It’s been 14 years since ‘High School Musical’ premiered and became an instant Disney classic. We’re looking back at how the superstar cast has changed from then, to when they reunite TONIGHT for the ‘Disney Family Singalong’ special!
High School Musical premiered on Disney Channel in 2006, and while it was an immediate fan favorite, nobody knew how quickly it was going to take over the world. Three movies, a live tour, and a Disney+ series later, and the High School Musical franchise launched the careers of some seriously stars: Zac Efron, Vanessa Hudgens, Ashley Tisdale, Corbin Bleu, Lucas Gabreel, Monique Coleman, and Olesya Rulin. In the 12 years since High School Musical 3: Senior Year debuted, the stars of the trilogy have changed and grown as actors so much.
Zac Efron danced on that basketball court 14 years ago and became an icon. The end of his Disney Channel days saw Zac grow from shaggy-haired teenager Troy Bolton, into a bonafide sex symbol. While Zac starred in the short-lived series Summerland before High School Musical, it was the DCOM that made him a household name. He’s starred in a wide genre of films, from blockbusters like Baywatch, comedies like Neighbors, epics like The Greatest Showman — and even had a turn as a serial killer in the drama Extremely Wicked, Shockingly Evil and Vile. Over the years, he dated a bevy of beauties, including his co-star Vanessa Hudgens! The couple broke up in 2010, much to fans’ dismay.
Vanessa skyrocketed to fame after High School Musical, as well. She enjoyed a short-lived career as a pop star (“Sneakernight”, anyone?), and won acclaim for her role as a party girl turned criminal in Spring Breakers. More recently, she showed off her impressive singing chops in two televised musicals: Grease Live! and Rent: Live. Vanessa dated actor Austin Butler from 2011 to 2019.
Click through the gallery above to check out how far the stars of High School Musical, including Zac and Vanessa, have come since the movie premiered in 2006! And, you can catch the cast reuniting with other Disney Channel stars for the Disney Family Singalong special — tune into ABC on April 16 at 8:00pm ET.