Zachary David Alexander “Zac” Efron (born October 18, 1987) is an American actor, singer, and dancer. He began acting professionally 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 2007 film version of the Broadway musical Hairspray. In 2007, before the release of High School Musical 2,Rolling Stone declared him the “poster boy for tweenyboppers” and featured him in their late August 2007 issue. Efron has since starred in the films 17 Again, Me and Orson Welles, and Charlie St. Cloud, and is due to star in New Year’s Eve and The Lucky One.
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 former secretary who worked at the same power plant. Efron has a younger brother, Dylan, and had, as he described it, a “normal childhood” in a middle class family. He is an agnostic, having never been religious. His surname, “Efron“, means “lark” in Hebrew(his paternal grandfather was 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 he was 11 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 plays 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.