- Zachary David Alexander "Zac" Efron
October 18, 1987 (age 34)
- Actor, Singer
- Starla Baskett, David Efron
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 as a teen idol after his lead roles in the Disney Channel Original Movie High School Musical, the WB series Summerland, and the 2007 film version of the Broadway musical Hairspray. Efron has since starred in the films 17 Again, Me and Orson Welles, Charlie St. Cloud, New Year's Eve, The Lucky One, That Awkward Moment, Neighbors, and The Lorax.
Early life and education
Efron was born in San Luis Obispo, California, and later moved to Arroyo Grande, California. His father, David Efron, is an electrical engineer at a power station, and his mother, Starla Baskett, is a secretary who worked at the same power plant. Efron has a brother, Dylan, and had, as he has described it, a "normal childhood" in a middle-class family. He is an agnostic, having never been religious. His surname, "Efron" (אפרון), is an Ashkenazi Jewish surname, taken from a Biblical place name (his paternal grandfather was Jewish, and Zac has described himself as Jewish).
Efron has said that he would "flip out" if he got a "B" and not an "A" in school, as well as that he was a class clown. His father encouraged him to begin acting when Zac was eleven years old. Efron subsequently appeared in theater productions at his high school, worked in the theater The Great American Melodrama and Vaudeville, and began taking singing lessons. He performed in shows such as Gypsy; Peter Pan; or, The Boy Who Wouldn't Grow Up; Little Shop of Horrors; and The Music Man. He was recommended to an agent in Los Angeles by his drama teacher, Robyn Metchik (the mother of actors Aaron Michael Metchik and Asher Metchik). Efron 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 has deferred his enrollment to work on film projects. He 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, 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, a 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, on February 4, 2006, Efron debuted with two simultaneous charted songs on Billboard Hot 100 from the film: "Get'cha Head in the Game" and "Breaking Free", a duet with Hudgens. 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.
Efron was on the Forbes Celebrity 100 list in 2008 as number 92, with estimated earnings of $5.8 million from June 2007 to June 2008. In April 2009, his personal wealth equaled about $10 million. In May 2015, Efron's net worth was $18 million.
People magazine said in 2007 that Efron and Vanessa Hudgens began dating in 2005 during the filming of High School Musical, although Us magazine said, after the two broke up in December 2010, that they "met in 2005 while making the first High School Musical flick, and became a romantic item about two years later."
Efron sought treatment in early 2013 after struggling with alcoholism and substance abuse. He has been sober since June 2013.