Vanessa Hudgens: Snapshot

Name
Vanessa Hudgens
Date of Birth
December 14, 1988
Birth Place
Salinas, Calif.
As the smart, sugary sweet songbird Gabriella Montez on the Disney Channel megahit High School Musical, Vanessa Hudgens became tweens' favorite girl next door. But her pristine image took on some tarnish in September 2007 when a nude photo of the teen (taken prior to her fame) surfaced on the web.

The notoriety hasn't hurt the California native. At 13, she made her TV debut on an episode of Still Standing before landing the role that would make her a teen idol and introduce her to first love Zac Efron. Riding on her HSM fame, Hudgens released two solo albums (2006's V and 2008's Identified), endorsed Neutrogena, took her HSM role to the big screen, and landed on PEOPLE's Most Beautiful list.

Vanessa Hudgens: Five Fun Facts

  1. Vanessa Hudgens has some pretty hardcore workout buddies. "I trained with Navy Seals for five months. It was the most intense thing that anyone could ever do," she told PEOPLE in 2010.
  2. Vanessa Hudgens had her first kiss in the fifth grade. "It was with my first boyfriend when I was 10 years old, but it was just a peck," she told PEOPLE in 2008.
  3. Vanessa Hudgens admitted to Tyra Banks that she "loves" Matt Damon. "I was 14 years old and I met him. I completely freaked out. Like, I did to him what my fans do to me. I was like, 'Ohmigosh, I love you so much, can I have your autograph?'"
  4. Vanessa Hudgens has three closets dedicated entirely to shoes. Her favorites are Christian Louboutin stilettos.
  5. While dating teen heartthrob Zac Efron, Vanessa Hudgens had to contend with her feelings about his ubiquitous groupies. "I am, the girl who will get jealous," she told PEOPLE in 2006.

Vanessa Hudgens: Biography

1997

Vanessa Hudgens

The World's A Stage

Vanessa Anne Hudgens, who has been taking piano, dance and vocal lessons, begins performing in local theater productions such as The Wizard of Oz and The Music Man. Recognizing their daughter's passion for musicals and acting, Greg and Gina Hudgens relocate their family from Salinas, Calif. to L.A. so Vanessa can pursue acting professionally.

2002

Vanessa Hudgens

October

Vanessa Goes Professional

Hudgens, 13, makes her TV debut on an episode of the CBS comedy Still Standing before landing in the R-rated coming-of-age drama Thirteen. Appearing in the film with Evan Rachel Wood (right), she plays Noel, a pig-tailed, good-girl classmate of Wood's out-of-control character.

2005

Vanessa Hudgens

The Naked Truth

Hudgens tapes an episode of the Nickelodeon show Drake & Josh. After the taping, Hudgens, then 16, reportedly takes a nude photo of herself and sends it to show star Drake Bell (left). Bell's rep later tells PEOPLE, "Drake says he never received those photos." Nevertheless, the shot will surface on the web and cause an uproar two years later.

Read More on Vanessa Hudgens' Life

Photo Credits

BIOGRAPHY (top to bottom): Courtesy Vanessas Hudgens

Edited by Julia Wang

Vanessa Hudgens

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