He is Zachary David Alexander Efron, also known as Zac Efron. He 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 (voice only).
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, and has also described himself as having been 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.
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. As of April 5, 2009, his personal wealth equaled about $10 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.
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