Vanessa Anne Hudgens (born December 14, 1988) is an American actress and singer. Hudgens rose to prominence playing Gabriella Montez in the High School Musical series. Hudgens has also appeared in various films and television series for the Disney Channel. She had her feature film debut in the 2003 film Thirteen, a teenage drama in which Hudgens had a supporting role. She had mainstream success following the release of the High School Musical trilogy, and her relationship with co-star Zac Efron was heavily publicized. Her appearance in the series helped make her a household name. Songs from the films also charted worldwide, with the song “Breaking Free” peaking inside the Top 10 of the Billboard Hot 100. This led to Hudgens releasing her debut album, V, on September 26, 2006 which entered theBillboard 200 at number 24, and was later certified Gold. Her second album, Identified, was released on July 1, 2008 in the United States.
Since the release of her albums and the High School Musical franchise, Hudgens has focused on her acting career. In 2009, she earned critical acclaim for her role in the film Bandslam. She has also appeared in the film Journey 2: The Mysterious Island alongside Dwayne Johnson and Josh Hutcherson. She later appeared in the filmSpring Breakers (2013), alongside Selena Gomez. Hudgens also appeared in the film Machete Kills, directed by Robert Rodriguez. In 2013 she starring Gimme Shelter with Brendan Fraser, a film written and directed by Ron Krauss. Hudgens also plays Cindy Paulson in The Frozen Ground, a film based on the Robert Hansen case wherein she plays as his only victim who escaped. She co-stars with John Cusack and Nicolas Cage. Hudgens told Flaunt that she is currently recording new music in August 2014. On September, 10, she announced that will return to Broadway to take on the title role in the new production of Alan Jay Lerner andFrederick Loewe’s Gigi, which will play at the Kennedy Center in Washington, D.C., from Jan. 16 to Feb. 12 ahead of a planned 2015 Broadway run.