Born in San Luis Obispo, California, and raised nearby in Arroyo Grande, Zac Efron took his first step toward acting at the age of 11 when his parents took note of his singing ability. Singing lessons soon led to an appearance in the production of "Gypsy" that ran 90 performances and he was hooked. After appearing on-stage in "Peter Pan," "Auntie Mame", "Little Shop of Horrors" and "The Music Man", guest parts quickly followed on television series, including "Firefly" (2002), "ER" (1994), and "The Guardian" (2001). After guest-starring in several episodes of "Summerland" (2004)_ , he joined the regular cast as girl-crazy Cameron Bale. Efron also starred in several pilots such as "The Big, Wide World of Carl Laemke" and "Triple Play." He also recently starred as an autistic child in the television movie Miracle Run (2004) (TV), alongside Mary-Louise Parker and Aidan Quinn.
A junior in high school, Efron's favorite sports include golf, skiing, rock climbing, and snowboarding. He recently added surfing after spending days on the beach for "Summerland." He plays the piano at home, and is currently teaching himself to play the guitar. He's also currently fixing up two cars in his spare time, a Delorean and '65 Mustang convertible, both treasured hand-me-downs from his even-more-treasured grandfather. Efron lives at home with his parents and his younger brother Dylan. They have two highly affectionate Australian Shepherds, Dreamer and Puppy, and a very independent Siamese cat named Simon.
In 2002, Efron began to have guest roles on television series, including Firefly, ER, and The Guardian.
Efron is best known for portraying Cameron Bale on the now-cancelled WB series Summerland. Originally introduced as a guest star, Efron became a regular cast member on the show in the second season in 2004. Since appearing in Summerland, he has also had guest roles on the shows CSI: Miami, NCIS: Naval Criminal Investigative Service, and The Suite Life of Zack and Cody. In 2005, Zac was a main character in Hope Partlow's music video for "Sick Inside"
In 2003, Zac starred in the Lifetime original TV movie Miracle Run. He played Steven Morgan, one of two autistic twins. Overcoming incredible odds, with his mother's support, he achieved the unimaginable, winning a cross country competition. For his performance, he was nominated for a Young Artist Award for Best Performance in a TV Movie, Miniseries or Special - Supporting Young Actor.
In 2006, At age 18, Efron starred in the Disney Channel original movie High School Musical as Troy Bolton alongside actresses Vanessa Anne Hudgens and Ashley Tisdale and actor Lucas Grabeel. This role helped Efron gain recognition among teenage audiences as both an actor and a successful singer. Combined with his simultaneous appearances on The Suite Life of Zack and Cody and NCIS, Efron placed as high as #4 on the IMDBPro's STARMeter for the week of January 29, 2006.
Efron became the first artist to debut with two charted songs in the same week on the February 4, 2006 Billboard Hot 100, with the songs, Get'cha Head In the Game (feat. Basketball team) and Breaking Free, a duet with Vanessa Anne Hudgens, from High School Musical. On the following week, Efron had five simultaneous song credits, all from High School Musical, including, once more, Get'cha Head in the Game, and three duets with Vanessa Anne Hudgens, Breaking Free (which made the fastest climb in the history of the Billboard charts, from #86 to #4 between the two weeks), Start of Something New and What I've Been Looking For: Reprise, as well as We're all in this Together, which was credited to the High School Musical cast. Zac is also in the first ever Disney Channel Games as captain of the Red Team. On his team are Kay Panabaker, Anneliese van der Pol, Moises Arias, Dylan Sprouse, and Shin Koyamada.
In June of 2006, Efron was cast as Link Larkin in the upcoming film version of Hairspray, also starring Amanda Bynes, Queen Latifah and John Travolta. Efron will perform all of his own vocals in the film. Filming will take place in Toronto, Ontario, Canada from September 5 to December 8, 2006.