Entertainment
Celebrity Then And Now
Publication: Albany Daily News. Posted by Lexi Schwartz
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Entertainment
Celebrity Then And Now
Publication: Albany Daily News.
Posted by Lexi Schwartz
social
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Zac Efron

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Famous For:
High School Musical, Neighbors, Dirty Grandpa
Networth:
$24 Million
Currently Known For:
Actor and Singer
Famous Years:
2000s - Present
Birthdate:
October 18, 1987
Zac Efron


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  famous for:
High School Musical, Neighbors, Dirty Grandpa

  networth:
$24 Million

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“I’m very competitive by nature. And I like being the underdog—it’s the best way to win. To come from behind and win is a great feeling!” Zac Efron got his start as an actor and singer in the early 2000s and skyrocketed to fame in 2006 when he landed the leading role in High School Musical. Reprising his role in several sequels, Efron successfully broke free of his teen idol status and proved his talents as an adult actor with credits in Neighbors (2014), Dirty Grandpa (2016), Baywatch (2017), and The Greatest Showman (2017). So, what’s next for the 31-year-old star?

1980s to Stardom

Zachary David Alexander Efron was born on October 18, 1987, in San Luis Obispo, California where his father works as an electrical engineer and his mother as a secretary. Raised alongside his brother, Efron enjoyed a normal childhood with his parents encouraging him to explore his interests in performing. He got his start taking singing lessons and then ventured into local theater with appearances in productions of Peter Pan, or The Boy Who Wouldn’t Grow Up, Little Shop of Horrors, and The Music Man.

Efron’s drama teacher got him in contact with a talent agent in Los Angeles and, within weeks, he signed on with the Creative Artists Agency. During this time, he landed several guest roles on popular television series like Firefly (2002) and ER (2003). He snagged a recurring role on the WB series Summerland (2004-2005) and was promoted to the main cast for the show’s second season. He also appeared in television films Triple Play (2004) and Miracle Run (2004), the latter of which earned him a Young Artist Award nomination.

Things drastically improved for Efron in 2006 when he was cast as Troy Bolton in the teen musical television film High School Musical (2006) on the Disney Channel. The film was dubbed a modern spinoff of Romeo and Juliet and featured young stars Vanessa Hudgens and Ashley Tisdale, both of whom became overnight sensations alongside Efron. The film’s soundtrack became one of the best-selling albums of the year and paved the way for Efron’s future in Hollywood as he landed his next starring role in the 2007 musical comedy film Hairspray and then reprised his role as Bolton in High School Musical 2 (2007) and High School Musical 3: Senior Year (2008).

“When you have success young, and you accept the good things, you have to accept all of it. You have to accept the moments of glory but also a great responsibility,” Efron said of his overnight fame. “And that responsibility, to some degree, involves being a role model. At the same time, I’m a human being, and I’ve made a lot of mistakes. I’ve learned from each one.”

Efron juggled his overnight fame alongside his girlfriend at the time, his High School Musical costar Vanessa Hudgens. As tabloids reported on their relationship, Efron pushed his career forward with roles in 17 Again (2009), Charlie St. Cloud (2010), and New Year’s Eve (2011). He also launched his production company, Ninjas Runnin’ Wild, under Warner Bros. However, despite his growing success, Efron struggled to manage his fame and turned to alcohol and drugs to cope. “I was drinking a lot, way too much,” he said. “It’s never one specific thing. I mean, you’re in your 20s, single, going through life in Hollywood, you know? Everything is thrown at you. I wouldn’t take anything back; I needed to learn everything I did. But it was an interesting journey, to say the least.”

Sobriety and Life Today

After wrapping up filming for The Lorax (2012) and The Lucky One (2012), Efron confronted his alcoholism and substance abuse. He focused on his sobriety in 2013 and saw his commitment pay off when Seth Rogen reached out to him for Neighbors (2014). “He passed me, and I just stopped and was compelled to say something,” Efron said of meeting Rogen for the first time in the early 2000s. “I blurted out, ‘Hey, Seth, my name’s Zac. I’m an actor, and I just wanted to tell you that I really love your work. And thank you for everything you’ve done.’ Rogen looked up in shock and he goes, ‘Are you serious?’ And I was like, ‘Yes, I’m 100 percent serious.’ And he goes, ‘Aw, man. I just wanted to hate you.’ And I’m like, ‘Seth, I get it. I don’t even like myself at this point.’”

Rogen pitched Neighbors to Efron without a script but that didn’t matter as the young actor jumped on board. “One thing he was vocal about, which was very smart, was making a movie that wasn’t just critical of fraternity life,” Rogen said of Efron. “Most of us are nerdy comedy-writer guys and he’s not, so it was very helpful to have the voice of the other group. It was a defining moment for the movie.”

Neighbors was a hit for Efron who went on to star in We Are Your Friends (2015) and Dirty Grandpa (2016). He joined Rogen for Neighbors 2: Sorority Rising (2016) and followed up with Baywatch (2017), The Disaster Artist (2017), and The Greatest Showman (2017). He took a brief hiatus from the spotlight in 2018 and returned bigger than ever in 2019 when he shocked fans with his portrayal of Ted Bundy in Extremely Wicked, Shockingly Evil and Vile (2019).

“The very last thing that I wanted—the last thing I was attempting to do with my career, is to hit a home run in a dramatic biopic of one of the most gruesome serial killers anywhere,” Efron admitted. “When director Joe Berlinger told me his perspective, we immediately clicked because we realized another value: that this is a subversive, challenging role to play. I’m always looking to up the ante. As long as it wasn’t a glorification but a look inside the psyche, that’s insanely interesting.”

Since wrapping up his performance as Bundy, Efron has been more selective with his projects. He will join his brother in the survival reality series, Kill the Efrons, where they will travel to remote parts of the world. The series will premiere on Quibi in April 2020. Efron will also voice Fred Jones in the 2020 animated film, Scooby-Doo. Beyond that, the 31-year-old is taking things slowly after an incredibly busy start in Hollywood over a decade ago!

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