producer Neil Meron (together with Craig Zadan)

"There are some people who are destined, and Zac is destined. He just glows. He has that thing about him that makes him a star. Zac was a dream to work with on set. He was always professional, always showed up, he knew all his lines, and he was generous to everybody else. People loved him."

Scenes from the movie "Hairspray"

On his singing career...

Although Efron, had proper musical training, his singing voice in the first High School Musical series was actually dubbed. Singer/songwriter/actor, Andrew Seeley performed the songs for the role of Troy Bolton. Zac had been chosen to cast in the movie after the songs were already written. The songs were written for a tenor, and Efron had more of a baritone vocal range.

In High School Musical: The Concert, Zac was also not able to perform with his fellow castmates. He already started filming Hairspray at the time. Naturally, Drew Seeley took over for Zac’s part in the concert.

In the HSM soundtrack, Andrew Seely’s voice was digitally combined with Efron’s. Shortly after it was aired, two of the songs credited to Efron made it to Billboard Hot 100, namely "Get'cha Head in the Game" and "Breaking Free", which was a duet with Vanessa Hudgens.

The following week, 5 of the songs which includes Efron in the credits from same soundtrack made it to the charts, "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.

Climbing from #86 to #4 in less than two weeks, "Breaking Free", made the fastest climb in the history of the Billboard charts at the time.

His role in the musical movie Hairspray really earned his singing talent recognition. He performed all the songs for Link Larkin (his role) in the movie, and he won the MTV Movie Awards Breakthrough Performance for that role.

However, Efron stated that he'd want to focus more on making it as a serious dramatic actor and not necessarily a singer.

On GQ Magazine.
On GQ Magazine.

Quote from Craig Zedan

"He's a great kid - he has great work ethics and his generosity is amazing. The biggest problem with working with Zac on Hairspray was that we all stayed in the same hotel apartment building, and outside, rain or shine, there were millions of girls sitting outside in the pouring rain for hours, just to see him go in and out. He was bewildered!"

Zac Efron with Vanessa Hudgens at the 81st Annual Academy Awards.
Zac Efron with Vanessa Hudgens at the 81st Annual Academy Awards.

On Film and Off Film Sweethearts

A real-life romance blossomed between the two lead stars of HSM, Zac Efron and Vanessa Hudgens. Their off-screen team-up ensued the moniker “Zanessa” among fans, just like the other Hollywood power couples. Zac Efron even starred in the music video for Vanessa Hudgens's single "Say OK". He played her love interest in the video, which aired on March 2007 on Disney Channel.

Upcoming projects…

Efron signed on to play a role in the movie The Death and Life of Charlie St. Cloud. It’s scheduled to be released in 2010. He’s also chosen to star in the title role of the live adaptation of the Jonny Quest – the cartoons.

Scenes "from 17 Again"

Zac Efron with Thomas Lennon (Reno 911!) plays the adult Mike's nerdy billionaire best friend.
Zac Efron with Thomas Lennon (Reno 911!) plays the adult Mike's nerdy billionaire best friend.

A break from musical movies...

Paramount has scooped up Zac Efron to play the lead role for the musical remake of the 1984 film "Footloose". But another opportunity knocked his door at the same time, and Zac just wanted to shake off being typecast in musicals, so he went another way and signed up for the movie, "17again".

The New Line Cinema hit "17 Again", earned over $130 million worldwide, proving Zac made the right choice.

Efron shared the lead role with Matthew Perry in 17 again. It’s a movie about a guy, Mike O’Donnell who could have been a basketball star but instead opted for family life. 20 years later, he found himself single again with 2 kids who does not think highly of their dad. Miraculously he was given a chance to be 17 again and re-live his high school days.

Efron presented at the 2007 Teen Choice Award.
Efron presented at the 2007 Teen Choice Award.


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