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Zac Efron - Everything You Need to Know

Updated on March 12, 2016
Zac Efron
Zac Efron

Zac Efron

Zachary David Alexander Efron was born Oct. 18, 1987 in San Luis Obispo, California. Efron's father worked as an electrical engineer and his mother worked as a secretary. Efron has one younger brother named Dylan.

When Efron is asked about his childhood, he describes it as your everyday "normal" childhood. Zac was always kind of a class clown and liked getting attention. It wasn't long before his family realized he would enjoy acting. When Zac turned eleven his father began encouraging his acting career. Zac began acting in various theater productions at his public high school. He participated in productions such as "Peter Pan", "The Music Man", and "Little Shop of Horrors."

Soon Zac's drama teacher discovered that he had a little something more and recommended him to an agent at the Creative Artist Agency. The agency instantly signed him. Zac graduated from high school in 2006 and was accepted into The University of Southern California, however, he has never attended, deciding instead to focus on his acting career.

Zac Efron
Zac Efron

Starting His Career

In 2002, Efron began appearing on various television series such as "ER", "Firefly", "CSI: Miami", "NCIS" and "The Guardian." Efron got one of his first big breaks when he landed the role of Cameron Bale on the cancelled TV series "Summerland."

Efron received his first TV movie role when he received the part as an autistic child in the Lifetime movie "Miracle Run." "Miracle Run" starred Mary Louise Parker and Aiden Quinn. It was his role as "Steven Morgan" in the lifetime movie that Zac received his first acting recognition. Efron was nominated for a Young Artist Award and Best Performance in a TV Movie or Mini-series, however, he did not win either.


Zac Efron
Zac Efron

Zac Efron Has Arrived

It was in 2006 that the world would finally recognize the name Zac Efron. It was the character of Troy Bolton that would catapult Efron into super stardom. In 2006, Efron landing the role of a lifetime in the movie musical "High School Musical." In the Disney movie musical, Efron plays a teenage boy who is captain of the basketball team but also enjoys singing. Efron's character is torn between being the jock or doing what he loves to do.

It was on the set of "High School Musical" where Efron would find fame and his first love. Efron began dating co-star Vanessa Hudgens when starring in the Disney Movie.

At the Teen Choice Awards in 2006, Efron won A Teen Choice Award for Breakout Star and Choice Chemistry Categories with his then girlfriend Vanessa Hudgens.

"High School Musical" would go on to be a big hit for both Disney and Efron. "High School Musical" broke cable records and led to two more "High School Musical" movies starring Efron and Hudgens. Not only did Efron find acting success but he also broke into the music world. Since "High School Musical" was a musical many of the songs from the movie became very popular and charted on the Billboard Hot 100 charts. "Breaking Free" a song Efron sang with Hudgens peaked a number four on the charts.

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More Success

Trying to break out of the teeny bopper mold of his "High School Musical" character, Efron began taking on a variety of roles. His first movie role stayed very close to his Troy Bolton persona from "High School Musical" and found Efron both singing and acting once more. Efron was cast as Link Larkin in the musical movie "Hairspray" in 2007. However, it was after this role that Efron decided that he would no longer pigeon hole himself into "musical acting" roles only.

Efron began diversifying his roles by starring in movies such as "Charlie St. Cloud", "Me and Orson Welles" and "17 Again." Efron proved in these three movie roles that he was a dramatic actor as well as a comedic actor. Audiences no longer saw him as only a musical theater star.

After proving he had a wide acting range Zac Efron was cast in movies such as "New Year's Eve", "The Lucky One", and "The Paperboy." Efron was working beside actors and actresses such as Nicole Kidman, Dennis Quaid, Michelle Pfeiffer, and John Cusack.

Watch 7 Things You Didn't Know About Zac Efron

Watch Zac Efron and Seth Rogen on Jimmy Fallon

Zac Efron
Zac Efron

More Recently

Efron starred in the romantic comedy "That Awkward Moment" and the raunchy comedy "Neighbors" with Seth Rogen. "That Awkward Moment" did not seem to connect with audiences, and was released with very little fanfare. However, "Neighbors" was a huge hit and grossed over $251 million on a budget of $18 million.

In "Neighbors" Efron plays the part of an obnoxious fraternity brother that moves in next to a family with a young child.

Personal Life

Efron has had some recent trouble with drugs and alcohol. Zac's squeaky clean persona was shattered in 2013 upon his entrance to a rehab facility not once but twice. His first stint in rehab was in March of 2013 as an in patient and his second stint was as an out-patient.

Efron's drug of choice was cocaine and his drug problem became such an issue that it began affecting his work on the movie "Neighbors" with Seth Rogen. Efron missed several days of filming on the movie set of "Neighbors." In addition to becoming addicted to Cocaine it was also speculated and believed that Efron was taking "Molly" a version of ecstasy tablets. Friends of Efron stated that Zac became involved with drugs because of the crowd he was hanging out with, his difficult relationship with his parents, and his failure to create big successes in his movies, like he did in "High School Musical."


On the relationship front, Efron has had a few relationships, his longest being with "High School Musical" co-star Vanessa Hudgens from 2006-2010. It was then rumored that Efron was dating Theresa Palmer when they attended a premier together in 2011. Also, in 2011 he was said to be dating Victoria's Secret Model Candice Swanepoel. This followed with a string of possible hook-ups with Rumer Willis, Emma Roberts, Lily Collins, Imogen Poots, and of course his most recent lip lock being with Michelle Rodriguez.



Zac Efron
Zac Efron

Efron Fast Facts:

  • Zac did not complete all his own singing on the "High School Musical" movies. He had help from Drew Seeley.


  • Had his appendix removed in 2008


  • The first concert he attended was "Wallflowers" concert


  • Has a tattoo of two feathers on his right arm


  • Zac is 5' 9


  • Went bungee jumping in Canada while filing "Charlie St. Cloud"


  • If Efron could swap lives with anyone it would be the Queen of England


  • Zac received a dog tag necklace from Paula Abdul and he considers it a lucky charm


  • His teenage crush was on Tyra Banks. He used to hang pictures of her from Victoria's Secret on his wall.


Watch High School Musical "Breaking Free"

Watch "Bet On It"

Watch "Can I Have This Dance"

Watch "Hairspray"

Watch Zac Efron on MTV Movie Awards

That Awkward Moment Trailer

Zac Efron on working with Robert Deniro

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