Zac Efron began acting in the early 2000s, and became known to young audiences after his roles in the Disney Channel Original Movie "High School Musical," the WB series "Summerland" and the film version of the Broadway musical "Hairspray."
Efron had a self-described "normal childhood" in a middle class family, and has a younger brother, Dylan. He has said that he would "flip out" if he got a 'B' and not an 'A' in school, and that he was a "class clown." Efron's father encouraged him to begin acting when Efron was eleven. He subsequently appeared in theater productions at his high school, worked in a theater called the Melodrama, and began taking singing lessons. Efron performed in plays such as "Gypsy," "Peter Pan" and "Little Shop of Horrors."
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 short-lived WB series "Summerland." He went on to star in several films and TV series after the conclusion of "Sumerland" including the TV 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 was cast as a lead in another TV movie and this one would prove to be career changing. "High School Musical" debuted in January 2006 and would become one of the most successful TV movies off all time and spawned two sequels, including "High School Musical 3" which had a theatrical release.
With the conclusion of the franchise Efron moved on to more mature roles including "The Lucky One" opposite "Orange is the New Black's" Taylor Shilling, "The Paperboy" which cast him opposite Matthew McConaughey and Nicole Kidman and the frat comedy "Neighbors" and "Neighbors 2: Sorority Rising."
Efron was accepted to the University of Southern California, but deferred his enrollment to Spring 2007 while he works on film projects. He plans to return at some time.
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