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Zachary David Alexander Efron (/ˈɛfrɒn/; born October 18, 1987)[2] is an American actor and singer. He began acting professionally in the early 2000s, and rose to prominence in the late 2000s for his leading role in the High School Musical franchise (2006–2008). During this time, he also starred in the musical film Hairspray (2007) and the comedy film 17 Again (2009). He has since appeared in the films New Year's Eve (2011), The Lucky One (2012), Neighbors (2014), Dirty Grandpa (2016), Neighbors 2: Sorority Rising (2016), Baywatch (2017) and The Greatest Showman (2017).

Zac Efron
Zac Efron on the red carpet of the Baywatch in Miami 02.png
Efron on the red carpet of the Baywatch premiere in Miami, in May 2017
Born Zachary David Alexander Efron
(1987-10-18) October 18, 1987 (age 30)
San Luis Obispo, California, U.S.
Residence Los Angeles, California, U.S.[1]
Occupation Actor, singer
Years active 2002–present


Early life

Efron was born in San Luis Obispo, California,[3] 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.[4][5] Efron has a brother, Dylan,[2] and had, as he has described, a "normal childhood" in a middle-class family.[6] His surname, "Efron" (אפרון), is an Ashkenazi Jewish surname, taken from a Biblical place name.[7][8] Zac has described himself as Jewish;[9] though he was raised in an agnostic household and did not practice religion as a child.[10]

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.[11] His father encouraged him to begin acting when Zac was eleven years old.[4] Efron subsequently appeared in theater productions at his high school,[12] worked in the theater The Great American Melodrama and Vaudeville,[6] and began taking singing lessons.[4] 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).[13][14] Efron was later signed to the Creative Artists Agency.[15]

Efron graduated from Arroyo Grande High School in 2006[16] 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.[17]


2002–2006: Early career

Efron began acting in the early 2000s with guest roles on several television series including Firefly, ER, and The Guardian. In 2004, he began appearing as a recurring character in the first season of the WB series Summerland. For the show’s second season, which aired in 2005, he was promoted to the main cast. He also appeared in some films, including the Lifetime television film Miracle Run (2004), for which he earned a Young Artist Award nomination for his performance as one of two autistic twins.

2006–2009: High School Musical and breakthrough

Efron’s career reached a turning point with the teen musical television film High School Musical (2006), which premiered on the Disney Channel in January 2006. The film, which has been described as a modern adaptation of Romeo and Juliet, saw Efron playing the male lead Troy Bolton, a high school basketball player who feels conflicted when he finds himself interested in participating in the school musical with Gabriella Montez (Vanessa Hudgens), a girl from the scholastic decathlon team. The film, which also starred Ashley Tisdale, Lucas Grabeel, Corbin Bleu, and Monique Coleman in pivotal roles, became a major success and helped Efron gain recognition among teenage audiences. The film’s soundtrack was certified quadruple platinum by the RIAA,[18] making it one of the best-selling albums of the year in the United States. Efron’s singing talents were disputed when it was revealed that his voice had been blended with Drew Seeley’s on the soundtrack, but Efron clarified that the songs (written for a tenor) were written before he was cast and therefore did not suit his more baritone vocal range. In his subsequent musical films, Efron did his own singing.

Efron was next seen playing the role of Link Larkin in the musical comedy film Hairspray (2007), based on the 2002 Broadway musical of the same name. The film became a major commercial and critical success upon its release in July 2007. Later that year, he was seen reprising his role of Troy Bolton in High School Musical 2 (2007), which aired on the Disney Channel in August 2007.

Efron reprised his role of Troy Bolton in High School Musical 3: Senior Year (2008), the first film in the High School Musical franchise to receive a theatrical release. The film became a major blockbuster at the box office, and received mixed to positive reviews from critics. He followed this with the commercially successful comedy 17 Again (2009) about a 37-year-old man (Matthew Perry) who is transformed into his 17-year-old self (Efron) after a chance accident.

2009–2014: Other work

Efron in 2012

Efron’s next release was Richard Linklater’s period drama Me and Orson Welles, which premiered at the Toronto International Film Festival in September 2008 and received a wide release in late 2009. The film earned mostly positive reviews from critics. He next played the title role in the supernatural romantic drama Charlie St. Cloud (2010), which became a moderate success at the box office despite receiving mostly negative reviews from critics.

Efron next appeared as a part of the large ensemble cast in Garry Marshall’s New Year's Eve (2011), which depicted a series of holiday vignettes of different groups of characters. The film received almost unanimously negative reviews from critics, but became a major success at the box office. He also played a supporting role in the critically successful Liberal Arts (2012), which premiered at the Sundance Film Festival in January 2012 and received a limited release later that year. He also starred alongside Nicole Kidman, Matthew McConaughey, David Oyelowo, and John Cusack in The Paperboy (2012), which premiered at the Cannes Film Festival in May 2012 and received a wider release later that year. The film received mixed to negative reviews from critics.

After lending his voice to the commercially successful computer-animated film The Lorax (2012), he appeared as the male lead in the romantic drama The Lucky One (2012), based on the novel of the same name by Nicholas Sparks. The film became a major box office success despite negative reviews from critics. He also starred in the drama At Any Price, which premiered at the 2012 Venice International Film Festival, and the historical drama Parkland, which premiered at the 2013 Venice International Film Festival. Both of the films received mixed reviews from critics.

Efron’s first release of 2014 was the romantic comedy That Awkward Moment, on which he was also an executive producer. The film, which starred Efron alongside Miles Teller and Michael B. Jordan as three bachelors in New York City, became a moderate commercial success despite receiving mostly negative reviews from critics.

2014–present: Major commercial success

Efron at the 2012 Cannes Film Festival, May 2012

Later in 2014, Efron was seen in the adult comedy Neighbors (2014), co-starring Seth Rogen. The film revolved around a young couple, played by Rogen and Rose Byrne, who struggle to raise their baby daughter while living next to the house of a wild fraternity led by its president, played by Efron. The film became a major commercial success and earned mostly positive reviews from critics, who also added that Efron had successfully shed his “Disney kid” pretty boy image.[19]

Efron’s only release in 2015 was the moderately successful We Are Your Friends (2015), in which he played a struggling DJ. In January 2016, he starred alongside Robert De Niro in the adult comedy Dirty Grandpa, about a straitlaced young man who begrudgingly indulges his grandfather’s unhinged personality by taking him on a vacation to Florida. The film received mostly negative reviews from critics for its crude humor, but became a commercial success upon its release. He subsequently co-starred with Seth Rogen, Rose Byrne, and Chloë Grace Moretz in the comedy sequel Neighbors 2: Sorority Rising, which became a commercial and critical success upon its release in May 2016. The film followed the same couple (Rogen and Byrne) who team up with their former rival (Efron) to take down a hard-partying sorority led by a freshman (Moretz). His third 2016 comedy, released in July, was Mike and Dave Need Wedding Dates, in which he co-starred with Adam DeVine (playing siblings), as well as Anna Kendrick and Aubrey Plaza.

In 2017, Efron starred in Baywatch, an action comedy film version of the television series of the same name, released in May. The film features Dwayne Johnson and Efron with an ensemble cast, including Alexandra Daddario, Kelly Rohrbach, Jon Bass, Ilfenesh Hadera, and Priyanka Chopra. Also in 2017, Efron had a supporting role in two biographical films released in December, The Disaster Artist, a comedy-drama directed by and starring James Franco, and, as Phillip, in the musical The Greatest Showman, opposite Hugh Jackman. Both were nominated for the Golden Globe Award for Best Motion Picture – Musical or Comedy.[20][21]

Upcoming projects

In May 2017, it was announced that Efron will play serial killer Ted Bundy in Extremely Wicked, Shockingly Evil and Vile, opposite Lily Collins as Bundy's girlfriend.[22] In the same year, he was cast in a co-starring role in the Harmony Korine film The Beach Bum.[23]

Personal life

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.[24] In May 2015, Efron's net worth was $18 million.[25]

People magazine said in 2007 that Efron and Vanessa Hudgens began dating in 2005 during the filming of High School Musical,[26][27][28] 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."[29] Efron began a romantic relationship with model and entrepreneur Sami Miró in September 2014. The couple split in April 2016.[30][31]

Efron sought treatment in early 2013 after struggling with alcoholism and substance abuse. He has been sober since June 2013.[1] In November 2013, Efron had to have his jaw wired shut after breaking it in a fall at home.[32] In March 2014, Efron engaged in a fight with a homeless man in Skid Row. Law enforcement officials did not make any arrests because they viewed it as mutual combat.[33]


Year Title Role Notes
2003 Melinda's World Stuart Wasser
Big Wide World of Carl Laemke, TheThe Big Wide World of Carl Laemke Pete Laemke
2004 Miracle Run Steven Morgan
Triple Play Harry Fuller
2005 Derby Stallion, TheThe Derby Stallion Patrick McCardle
2006 If You Lived Here, You'd be Home Now Cody
High School Musical Troy Bolton
2007 Hairspray Link Larkin
High School Musical 2 Troy Bolton
2008 High School Musical 3: Senior Year Troy Bolton
2009 17 Again Mike O'Donnell (teen)
Me and Orson Welles Richard Samuels
2010 Charlie St. Cloud Charlie St. Cloud
2011 New Year's Eve Paul
1 award (1 nomination)
2012 Liberal Arts Nat
Lorax, TheThe Lorax Ted Wiggins (voice)
1 award (1 nomination)
Lucky One, TheThe Lucky One Logan Thibault
Paperboy, TheThe Paperboy Jack Jansen
At Any Price Dean Whipple
2013 Parkland Dr. Charles James "Jim" Carrico
2014 That Awkward Moment Jason Flynn
Neighbors Teddy Sanders
2015 We Are Your Friends Cole Carter
2016 Dirty Grandpa Jason Kelly
Neighbors 2: Sorority Rising Theodore "Teddy" Sanders
Mike and Dave Need Wedding Dates Dave Stangle
2017 The Disaster Artist Dan Janjigian
Baywatch Matt Brody
3 awards (1 winning; 2 nomination)
The Greatest Showman Phillip Carlyle
2018 The Beach Bum Flicker Post-production
Extremely Wicked, Shockingly Evil and Vile Ted Bundy Post-production
Year Title Role Notes
2002 Firefly Young Simon Tam Episode: "Safe"
2003 Guardian, TheThe Guardian Luke Tomello Episode: "Without Consent"
2003 ER Bobby Neville Episode: "Dear Abby"
2004–2005 Summerland Cameron Bale Lead role; 16 episodes
2005 CSI: Miami Seth Dawson Episode: "Sex & Taxes"
2006 NCIS Danny Episode: "Deception"
2006 Suite Life of Zack & Cody, TheThe Suite Life of Zack & Cody Trevor Episode: "Odd Couples"
2006 Heist Pizza Delivery Guy Episode: "Pilot"
2006 The Replacements Davey Hunkerhoff Episode: "Davey Hunkerhoff/Ratted Out"
2008–2014 Robot Chicken Various Voice role
4 episodes
2009 Saturday Night Live Himself 2 episodes
2009 Entourage[35] Himself Episode: "Security Briefs"
2014 Running Wild with Bear Grylls Himself Single episode; Season 1 Episode 1[36]
2016 High School Musical: 10th Anniversary Himself Special, cameo


Soundtrack albums

List of albums, with selected chart positions and certifications
Title Album details Peak chart positions Certifications
High School Musical (soundtrack) 1
Hairspray: Soundtrack to the Motion Picture 2
High School Musical 2 (soundtrack) 1
  • RIAA: 3× Platinum[59]
  • BPI: 2× Platinum[60]
  • ARIA: Platinum[61]
  • BVMI: Platinum[62]
High School Musical 3: Senior Year (soundtrack) 2
4 10
The Greatest Showman: Original Motion Picture Soundtrack
  • Released: December 8, 2017
  • Label: Atlantic Records
  • Format: CD, Digital download

Charted and certified songs

List of songs, with selected chart positions, showing year released and album name
Title Year Peak chart positions Certifications Album
"Ladies Choice" 2007 96
Hairspray: Soundtrack to the Motion Picture
"Can I Have This Dance"
(with Vanessa Hudgens)
2008 81
High School Musical 3: Senior Year (soundtrack)
"The Greatest Show"
(with Hugh Jackman, Keala Settle, Zendaya and The Greatest Showman Ensemble)
2017 88 34 109 [d] 20 The Greatest Showman: Original Motion Picture Soundtrack
"The Other Side"
(with Hugh Jackman)
"Rewrite the Stars"
(with Zendaya)
70 21 115 32
82 90
"—" denotes releases that did not chart or were not released in that territory.

Awards and nominations

Year Award Category Work Result
2008 Teen Choice Awards Choice Other: Red Carpet Fashion Icon – Male Himself Nominated
2010 Nickelodeon Australian Kids' Choice Awards Cutest Couple (shared with Vanessa Hudgens) Won
Bravo Otto Best TV Star – Male Won
2017 Teen Choice Awards Choice Comedy Movie Actor Baywatch Won
2018 Golden Raspberry Awards Worst Actor Nominated


  1. ^ The High School Musical 3: Senior Year soundtrack did not enter the UK Top 40 Albums, but peaked at No. 1 on the UK compilation album chart.
  2. ^ The High School Musical 3: Senior Year soundtrack did not enter the UK Top 40 Albums, but peaked at No. 1 on the UK compilation album chart.
  3. ^ The High School Musical 3: Senior Year soundtrack did not enter the UK Top 40 Albums, but peaked at No. 1 on the UK compilation album chart.[67]
  4. ^ "The Greatest Show" did not enter the NZ Top 40 Singles Chart, but peaked at number 3 on the NZ Heatseeker Singles Chart.[89]


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  19. ^ Andrea Mandell (May 6, 2014). "Zac Efron sends up his image in 'Neighbors'". USA Today. Retrieved January 27, 2015. 
  20. ^ "'The Greatest Showman', starring Hugh Jackman & Zac Efron, begins filming in NYC soon!". On Location Vacations. November 10, 2016. Retrieved November 17, 2016. 
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  22. ^ Gwilym Mumford, [ "Zac Efron to play Ted Bundy in film about American serial killer," The Guardian, May 16, 2017.
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  30. ^ Harrison, Lily (April 25, 2016). "Why Zac Efron Decided to Break Up with Sami Miro After Less Than Two Years of Dating". eonline. Retrieved August 17, 2016. 
  31. ^ Gugliemi, Jodi (May 3, 2016). "Inside Zac Efron's Life Post-Split from Girlfriend Sami Miró". People Magazine. Retrieved August 17, 2016. 
  32. ^ "Zac Efron Broke Jaw on Home Fountain, Lost "10–12 Pounds" Drinking Liquid Foods For Six Weeks". Us Weekly. Retrieved September 7, 2015. 
  33. ^ "Zac Efron on Career Reinvention, Addiction 'Struggle' and That Fight on Skid Row". The Hollywood Reporter. Retrieved September 7, 2015. 
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External links