| Zac Efron:
Zachary David Alexander Efron (born October 18, 1987) is an American actor. He began acting 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 film version of the Broadway musical Hairspray. Speaking to Newsweek in June 2006, director Adam Shankman described Efron as "arguably the biggest teen star in America right now."
Efron was born in San Luis Obispo, California and later moved to Arroyo Grande. His father, David Efron, is an electrical engineer, and his mother, Starla Baskett, is a former secretary who worked at the same power plant as Efron's father. He has a younger brother, Dylan. Efron is Jewish, although non-practicing. He has said that he would "flip out" if he got a 'B' and not an 'A' in school, and that he was a class clown. Efron's father encouraged him to begin acting; he subsequently appeared in theater productions at his high school, and starting at the age of eleven, began taking singing lessons and performed in plays such as Gypsy, Peter Pan, Little Shop of Horrors, The Music Man and Mame. A drama teacher of Efron's recommended him to her agent in Los Angeles.
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 and Lori Loughlin. Since appearing in Summerland, he has 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, 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".
In 2006, Efron starred in the Disney Channel original movie High School Musical as Troy Bolton, alongside actresses Vanessa Anne Hudgens, Ashley Tisdale and Monique Coleman (who, like Efron, have all appeared on the series The Suite Life of Zack and Cody), as well as actors Lucas Grabeel and Corbin Bleu. The role helped Efron gain recognition among teenage audiences as both an actor and a singer. 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 Hudgens. The film's cast, along with Efron, toured Sydney, Australia, London, England, and other locations to promote the film, although Efron did not participate in the High School Musical Concert that toured the U.S. and Canada throughout the fall and winter 2006.
Shortly after High School Musical aired, Efron debuted with two simultaneous charted songs on February 4, 2006, Billboard Hot 100, with "Get'cha Head in the Game" and "Breaking Free", a duet with Vanessa Anne Hudgens from High School Musical. On the following week's chart, Efron had five simultaneous song credits, all from High School Musical, including, once more, "Get'cha Head in the Game", "Start of Something New", "What I've Been Looking For: Reprise", "We're All in This Together" (which was credited to the whole High School Musical cast) and "Breaking Free". "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 has since been beaten by Eminem and Akon's "Smack That". 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 Andrew Seeley's voice was blended with his on the soundtrack of High School Musical. Efron will perform all of his own singing in High School Musical 2 and Hairspray
On April 7, 2007, Efron appeared in an episode of Punk'd with High School Musical co-star Ashley Tisdale. He was set up by two guys pretending to steal a box at a local store (they were really taking it to the "manager's" house) and finding out that the "security guard" (who left the store at the time to eat a hot dog) never saw the whole thing. The "manager" questions both stars, but does not believe Efron when he describes what happened. Around the same time, Efron also starred in the music video for Vanessa Hudgens's single 'Say OK', where he played her love interest. (It has been confirmed that they are a couple) The video aired on 16 March 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", along with pop singer/actress Hilary Duff, actress Hayden Panettiere and R&B singer Chris Brown. In it, he related how he was always the shortest kid in school (and is now 5ft 6in) and that he got teased for the "huge gap" in his teeth. He also states his belief that "older women appreciate my eyes."
In 2006, Efron was cast as Link Larkin in a film version of Hairspray, also starring Amanda Bynes, Queen Latifah and John Travolta and scheduled for release 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 lbs. for the role.
Efron's upcoming roles also include the made-for-television High School Musical 2, which completed filming on in April of 2007 and is scheduled to air on Disney Channel on August 17, 2007. Furthermore, Efron has been cast in Seventeen, a high school-set drama/comedy produced by Adam Shankman and based on a pitch by Jason Filardi; the plot involves an adult who is transformed into a 17-year old (to be played by Efron). Another film in the High School Musical series, Haunted High School Musical, is scheduled to be produced for a 2008 theatrical release, although as of June 2007, Efron is unsure if he will appear in it.