Born October 1987, California native Zac Efron got his start in show business at the age of 11 when his parents noticed his singing ability. After a stint in the Broadway musical Gypsy, Efron had guest parts on television series like Firefly and ER. In 2006, Efron starred in the Disney Channel Original Movie High School Musical as Troy Bolton, the popular basketball team captain. Shortly after the film was released, Efron debuted with two songs that both appeared on the Billboard Hot 100. The song "Breaking Free" made the fastest climb in the history of Billboard chards from no. 86 to no. 4 over a two week-span. The record has since been beaten by Beyonce's "Beautiful Liar."
HSM also led him to girlfriend costar Vanessa Hudgens. In July 2007, Efron starred in the film adaptation of the hit Broadway musical Hairspray as Link Larkin. Later that same summer, High School Musical 2 was released to much acclaim. Efron's third, and final, appearance as Troy was in High School Musical 3: Senior Year, released in October 2008.
After more than five years of dating, Efron and Hudgens called it quits in December 2010.