Born in John Steinbeck’s hometown of Salinas, California in 1988, Vanessa Anne Hudgens rose to enormous heights of popularity among the tween crowd with her work on the Disney Channel. Her cute looks (she’s Eurasian) and bubbly onscreen energy – not to mention a talented singer and actor – ensured her a clear shot to lasting stardom and won her the affections of Zac Efron, the young California teen crooner.
The duo’s work on Disney’s “High School Musical” became a sensation; the soundtrack to the TV movie sold over four million copies, and Vanessa won the Teen Choice Award for Choice Chemistry with Efron. Its success opened a singing avenue for Vanessa, who recorded and released V in 2006, and snagged the spokesperson gig for Neutrogena in 2007. The 2007 sequel to “High School Musical” premiered on the Disney Channel in August to the largest audience for a basic cable show of all time. Things were going well. Too well. And to quote commentator Stu Nahan from “Rocky IV,” “What started off as a joke has turned out to be a disaster.”
Just a few weeks after the staggering “High School Musical 2” debut, nude camera phone pics of Vanessa intended solely for the eyes of beau Efron surfaced on the Web. Vanessa’s reps confirmed it was her; Hudgens herself issued an apology. A few weeks later, more pics of a posing Vanessa emerged. Disney execs scrambled with how to respond, and in this age of young celeb downfalls, Vanessa’s career seems in jeopardy. How she responds will measure and determine her character – perhaps even shape others. She’s a genuine talent, and if she wants to she can rise above the scandals; and in doing so become a model for her many devoted followers.
Vanessa Hudgens on the Web
Vanessa’s movie database page.
TV Guide: Vanessa Anne Hudgens
Huge resource including a photo gallery and video clips.
Buddy TV: Vanessa Anne Hudgens
Chance to vote a fan rating, and links to other “High School Musical” profiles.
Enormous career-spanning bio of the teen star.
Her official MySpace page.
AceShowBiz.com Picture Gallery
Event appearances of Vanessa – along with links to bio, videos, and trivia.
Miss Vanessa Fan Site
Well-organized fan site with up to date latest news and pics.
Vanessa and Zac Efron Interview
Dual, comprehensive interview with Vanessa and beau Zac Efron!
Junior Celebs Interview
Video interview with Vanessa at the London premiere of “High School Musical 2.”
Vanessa Hudgens on the Screen
Apart from her most popular work as Gabriella Montez in “High School Musical” and its sequel, Vanessa has a small role in the Evan Rachel Wood film “Thirteen.” She’s TinTin in the Bill Paxton sci-fi extravaganza “Thunderbirds” and Corrie for four episodes on the Disney show “The Suite Life of Zack and Cody.”
“High School Musical 2” was Vanessa’s most recent screen appearance. Since then, of course, she’s found herself deep in the nude photos scandal – first with pics meant solely for beau Efron, and now new racy snapshots have fans thinking she’s gone the way of Lindsay Lohan. And for a pop star not yet out of her teenage years, Vanessa will have to pull off a PR miracle to overcome the scandal – perhaps a new solo album or a third “High School Musical” will be her saving grace.
On her visionary musical ambitions:
“I want to put like a new genre together. Kinda soulful and kinda rock, and just different, very eclectic. I definitely want to do my thing.”