The High School Musical fame, Vanessa Hudgens is an American film actress, who earned awards and nominations at the Teen Choice Awards, Kids` Choice Awards, Young Artiste Awards and MTV Movie Awards for her performance in the series. Her notable movies include Bandslam
, Journey 2: The Mysterious Island
, and Spring Breakers
. She is also an established singer with her popular albums being V and Identified.
Vanessa Anne Hudgens was born on December 14, 1988 to Gina, and Gregory Hudgens, a firefighter by profession. She, along with her younger sister Stella, who is an actress too, was raised in Salinas, California. She is of Irish, Native American and Filipino descent. Her family moved from the West Coast to Los Angeles, where she attended the Orange County High School of Arts for a short while, and then moved on to pursue a career in showbiz, after she landed a role in a television commercial. Personal life
She dated her High School Musical co-star Zac Efron
from 2005-2010. The relationship was much publicized during the release of the trilogy. From 2011 onwards she has been in a relationship with Austin Butler
Hudgens has an extensive theatre career during which she has appeared in plays like Dr. Seuss' How the Grinch Stole Christmas! The Musical, Cinderella, A Christmas Carol, The Little Mermaid, Rent, and Gigi, to name a few popular ones. Movie career
Hudgens made her film debut with Thirteen
(2003), essaying a supporting role in the teenage drama, which grossed $10 million worldwide. The following year she played the role of Tin-Tin in the science-fiction adventure film Thunderbirds
, based on the television show Thunderbirds. In 2008, Hudgens reprised her role of Gabriella Montez in High School Musical 3: Senior Year
, the third film of the High School Musical franchise, with the first two parts being television films. It was a resounding success, and replaced Mamma Mia!
to gain the record of the biggest opening by a musical, earning $42 million in its first weekend. The film surpassed Disney`s expectations by earning $252 million worldwide. In 2011, Hudgens starred in Beastly
in a supporting role and later was cast as one of the five female leads in the action film Sucker Punch
. Both films were panned by critics. However, the latter was noted for its visual effects.
2012 saw her play Josh Hutcherson
`s love interest in Journey 2: The Mysterious Island
, the sequel to Journey to the Centre of the Earth
(2008). The film, which also starred Dwayne Johnson
, was commercially more successful than the original, although it didn`t receive good reviews from critics. Subsequently, she starred as part of an ensemble cast including Selena Gomez
, James Franco
, Ashley Benson
and Rachel Korine
in the crime action drama film, Spring Breakers
(2013). It deals with the themes of sex, drugs and violence, with a plot that revolves around the escapades of four college girls who raid a fast food joint to finance their spring break. The film received positive reviews and earned Franco multiple awards and nominations for his portrayal of the gangster Alien, while Hudgens received a nomination in the Best Kiss category at the MTV Movie Awards.
Hudgens acted in The Frozen Ground
(2013), based on the life of a serial killer Robert Hanson, who killed nearly 17 women around Alaska. She played the role of Cindy Paulson, the only victim who escaped. John Cusack
played Hanson while Nicolas Cage
, the detective. The actress was seen in two other films in the year - Machete Kills
that received mixed to negative reviews, and Gimme Shelter
, which was liked by audiences but wasn`t favored by critics. In 2015, she also appeared in the comedy horror Freaks of Nature
, directed by Robbie Pickering
, co-starring Nicholas Braun
, and Mackenzie Davis
. The movie did not receive good reviews from critics, stating that it was possible to watch the film only by fast forwarding a lot of scenes. In 2020, she appeared in the third entry in the Bad Boys franchise, Bad Boys for Life
. As a singer
Hudgens sang various songs for the High School Musical franchise. The duet "Breaking Free", with Zac Efron
, was ranked number four on the Billboard Hot 100. TV Career
Hudgens made her television debut with Still Standing, in which she appeared in one episode as Tiffany. She then guest starred on Robbery Homicide Division in 2002, again for a single episode. She also appeared in a few more serials like The Brothers Garcia, Quintuplets, and Drake & Josh. In 2006, Hudgens got her big break in television when she landed the role of Gabriella Montez, in the Disney Channel Original Movie High School Musical. It was a success, both critically and commercially. The plot revolves around the blossoming romance between Montez and the captain of the basketball team. The film also starred Zac Efron
and Ashley Tisdale
. It was the second most watched film on Disney in 2006 in the US and UK with a viewership of 7.7 million in its premiere broadcast in the US and 1.2 million in its opening week in the UK. It was the first Disney Channel Original Movie to be broadcast on the BBC.
After appearing for four episodes in The Suite Life of Zack & Cody, she returned to play the role of Gabriella in High School Musical 2 in 2007, which opened to a viewership of 17.2 million, making it the highest-rated Disney Channel Movie of all time. It was the second television film of the High School Musical series, in which Hudgens once again co-starred with Zac Efron
and Ashley Tisdale
. The plot had the characters going on a summer vacation. The film won the "So Hot Right Now" award at the Nickelodeon Australian Kids' Choice Awards 2007. The actress then appeared in Robot Chicken for one episode, and as herself in Punk'd. In 2016, Hudgens played the role of Rizzo, on FOXs` live broadcast of the Broadway musical Grease. She also is a regular in the TV series Powerless in the lead role as Emily Locke.