Multi-talented star Zac Efron added presenter to his skillset this year when he fronted the eight-episode Netflix travel show Down to Earth, which debuted on 10 July and has become a huge hit for the streaming service.
Actor and singer Zac shot to fame when he played Troy Bolton in the High School Musical franchise, which started in 2006 when he was 19.
Now 32, the star has grown up a lot since then, even playing notorious serial killer Ted Bundy in the terrifying drama Extremely Wicked, Shockingly Evil and Vile. But what else has he been up to in the last few years, both on-screen and off, and what motivated him to film a documentary series? Read on to find out…
WATCH: Netflix's Down to Earth with Zac Efron official trailer
Zac's family background
Neither of his parents is from a showbiz background – his dad David is an electrical engineer who worked at a power station where his mum Starla was a secretary. Zac has one sibling, with whom he's very close: his younger brother Dylan, 28.
Dylan Efron has a loyal following of his own thanks to his popular Instagram account, where he has over 500,000 fans and often posts photos with his brother.
Who is he dating?
Zac dated his High School Musical co-star Vanessa Hudgens, but they split up in 2010. He also went out with model Sami Miró from 2014 to 2016 and had shorter relationships with actress Michelle Rodriguez and Danish swimmer Sarah Bro.
Press reports have linked him to a long list of glamorous singers and actresses, including Selena Gomez, Taylor Schilling, Taylor Swift, and his former co-stars Rebecca Ferguson and Halston Sage. Both Taylors quickly denied the rumours, and Zac remains tight-lipped about his romantic life at the moment.
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Zac dated Vanessa Hugdens after meeting while filming High School Musical
Zac's early career
Zac's love of musicals started at school, when he appeared in Gypsy, Peter Pan, Little Shop of Horrors and The Music Man. His drama teacher recommended him to an agent in Los Angeles, and he got his start with guest roles in TV shows such as E.R and The Guardian, before becoming part of the cast of Summerland, a family drama that ran between 2004 and 2005.
Disney movie High School Musical, which saw him play a basketball star who no longer wants to hide his love of performing, was released in 2006 and spawned two sequels – and a lot of teenagers' crushes!
What else has he starred in?
No one could accuse Zac of not having the range! He's continued to appear in movie musicals like 2007's Hairspray and 2017's The Greatest Showman. He's also been the star of comedies like 17 Again, alongside Friends' Matthew Perry, Neighbours, and Dirty Grandpa.
He's no stranger to a reboot, either, starring in the 2017 Baywatch remake with The Rock and this summer's Scooby-Doo update, Scoob!.
On the small screen, the star won plaudits for his terrifying portrayal of Ted Bundy in Extremely Wicked, Shockingly Evil and Vile last year, and he also appeared in ten episodes of Facebook Watch's animated show Human Discoveries.
Zac received critical acclaim for his role in Extremely Wicked, Shockingly Evil and Vile
All about Down to Earth
Zac's new show sees him travel the world with his friend, wellness expert Darin Olien, in search of more sustainable ways to live. The pair journey to France, Puerto Rico, London, Iceland, Costa Rica, Peru and Sardinia where they look into eco-friendly sources of food, water and energy. "We need to start rethinking how we consume everything from our food to our power," the actor says.
As well as providing the chance to learn more about recycling and renewable energy, the programme also features plenty of shots of beautiful landscapes and Zac flexing his pecs.
Netflix confirmed earlier this month that the streaming service hadn't yet made a decision about a second series, but Zac's fans have another upcoming travel show to look forward to.
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Zac explores wellness and sustainability on Down to Earth
Where you can see Zac next
His latest adventure, a show for short-form app Quibi, is the unfortunately named Killing Zac Efron, which almost became as deadly as its title! The star was taken very ill with an infection while filming in Papua New Guinea and was airlifted to hospital in Australia before thankfully making a full recovery.
His next project will continue the travel theme as post-pandemic, he's lined up to star in King of the Jungle, the true story of a software engineer who ran into legal trouble and ran away to Belize. We can't wait!
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