Vanessa Anne Hudgens (born December 14, 1988) is an American actress and singer.
After making her feature film debut in Thirteen (2003), Hudgens rose to prominence portraying Gabriella Montez in the High School Musical film series, which brought her significant mainstream success.
The success of the first film led to Hudgens's acquiring a recording contract with Hollywood Records, with whom she released two studio albums, V (2006) and Identified (2008).
In addition to High School Musical, Hudgens has also appeared in various films and television series for the Disney Channel.
Since the release of her studio albums and the High School Musical franchise, Hudgens has focused on her acting career.
She has appeared in the films Bandslam (2009), Beastly (2011), Sucker Punch (2011), Journey 2: The Mysterious Island (2012), Spring Breakers (2013), and Machete Kills (2013).
She has also played the title role in the Broadway musical Gigi in 2015, and the role of Rizzo in Grease: Live in 2016.
Hudgens was born in Salinas, California, and lived with her parents along the West Coast, from Oregon to Southern California.
Starting at the age of eight, Hudgens performed in musical theater as a singer, and appeared in local productions of Carousel, The Wizard of Oz, The King and I, The Music Man, and Cinderella, among others.
Two years after her career in stage plays and musicals, she started auditioning for commercials and television shows, and her family moved to Los Angeles after she won a role in a television commercial.
Following her appearance on the series, she guest starred in an episode of the series Robbery Homicide Division, airing on CBS in 2002.
2003 saw Hudgens making her theatrical debut in the 2003 drama film Thirteen, in which she had the supporting role of Noel.
The film, which revolved around teenager Tracy trying to fit in and getting caught up in the wrong crowd, was somewhat of a commercial success, grossing million worldwide.