Vanessa Hudgens is an American actress and singer who rose to fame as Gabriella Montez, the bright, popular and talented girl next door and love interest of Troy Bolton (played by Zac Efron) in the successful “High School Musical” trilogy. Born on December 14, 1988, in Salinas, California, the beauty’s exotic genetic pool was formed through a unique mixture of Irish, Native American, Filipino, Chinese and Spanish blood, the first two coming from her father’s side while the latter ones from her mother’s.
Vanessa Hudgens’ inclination towards performance arts has been evident from her early childhood, when she took vocal, dance and piano lessons. Her grandparents were also musicians, which may have fostered her early affinity for acting and musical theater. During her adolescence, she appeared in various musical productions such as “The Wizard of Oz”, “The King and I” and “Cinderella” to name a few.
Successfully being cast in a TV commercial required Vanessa Hudgens and her family had to fly to Los Angeles. She received her first acting stint in “Still Standing” at the age of 13 and later on made her film debut in “Thirteen”, a coming of age film co-starring Evan Rachel Wood. This succession of passed auditions was a sign of a promising career.
In the same year, she debuted with her first studio album entitled “V”, a 12-track album consisting of pop, R&B and dance pop singles. The success of her first album paved way for another album release in 2008, entitled “Identified” which received positive reviews from music critics as well.
Later on, Vanessa Hudgens was cast in more mature films which proved her acting skills to be one that can handle more complex and daring roles. In 2012, she was cast in “Spring Breakers” as Candy, a hard partying and liberated teenager. In 2013, she appeared in “The Frozen Ground” and “Gimme Shelter”, where she respectively played a surviving victim of torture and sexual assault and an impregnated teenager who leaves home in search of her father.