Vanessa Anne Hudgens is a young actress best known for her appearances on The Disney Channel, including her starring turn in the 2006 TV movie High School Musical. Hudgens grew up in southern California and began her acting career before she was in her teens. She began getting roles on television in 2002, and soon landed roles in the feature films Thirteen (2003) and Thunderbirds (2004, directed by Jonathan Frakes). Already a regular guest on the Disney comedy series The Suite Life of Zack and Cody, she was picked to star opposite Zac Efron in the made-for-TV romance High School Musical (also starring Ashley Tisdale). The movie was a hit and the soundtrack reached the top of Billboard’s charts, leading to a record deal for Hudgens. She also starred in High School Musical sequels in 2007 and 2008.
Hudgens apologized to fans in September of 2007 after revealing photos of her, taken privately, appeared online. The statement said, in part, “I am embarrassed over this situation and regret having ever taken these photos.”