American actress and singer Vanessa Hudgens burst onto the scene as a star from Disney Channel's hugely popular TV film, High School Musical, Disney's attempt to blend tween drama and the popularity of their hit music-making machine. The first film's popularity spawned two additional films in the series, with Hudgens playing the popular underdog character Gabriella Montez, in all three HSM films. The HSM central theme is loosely based on Romeo and Juliet, wherein two cliques are pitted against one another, in this case, trying out for the school musical.
High School Musical may have made Hudgens popular, but it was the leaking of naked photos on the Internet which made her a star. Hudgens, (b. Dec. 14, 1988) at the tender age of 18, was forced to do damage control to her squeaky clean image after several photos of her naked were leaked to celeb websites on the Internet. The young star quickly released an apology to her young fans and there were rumors Disney executives would be forced to replace her in the popular HSM series due to the scandal. Hudgens' immediate apology and subsequent low profile saved her spot and she was able to successfully navigate the scandal mostly unscathed.
Vanessa is often photographed with her wildly popular boyfriend and HSM co-star Zac Efron, who starred in another tween hit, the remake of the John Waters period musical Hairspray.