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What the Stars From “High School Musical” Look Like Today

When High School Musical first aired back in 2006, it kickstarted one of the most successful franchises of the 2000s. With multiple movies under its belt, as well as the record for the highest rating for an original cable movie in history, High School Musical served as the starting point for many young actors that are still active to this day.

While the franchise gave many young prospects their breakthrough roles, some other members of the cast already had established careers. Below, you’ll find a list of the cast members that were part of the High School Musical franchise and what they look like today.

1. Zac Efron

Disney Channel/Courtesy Everett Collection / East News, © zacefron / Instagram, © zacefron / Instagram

The man behind the role of Troy Bolton became one of the most successful young stars of the 2000s. Aside from High School Musical, he was also part of musicals like Hairspray and The Greatest Showman. However, he quickly showed that he can also star in movies that aren’t musicals, which was the case with 17 Again, Neighbors, and Firestarter. He premiered a documentary series on Netflix, called Down to Earth with Zac Efron, in 2020.

2. Vanessa Hudgens

Disney Channel/Courtesy Everett Collection / East News, © vanessahudgens / Instagram

High School Musical gave Vanessa Hudgens a platform to start a career in music after the release of the first movie, which led to 2 albums in the mid-2000s. Her acting career also took off after taking the role of Gabriella Montez, participating in productions like Sucker Punch, Spring Breakers, and Gimme Shelter. More recently, she has taken multiple protagonist roles in Christmas movies produced by Netflix, and she took to the stage for roles in musicals, like Grease Live!, Gigi, and In the Heights.

3. Ashley Tisdale

EVERETT COLLECTION/EAST NEWS, © ashleytisdale / Instagram

Her popularity as Sharpay Evans secured her the main role in a direct-to-video spinoff movie after the original trilogy was released, called Sharpay’s Fabulous Adventure. Since the success of High School Musical, she appeared in films like Picture This, Scary Movie 5, and Playing It Cool. She also has a successful career as a voice actor, with roles in Phineas and Ferb as well as in movies, like Saving Santa and Charming. The movies also kickstarted a musical career that has spawned 3 studio albums thus far.

4. Lucas Grabeel

Disney Channel/Courtesy Everett Collection / East News, © mrgrabeel / Instagram

The actor behind the role of Ryan Evans, Sharpay’s brother, has enjoyed moderate success after High School Musical. He has appeared in movies like The Adventures of Food Boy, Milk, and the 2018 version of Little Women. He has also had multiple minor roles in TV shows, the most notable being one of the main roles in the Netflix series, Switched at Birth, as well as a cameo appearance in High School Musical: The Musical: The Series. He has also found success as a voice actor, with credited roles in Family Guy, Robot Chicken, and Phineas and Ferb.

5. Corbin Bleu

Disney Channel/Courtesy Everett Collection / East News, © corbinbleu / Instagram

Soon after the first High School Musical, Corbin Bleu had a role as the main character of the Disney Channel original movie, Jump In! He also appeared in movies like To Write Love on Her Arms and Walk. Ride. Rodeo. In 2013, he participated in Dancing with the Stars, finishing as runner-up of the season. Other significant roles he’s had on the small screen were appearances in The Beautiful Life: TBL, as well as a recurring guest in High School Musical: The Musical: The Series.

6. Monique Coleman

Disney Channel/Courtesy Everett Collection / East News, © _moniquecoleman / Instagram

Monique Coleman has appeared in multiple movie and TV productions since High School Musical, such as the movie, Naomi and Ely’s No Kiss List, as well the main role in the third season of the web series, Guidance. Coleman also appeared in a season of Dancing with the Stars, finishing in fourth place, and she is one of the members of the original cast to have a recurring role in High School Musical: The Musical: The Series.

7. Olesya Rulin

Disney Channel/Courtesy Everett Collection / East News, © olesyarulin / Instagram

The actress behind Kelsi has appeared in a few movies after her time in High School Musical, including Flying By, Expecting Mary, and Family Weekend. As of late, most of her acting credits are in television, including recurring or leading roles in shows like Greek, Powers, and NCIS: Los Angeles. She also published a collection of poems in 2021.

8. Chris Warren Jr.

Disney Channel/Courtesy Everett Collection / East News, © chriswarren / Instagram

Known in the franchise for his role of Zeke, the member of the East High basketball team that loves baking, actor Chris Warren Jr. has built a reputable career, with most of his notable roles being in television shows. As far as movies go, Warren Jr. had a minor role in Alvin and the Chipmunks: The Squeakquel, as well as a bigger role in Romance in the Digital Age. On television, his biggest roles were in The Fosters, Grand Hotel, and, most recently, Sistas.

9. Kaycee Stroh

Kaycee is actually a professional dance instructor, getting cast as Kaycee when she took some of her students to audition for the first High School Musical film. She also had one-episode appearances on the TV shows The League and High School Musical: The Musical: The Series. She was also a contestant on Celebrity Fit Club in 2010.

10. Bart Johnson

With a career starting in the 1990s, Bart Johnson had his most notable role as coach Jack Bolton in High School Musical. Other roles of his include being part of The Client List and the Amazon original series, Gortimer Gibbon’s Life on Normal Street. Just like Lucas Grabeel, he appeared in the 2018 version of Little Women.

11. Alyson Reed

While High School Musical fans know her as Ms. Darbus, Alyson Reed is also a professional dancer with vast experience performing on Broadway. Ever since starring in the High School Musical franchise, she has had one-episode appearances in famous TV shows, like Desperate Housewives, Mad Men, and Grey’s Anatomy. She also had a recurring role in the second season of Chance. She went back to appearing in movies in 2020, with Love Is Love Is Love.

What’s your favorite cast member of High School Musical up to these days? What is their most impressive performance on a TV show or in a movie that’s not High School Musical?

Preview photo credit Disney Channel/Courtesy Everett Collection / East News, zacefron / Instagram, zacefron / Instagram
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