Most of the “High School Musical” cast was relativel unknown before starring in this Disney Channel Original Movie (also known as a DCom). But after the movie aired and became such a big hit, not to mention a cultural phenomenon, the previously unknown cast became household names. While many actors appeared in most if not all of the movies, here are the six leading members of the “High School Musical” cast.

Zac Efron (Troy Bolton).

Before “High School Musical,” Zac Efron made appearances in many TV shows, and was part of the cast of the WB series “Summerland.” In 2003, he starred in “Miracle Run,” a Lifetime original movie in which he played gifted autistic teen-ager Steven Morgan. After “High School Musical” became such a hit, Efron’s stardom rose by leaps and bounds. Since then, he’s starred in several big screen movies, including “Hairspray,” “17 Again” and “Me and Orson Welles.”

Ashley Tisdale (Sharpay Evans).

Before it premiered, Tisdale was considered the most well-known member of the “High School Musical” cast, thanks largely to her role on the Disney Channel show, “The Suite Life of Zack and Cody.” The actress went pro in 1997, several years before her breakout role in, “High School Musical.” Recently, she acted as star and executive producer of, “Sharpay’s Fabulous Adventure,” a direct-to-DVD release that eventually aired on Disney Channel, and had a very respectable 5,000,000 viewers during its first showing.  

Vanessa Hudgens (Gabriella Montez).

Before joining the “High School Musical” cast, Hudgens could be frequently seen on both Disney Channel and Nickelodeon. Since “High School Musical,” she appeared in several films, including “Bandslam,” “Beastly,” and “Sucker Punch.” In 2010, she played Mimi in a stage production of “Rent.”

Lucas Grabeel (Ryan Evans).

“High School Musical” was one of Lucas Grabeel’s first professional roles. Since then, he’s been busy acting (in films and on television), singing, and founding the 14341 production company. He also appeared on “Smallville” as both a young Lex Luthor, and Connor Kent (also known as Superboy to you comic book fans out there.)

Corbin Bleu (Chad Danforth).

Born in 1989, Corbin Bleu’s acting career was off and running by 1996. Before joining the “High School Musical” cast, he appeared in various TV shows and movies, including “ER” and “Galaxy Quest.” Since “High School Musical,” he has had success as both an actor and singer.