The Evolution of Zac Efron: From 'High School Musical' to 'Greatest Showman' Stud (Photos)
Zachary David Alexander Efron was born on October 18, 1987 in San Luis Obispo, California, to humble beginnings: His father and mother both worked at the same power plant.
Efron caught the acting bug early, appearing in plays and taking singing lessons at age 11. Here he's sporting some sick frosted tips.
Here's a photo of a young Zac Efron channeling his inner Justin Guarini.
Efron's baby blues, boyish looks and acting-singing chops caught the attention of Hollywood casting agents.
In his early teens, Efron started landing major guest TV roles on shows such as "ER" and "Firefly" then series regular role on The WB's "Summerland."
Efron got his big break with the role of Troy Bolton, the popular basketball team captain on Disney Channel's "High School Musical." The role cemented his status as a bona fide teen idol and led to two hit sequels on the Disney Channel.
Here's Zac with his "High School Musical" castmates during their Disney heyday. Whatever happened to Corbin Bleu, anyway?
"HSM" paved the way for more song-and-dance roles, including 2007's remake of "Hairspray." But fearing the dreaded typecasting, Efron backed out of the lead role in a "Footloose" remake.
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Efron's Rolling Stone cover sparked a frenzy in 2007, and signaled his arrival as a chiseled leading man.
Determined to shed his squeaky clean image in three "HSM" TV movies, Efron began taking more serious younger leading-man roles, including 2010's mystical romantic drama "Charlie St. Cloud."
In 2012's Nicholas Sparks adaptation "The Lucky One," he played a former soldier suffering from PTSD who woos a pre-"Orange Is the New Black" Taylor Schilling.
In Lee Daniels' "The Paperboy," Efron had a memorable scene in which his character is stung by a jellyfish and Nicole Kidman pees on his face to relieve the sting.
In January 2014, Efron opened up about his battle with substance abuse in an interview with Savanna Guthrie of "Today" following a stint in rehab. "I'm in the best place I've ever been in. I've never been this happy before."
Efron posted this picture of himself at Macchu Picchu in September 2013.
A sketchy incident on March 27, 2014 raised eyebrows over Efron's sobriety. Efron got punched in the face during an altercation with a homeless man in downtown L.A.'s Skid Row.
In Janary 2014, Efron starred in "bromantic" comedy "That Awkward Moment," a departure from his usual dramatic fare.
At the MTV Movie Awards in April 2014, singer Rita Ora ambushed Efron (while he accepted the award for "Best Shirtless Performance," naturally) and ripped off Efron's shirt.
In the 2014 hit raunchy comedy "Neighbors," Efron played the leader of a fraternity that goes to war with a married couple played by Seth Rogen and Rose Byrne.
2015's "We Are Your Friends" debuted with one of the worst opening weekends of all time, but would eventually earn over $10 million worldwide on a $2 million budget.
In January 2016, Efron starred with screen legend Robert De Niro for the R-rated comedy "Dirty Grandpa," continuing his comedy kick.
In 2016's "Mike and Dave Need Wedding Dates," Efron and Adam Devine played rowdy brothers who get their comeuppance when the meet even rowdier pals (Anna Kendrick and Aubrey Plaza) who fake being prim to score a free trip to the guys' sister's wedding.
Efron teamed up with Dwayne "The Rock" Johnson for "Baywatch," a big-screen adaptation of the worldwide television hit that again puts the young star's buff body on full display.
Efron went acrobatic in 2017's "The Greatest Showman," as a partner of P.T. Barnum who woos a trapeze artist (Zendaya).
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Watch the former Disney star transition from teen dream to chiseled leading man