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Zac Efron

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Best known as Troy Bolton, the captain of the basketball team who discovers a passion for singing in the Disney Channel movie High School Musical, Zac Efron has been an actor and singer since childhood. Born October 18, 1987, in San Luis Obispo, CA, Efron was raised in the neighboring city Arroyo Grande and was encouraged to become a performer by his parents. He began taking singing lessons at age 11 and appeared in high school productions of Little Shop of Horrors, Mame, and The Music Man. Efron was referred to an agent in Los Angeles by one of his drama coaches, and scored his first television appearance in 2002 with an appearance on Joss Whedon's sci-fi series Firefly. The following year he had a role on ER and won a Young Artist Award for his portrayal of an autistic twin in the Lifetime TV movie Miracle Run. However, his big break came in 2004, when he won the part of Cameron Bale in the WB teen drama Summerland. Though the show was canceled in 2005, the exposure led to appearing in the video for Hope Partland's "Sick Inside" and being cast in the phenomenon High School Musical. Efron also appeared on another Disney hit, the series The Suite Life of Zack and Cody, in 2006. That year confirmed his status as a teen star: two of his songs from High School Musical, "Get'cha Head in the Game" and "Breaking Free," debuted in the Billboard Hot 100 that February; "Breaking Free" jumped from number 86 to number four in two weeks, making it one of the fastest-climbing songs in Billboard history. That summer, he joined the cast of the film version of the Broadway musical Hairspray (itself an adaptation of John Waters' film) as dreamboat Link Larkin, and won Teen Choice awards for Breakout Star and Choice Chemistry with fellow High School Musical star Vanessa Hudgens. 2007 was another big year for Efron. That spring, he was named one of People magazine's 100 Most Beautiful People, and that summer saw the release of Hairspray in theaters and High School Musical 2 on the Disney Channel. His other projects included the film Seventeen. ~ Heather Phares

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