As an actress, Hudgens has appeared in several television programs including Quintuplets, Still Standing, The Brothers García, Drake & Josh, and The Suite Life of Zack & Cody. She made her screen debut in the 2003 drama Thirteen as Noel. She got her first starring role in the 2004 science-fiction-adventure Thunderbirds as Tintin.
Hudgens' debut album V was released on September 26, 2006. The album entered the Billboard 200 at number twenty four, and was later certified Gold. Hudgens released her second album, Identified, on July 1, 2008 in the U.S.
Hudgens' fame has also been marked by scandal caused by the release of private, self-taken nude photographs of herself on the Internet without her permission on several occasions. Since a third and anonymous release of these images, the FBI is now investigating these leaked photos in an attempt to find the source in connection with similar investigations regarding such hackings around altogether about 50 Hollywood celebrities.
Hudgens was born in Salinas, California, and lived all over the West Coast — from Oregon to Southern California — with her parents, Gina (née Guangco), who held a succession of office jobs, and Gregory Hudgens, a firefighter. She was raised as a Roman Catholic and has a younger sister, Stella Hudgens, who is also an actress. Hudgens is of mixed cultural background, as her father is of Irish and Native American descent, and her mother, a native of Manila, is of Chinese-Filipino-Spanish descent. All of her grandparents were musicians.
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. Her acting career started at the age of 15, and she briefly attended Orange County High School of the Arts, followed by homeschooling with tutors.
In 2003, Hudgens played a minor role in the independent drama film Thirteen, where she plays Noel, a friend of a lead character (Tracy, played by Evan Rachel Wood). The film was critically successful, receiving generally favorable reviews, and its receipts surpassed its $4 million budget. Hudgens subsequently landed a role in the 2004 science fiction-adventure film Thunderbirds as Tintin. Unfortunately, the film was commercially and critically unsuccessful, and received heavy criticism through the Internet prior to its release.
In late 2005 she landed her breakout role of shy and meek Gabriella Montez in High School Musical, opposite to Zac Efron. Her performance received numerous nominations and awards. With the success of the film, the BBC predicted that Hudgens would be a "household name" in the US.
In 2007, Hudgens reprised her role as Gabriella Montez in the sequel of High School Musical, High School Musical 2. Virginia Heffernan of TV Review described Hudgens in her performance in the movie as "matte" as she "glows like a proper ingénue".
Hudgens reprised her role as Gabriella Montez in High School Musical 3: Senior Year. Her performance in the film made her win favorite movie actress in the 2009 Kids Choice Awards.
Post-High School Musical, Hudgens remarked that she will focus in her acting and films, while "taking a break" from her music career as a solo artist. She played a supporting role in a musical comedy Bandslam, which was released theatrically on August 14, 2009. Hudgens plays "Sa5m", a 15-year-old awkward freshman with untapped talents. Although Bandslam was commercially unsuccessful, Hudgens's performance received praise from critics. David Waddington of the North Wales Pioneer noted that Hudgens "outshines the rest of the cast, failing to fit in with the outcast narrative and making the inevitable climactic ending all the more expected," and Philip French of The Guardian compared her acting to Thandie Newton and Dorothy Parker.
Hudgens performed a musical number with other artists during the 81st Academy Awards. Hudgens later provided voice roles in an episode of Robot Chicken. Hudgens' involvement in Beastly, a film based on Alex Flinn's novel of the same name, was announced in early 2009. She played one of the main characters in the film as Linda Taylor, described by Hudgens as the "beauty" of the story but not the stereotypical beauty everyone thinks of. Along with Beastly co-star, Alex Pettyfer, Hudgens was recognized as ShoWest stars of Tomorrow. Hudgens was later cast in an action film directed by Zack Snyder, Sucker Punch, playing Blondie, an institutionalized girl in an asylum, which was released in March 2011.
After so many years, Hudgens returned to theater productions wherein she starred in the musical Rent as Mimi. The stage production ran from August 6–8, 2010 at the Hollywood Bowl. Her involvement in the production drew negative comments, but director Neil Patrick Harris defended his decision with casting Hudgens by saying, "Vanessa [Hudgens] is awesome. She's a friend. I asked her to come in and sing to make sure she had the chops for it. And she was very committed and seemed great."
In October 2010, it was announced that Hudgens will be joining the sequel to the 2008 film Journey to the Center of the Earth alongside Dwayne Johnson and Josh Hutcherson, playing Hutcherson's love interest. In April 2011, it was reported that she would star in an indie film, Gimme Shelter with Brendan Fraser, written and directed by Ron Krauss. Hudgens will also play Cindy Paulson in The Frozen Ground, a film based on the Robert Hanson case wherein she plays as his only victim who escaped. She co-stars with John Cusack and Nicolas Cage.
Hudgens received a recording contract with Hollywood Records. On September 2006 her debut album entitled V was released. It charted on the Billboard 200 at number twenty-four, and was certified Gold on February 27, 2007. Her first single, "Come Back to Me" became her highest-charting single. Her second single was "Say OK". Billboard readers chose "V" as the seventh best album of the year. Hudgens was named Female Breakout Singer of the year at the 2007 Teen Choice Awards.
Hudgens also participated in the nationwide High School Musical: The Concert tour in fall 2006, performing the songs from the soundtrack album as well as the three songs from her debut album. She sang the duet "Still There For Me" with Corbin Bleu for his debut album.
In December 2007, she sang to George Bush, who was then the president of the U.S., and his family, at The National Building Museum in Washington, D.C. with other singers at a Christmas event.
Her second album, Identified, which received generally favorable reviews, was released on July 1, 2008, debuting at #23 on the Billboard 200. The album's lead single was "Sneakernight", which was a moderate commercial success, peaking at #88 on the Billboard Hot 100 and #94 on the Australian Singles Chart. Hudgens's Identified Summer Tour began on August 1, 2008 and ended on September 9 of the same year.
Her height is . Us Weekly said Hudgens and her High School Musical series co-star Zac Efron "met in 2005 while making the first High School Musical flick, and became a romantic item about two years later." The two were paired together during the audition process and got the part because of their chemistry. The two ended their relationship in December 2010.
In 2006, Hudgens's earnings were estimated to be $2 million. Hudgens was included in Forbes richest list in early 2007, and the Forbes article noted that she was included in Young Hollywood's Top Earning-Stars. On December 12, 2008, Hudgens was ranked #20 in the list of Forbes "High Earners Under 30", having reported to have an estimated earnings of $3 million in 2008. She was number 62 at FHMs Sexiest Women in the World of 2008 and number 42 in the 2009 list. Hudgens is also featured in Maxims lists. She was included in People annual "100 Most Beautiful People" 2008 and 2009 lists.
Hudgens was represented by William Morris Agency but she signed on to Creative Artists Agency in 2011. Hudgens also promotes Neutrogena and was the 2008 featured celebrity for Sears' back-to school campaign. She was a spokesperson for Mark Ecko products. But in late 2009, she ended the 2-year contract with Ecko products. Hudgens regularly volunteers for charitable activities, including those for Best Buddies International, Lollipop Theater Network, St. Jude Children's Research Hospital and the Vh5 Save The Music Foundation. Hudgens is also featured in A Very Special Christmas Vol.7 disc which benefits the Special Olympics. Hudgens is also part of the "Stand Up to Cancer (SU2C): Change The Odds" along with other Hollywood stars including Zac Efron, Dakota Fanning, Kristen Bell, and others.
On September 6, 2007, photos of Hudgens appeared online, one showing her posing in lingerie and another showing her nude. A statement from her publicist claims that the photo was taken privately and it was unfortunate that they were released on the Internet. Hudgens later apologized, saying that she was "embarrassed over the situation" and regretted having "taken [those] photos." Hudgens subsequently released a statement indicating that she declined to comment further on the scandal. OK! magazine speculated that Hudgens would be dropped from High School Musical 3 as a result of the images. The Walt Disney Company denied the reports, saying, "Vanessa has apologized for what was obviously a lapse in judgment. We hope she's learned a valuable lesson."
In August 2009, another set of pictures showing Hudgens topless emerged on the Internet. Hudgens's representatives did not comment, though her lawyers requested the removal of the pictures from the Internet. In late 2009, Hudgens sued "www.moejackson.com" for posting nude 'self-portrait photographs' of her taken on a mobile phone in a private home. Hudgens later commented on the photos' impact on her career in the October issue of Allure with, "Whenever anybody asks me, would I do nudity in a film, if I say that it's something I'm not comfortable with, they're like, 'Bullshit, you've already done it.' If anything, it makes it more embarrassing, because that was a private thing. It's screwed up that someone screwed me over like that. At least some people are learning from my mistake." According to Us Weekly, further pictures were released on the internet March 15, 2011 as well as a nude video. Some of the released images involved another female celebrity, Alexa Nikolas, the 18-year old star of Zoey 101.
Brian Schall sued Hudgens in 2007 for an alleged "breach of contract"; according to the suit, Schall claims he advanced costs and expenses on Hudgens's behalf for her songwriting and recording career. Schall claims Hudgens owed him $150,000 after helping her earn more than $5 million for her music career. Hudgens argues that she was underage to sign her contract in October 2005 as she was just 16 then. She subsequently disaffirmed it on October 9, 2008. Papers filed in court by her lawyer say California's Family Code "provides that the contract of a minor is voidable and may be disaffirmed before (age 18) or within a reasonable time afterward." In 2008, Hudgens was sued by Johnny Vieira, who claims he was owed a share of Hudgens' advances, royalties and merchandising revenue in exchange for his management services. Vieira accuses Hudgens of abandoning her talent team as soon as she became a commercial name in the High School Musical era. In early May 2009, the case was settled.
Long dark hair
Parents: Greg Hudgens and Gina Guangco.
Ethnicities: Filipina, Chinese,and Spanish (from her mother); Irish and American Indian (from her father).
Her musical theater roles include leads in: Evita, Carousel, The Wizard of Oz, The King & I, The Music Man, Cinderella, Damn Yankees, The Hunchback of Notre Dame, and The Little Mermaid, among others.
She's a fan of the late Natalie Wood.
She can sing, act and dance.
She got her first gig when her friend couldn't go to an audition for a commercial and asked if Vanessa could go.
She is a fan of horror movies.
Older sister of Stella Hudgens
She is best known for portraying the role of Gabriella Montez in High School Musical (2006) (TV) and its related sequels.
Favorite TV show: "Degrassi: The Next Generation" (2001).
Was named "The Heartbreaker" in Disney channel's first DC games in 2006.
Was chosen to be a member of the blue team in DC games held in the Summer of 2006.
She sang "Angels" by Robbie Williams at her "High School Musical" audition.
She has been home-schooled since the seventh grade.
She has already graduated from high school.
At one point, she actually planned to audition for "American Idol" (2002).
Her song "Whatever Will Be" is really a song that reflects on her motto.
Her favorite kind of music is rock.
Both sets of her grandparents were musicians during the Big Band era.
Is best friends with Kayslee Collins.
Her favorite scene in High School Musical (2006) (TV) is the final one in which the cast sang and danced to "We're All In This Together".
She used to reside in the state of Oregon.
In June 2006, she signed a recording contract with Hollywood Records.
Her first solo album V debuted at #24 on the US Billboard album chart with 34,000 copies sold during its first week.
The first star from High School Musical (2006) (TV) to release a solo album in the wake of the success of High School Musical (2006) (TV). The name of her debut solo album is called "V" which stands for Vanessa, but also could stand for variety since it is a mix of pop, pop rock, dance electronic, and ballads. The album was released in the United States on September 26, 2006.
Enjoys singing just as much as dancing and acting.
Recorded her first solo album, V, in just under two months.
Trained in piano, dance, and voice (opera to be specific).
Her favorite song to perform in concert is "Let's Dance" because she and her backup dancers have so much fun dancing to that song.
Sings with Corbin Bleu on his debut solo album "Another Side" on the song "Still There for Me".
Her debut album has officially sold 500,000 copies. Therefore, it was certified gold for the first time in 2007.
The highest chart position of "Say OK" on the US Billboard chart is 61.
"Let Go" was supposed to be the second single from her debut album. However, it was switched to "Say OK" at the last minute.
Her first single, "Come Back to Me", samples from the song "Baby Come Back" by 1970s rock band Player.
The second single from V, her first solo album is called "Say OK". It was released on January 12, 2007 on US radio stations. There are two versions of the video for this song. The first one was from the High School Musical: The Concert Tour. The second version was filmed at a beach in Los Angeles, California and a bowling alley.
Her first official single from her debut album V is called "Come Back to Me". The song and the video both premiered on August 25, 2006 in the United States. The highest chart position it achieved on the US Billboard charts is 55.
In 2007, she became the spokesperson for Neutrogena products.
Desires to study business when she reaches college.
Is the only person in High School Musical (2006) (TV) to have a solo song on the "High School Musical" soundtrack.
Her first job was acting in a local production of "The Wizard of Oz" where she played a munchkin and was paid $50.
Once attended the Orange County High School of the Arts.
She has a toy poodle named Shadow, three turtles, and some fish.
Took piano lessons when she was younger.
Her favorite dance number from High School Musical 2 (2007) (TV) is "Work This Out".
Ranked #12 on the Maxim magazine Hot 100 of 2008 list.
She is face for brand Ecko Boys & Girls in Brazil.
She also made the "Maxim's Sexiest of 2009" list.
She is ranked #10 in Cosmopolitan magazine's Best Dressed Celebs of 2008.
On December 12, 2008, Hudgens was ranked #20 in the list of Forbes "High Earners Under 30".
In January 2009, Teen Vogue magazine included Hudgens in the list of the January's Ten Best Dressed in the fifth position.
Learned to play the guitar while filming Bandslam (2009).
She ranked number 27 on Maxim Magazine's Hot 100 of 2009.
She ranked number 42 at FHM's Sexiest Women in the World of 2009.
She ranked number 62 at FHM's Sexiest Women in the World of 2008.
She was included in People's annual "100 Most Beautiful People" 2008 and 2009 lists.
Her favorite hobby is photography.
Was considered one of the 55 faces of the future by Nylon Magazine's Young Hollywood Issue.
Ranked #42 in the 2010 FHM UK list of "100 Sexiest Women in the World".
In 2011, was named the new Candie's Girl.
Was in a relationship with Zac Efron. [2006-2010].
Played the role of Mimi in 'Rent' the musical. The production ran from August 6-8 in 2010 at the Hollywood Bowl directed by actor Neil Patrick Harris who starred opposite Hudgens in 'Beastly'.
In a relationship with actor Austin Butler since [September 2011].
[on her nude picture scandal] I'm much better now. But truthfully I don't like talking about it. It was something that was meant to be private, and even though it isn't anymore, I'd still like to keep it as private as I can. It was very traumatic, and I am extremely upset it happened. I hope all my fans can learn from my mistake and make smart decisions. But I wouldn't have been able to get through it if it wasn't for my family, friends, and fans, who supported me all along the way.
Power to the Peaceful.
(August 2006) Finished up her self-entitled album, "V", and preparing to go on tour with The Cheetah Girls from October - November.
(November 2006) On tour with The Cheetah Girls.
(February 2007) Starting rehearsals for High School Musical 2 (2007) (TV).
(March 2007) Filming High School Musical 2 (2007) (TV) in St. George, Utah.
(March 2008) Filming High School Musical 3: Senior Year (2008).
(April 2008) Filming High School Musical 3: Senior Year (2008) in Salt Lake City, Utah.
(February 2008) Filming Bandslam (2009) in Austin, Texas.
(June 2009) Filming Beastly (2011) in Montréal, Québec, Canada.
(July 2009) Filming Beastly (2011) in Montréal, Québec, Canada.
(September 2009) Filming Sucker Punch (2011) in Vancouver, Canada.
(August 2009) Pre-production for Sucker Punch (2011) in Vancouver, Canada.
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