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The role ignited his passion for acting, and his continued performances in other local productions earned him a contract with a talent agent.
Soon, Efron was making regular trips to Los Angeles for auditions while attending Arroyo Grande High School.
He followed the film with consistent roles that were geared towards a younger audience, including , opposite Taylor Schilling.
Efron played a soldier stationed in Iraq who believes that a photo he finds of a woman he doesn't know, played by Schilling, is the reason that he's been able to survive.
Offers for acting roles and record deals followed, but Efron declined.
He chose instead to take time off to focus and graduate from high school.
Appearing alongside John Travolta, Michelle Pfeiffer, Christopher Walken and Queen Latifah, Efron once again thrilled fans and helped the film earn nearly 9 million domestically.
He auditioned for—and was subsequently cast in—a small part in a long-running production of .
Actor and singer Zachary David Alexander Efron was born on October 18, 1987, in San Luis Obispo, California.
A bona fide teen idol, double-threat Efron has drawn comparisons to a young Cary Grant for his charm and sex appeal.
Controversy later erupted when sources disclosed that Efron wasn't actually responsible for voicing his (1988) in 2007.
Director Adam Shankman nearly passed on Efron for the role of golden boy Link Larkin—reportedly, Shankman initially felt Efron was "too Disney"—but he later reconsidered.