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VANESSA HUDGENS began her career in the world of musical theatre at the tender age of 8. Immediately realizing the incredible future that lay before her, she has tirelessly pursued her dream with much success. These early roles – in such productions as Evita, Carousel, The Wizard of Oz, The King & I, The Music Man, Cinderella, and Damn Yankees – gave Vanessa the opportunity to showcase her impressive singing and acting skills.

The recognition Vanessa received quickly brought her to the screen. She made her feature film debut in Catherine Hardwicke’s Thirteen, starring Holly Hunter and Evan Rachel Wood. Soon thereafter, she co-starred in the action-adventure film Thunderbirds and was a recurring guest star on Disney Channel’s The Suite Life of Zach & Cody. Her other television credits include appearances on Quintuplets, Brothers Garcia, Still Standing, and Robbery Homicide Division.

It was, however, Vanessa’s role in Disney Channel’s breakaway sensation High School Musical that has garnered her much praise and attention. She played Gabrielle Montez, the sweet girl torn between her attraction to both basketball jock Troy Bolton and the school musical auditions. With critics and fans clamoring for more, Vanessa was also seen in the films’ highly successful follow-ups: High School Musical 2 and High School Musical 3: Senior Year. Vanessa followed up her High School Musical hits by starring in Bandslam, a film that centers around a high school misfit and a popular girl who form an unlikely bond through their love for music.

She will next be seen this year in CBS Films’ Beastly, a modern day take on the fairy tale “Beauty and the Beast,” and recently wrapped Zack Snyder’s highly anticipated Sucker Punch for Warner Bros.

Although acting has consumed much of her time, Vanessa still has been able to devote herself to singing and performing. In 2006 she released her debut solo album, V – a captivating variety of rock, electronic and R&B styles – and toured with the Cheetah Girls. She followed up in 2008 with her second album for Hollywood Records, called Identified.

Hudgens resides in Los Angeles.