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Zachary David Alexander Efron was born on October 18, 1987, in San Luis Obispo, California. He is the son of Starla Baskett, a former secretary, and David Efron, an electrical engineer. He 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" and he was hooked.Efron first garnered attention as as the star of the original High School Musical (2006) (TV), for which he won the Teen Choice Award for Breakout Star. He returned to the role of Troy Bolton in High School Musical 2 (2007) (TV), which broke cable TV records with 17.5 million viewers. His additional television credits include a role on the WB series "Summerland" (2004) and guest-starring roles on such shows as "ER" (1994), "The Guardian" (2001), "CSI: Miami" (2002) and "NCIS" (2003).He starred in the title roles of the fantasy romance Charlie St. Cloud (2010) and the comedy 17 Again (2009), both from director Burr Steers, and as the lovable Link Larkin in 2007's smash hit musical Hairspray (2007), directed by Adam Shankman. As part of the all-star cast he shared a Critics Choice Award for Best Acting Ensemble, the 2007 Hollywood Film Festival Award for Ensemble of the Year, and was honored with a Screen Actors Guild Award® nomination for Outstanding Motion Picture Cast. In addition, he won an MTV Movie Award for Breakthrough Performance.Efron also starred in Richard Linklater's Me and Orson Welles (2008), an adaptation of the novel by Robert Kaplow, which premiered to rave reviews at the 2008 Toronto Film Festival. That same year, he starred in Kenny Ortega's High School Musical 3: Senior Year (2008), which set a box office record for the highest grossing opening weekend for a musical.In 2012, Efron took the lead in The Lucky One (2012), a film adaptation of the Nicholas Sparks novel, playing a marine who returns to North Carolina after serving in Iraq in search for the unknown woman he believes was his good luck charm during the war. He also lent his voice to the animated feature Dr. Seuss' The Lorax (2012). He will next be seen in Lee Daniels' thriller The Paperboy (2012), alongside Nicole Kidman, John Cusack, Matthew McConaughey and Scott Glenn, as well as Josh Radnor's Liberal Arts (2012) which premiered to rave reviews at the Sundance Film Festival.