Efron began acting in the early 2000s with guest roles on several television series including Firefly, ER, and The Guardian.
In 2004, he began appearing as a recurring character in the first season of the WB series Summerland.
For the show’s second season, which aired in 2005, he was promoted to the main cast.
Efron’s career reached a turning point with the teen musical television film High School Musical (2006), which premiered on the Disney Channel in January 2006.
The film, which has been described as a modern adaptation of Romeo and Juliet, saw Efron playing the male lead Troy Bolton, a high school basketball player who feels conflicted when he finds himself interested in participating in the school musical with Gabriella Montez (Vanessa Hudgens), a girl from the scholastic decathlon team.
The film, which also starred Ashley Tisdale, Lucas Grabeel, Corbin Bleu, and Monique Coleman in pivotal roles, became a major success and helped Efron gain recognition among teenage audiences.
The film’s soundtrack was certified quadruple platinum by the RIAA, making it one of the best-selling albums of the year in the United States.
He began acting professionally in the early 2000s, and rose to prominence in the late 2000s for his leading role in the High School Musical franchise (2006–08).
During this time, he also starred in the musical film Hairspray (2007) and the comedy film 17 Again (2009).
He has since appeared in successful films like New Year's Eve (2011), The Lucky One (2012), Neighbors (2014), Dirty Grandpa (2016), and Neighbors 2: Sorority Rising (2016).
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.
Barbershop 3 (2016), Ballers (2015, TV Show), Lily of the Feast (2015), Sabotage (2014), Red Sky (2014), Alex of Venice (2014), Gangster Squad (2013), King John (2013), Elementary (2012, TV Show), The Good Doctor (2011), Boss (2011, TV Show), Unforgettable (2011, TV Show), The Playboy Club (2011, TV Show), California Romanza (2011, Short Film), Hawaii Five-0 (2010, TV Show), Intrinsic (2010, Short Film), Hey Vendor! (2002, Short Film), Bandits (2001), Perfume (2001), Steal This Movie (2000), Solomon Bernstein’s Bathroom (2000, Short Film), Rude Awakening (1998, TV Show), Conspiracy Theory (1997), The Cherokee Kid (1996, TV Movie), On Golden Pond (1981), Do Not Disturb (-), AFI Life Achievement Award: A Tribute to Jane Fonda (2014), Oprah’s Next Chapter (2012, TV Show), 2006 Independent Spirit Awards (2006, TV Movie), Sir!
(2010, Short Film), A Day in the Life (2009), My One and Only (2009), Mercy (2009), A Marriage (2009, TV Movie), Lake City (2008), Fragments (2008), Eichmann (2007), Sunshine (2007), After the Sunset (2004), Barbershop 2: Back in Business (2004), House M. (2004, TV Show), Milwaukee, Minnesota (2003), Soldier’s Girl (2003, TV Movie), Barbershop (2002), Lather.
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