Actress, singer and dancer Ashley Tisdale was a popular player on the Disney Channel's buddy comedy "The Suite Life of Zack & Cody" (Disney, 2005-08) but it was her role in the ensemble cast of the "High School Musical" movies that transformed her into a superstar of 'tween entertainment. The phenomenal hit musicals led to world concert tours, a top-selling soundtrack, and a solo record deal for the 20-year-old who had been honing her chops as an entertainer since she was three years old. With her simultaneous breakout success on screen, stage, and as a recording artist, Tisdale found herself in the fortunate position of being one of the top paid females on the 'tween circuit who was able to take her career in any direction she chose.
Ashley Michelle Tisdale was born on July 2, 1985 to a family of unique TV personalities including a grandfather who was a pitch man for Ginsu knives and cousin Ron Popeil, famed inventor and infomercial guru. Tisdale was discovered at a mall near her home in New Jersey at age three by a talent manager who helped the youngster launch a lucrative career in commercials, including appearances in over 100 national spots before she began to explore musical theater at a local community venue. At the age of eight, she hit the road to star in the national touring company of "Les Miserables," following it up with an international tour of "Annie." With their daughter's show business career gaining momentum, her family - including her sister Jennifer, herself an actress - relocated to the Los Angeles area when Tisdale was in the eighth grade. Her first onscreen credits were guest spots on "7th Heaven" (WB, 1996-2006) and "Smart Guy" (WB, 1997-99). She had a small voice role in the animated feature "A Bug's Life" (1998) and more television appearances followed, with roles on "The Amanda Show" (Nickelodeon, 1999-2002), "Boston Public" (Fox, 2000-04), "George Lopez" (ABC, 2002-06) and "Malcolm in the Middle" (Fox, 2000-06).
In 2005, 15-year-old Tisdale began to cultivate a small but loyal fan following with "The Suite Life of Zack & Cody" (Disney Channel, 2005-08) where she played Maddie Corwin, the babysitter to the rambunctious twins of the title, played by Dylan and Cole Sprouse. The show was a hit, giving rise to "Zack & Cody" themed books, video games, and a "Best Family Series" title from the Young Artist Awards - to say nothing of the many Kids Choice Award nominations the show received. With her solid Disney fan base and her background in musical theater, Tisdale was a perfect casting choice for the Disney Channel Original movie, "High School Musical" (2006). This modern musical take on classic cross-tribal love stories like Romeo & Juliet and Westside Story featured Tisdale as a duplicitous drama queen. A certified pop culture phenomenon, "HSM" garnered Disney its highest ratings and spawned the top-selling album of the year, a reality TV show, a book series, and video games. As a result of the show's popularity, Tisdale entered the music history books as the only female performer to have two singles ("Bop to the Top" and "We're All in This Together") debut simultaneously on the "Billboard" Hot 100 chart. Her recording career took off even further when she signed a recording contract with Warner Bros. and released the singles "Kiss the Girl" and "Last Christmas."
Tisdale spent half a year on the road supporting "HSM," including the DVD and live recording, "High School Musical: The Concert." Her first solo album Headstrong came out the following year and hit No. 5 on the Billboard album chart. A music video compilation and making-of-the-album documentary entitled "There's Something About Ashley" hit stores soon after and Tisdale toured nationally in support of the album. When the busy entertainer returned home, she resumed her role on "Zack & Cody" and also joined the voice cast of the animated musical series "Phineas and Ferb" (Toon Disney, 2007-15).
"High School Musical 2" debuted on Disney in August 2007 and broke all records, becoming the most watched cable television event in history with 17 million viewers. Tisdale was back on the charts again as the soundtrack launched top singles like "What Time is It," helping to insure "HSM"-mania continued at full throttle. Her teen idol status was made official when she earned a Nickelodeon Kids' Choice Award for Best TV Actress. The year 2008 saw the end of "The Suite Life of Zack and Cody," but Tisdale's Disney presence remained strong when she reprised her role on the seaworthy spin-off series "The Suite Life on Deck" (Disney, 2008-11).
"High School Musical 3: Senior Year" (2008) was released on the big screen in the fall of 2008, touting bigger budget productions and another best-selling soundtrack. Just prior to the perennially popular film's release, a Forbes magazine list of top-paid 'tween stars placed Tisdale at number five for her lucrative Disney deal and her pop paydays. She continued to divide her career between recording and acting, with the 23-year-old starring as a teen in the 2009 sci-fi feature "They Came from Upstairs," as well as releasing her sophomore solo album.
Tisdale next appeared on TV co-starring in "Hellcats" (CW 2010-11), a comedy-drama about competitive cheerleading. Following a starring role in the parody film "Scary Movie 5" (2013), she played the title role in an animated reboot of "Sabrina the Teenage Witch" (Hub 2013-14).
Cast (Feature Film)
Music (Feature Film)
Misc. Crew (Feature Film)
First credited role in the Japanese animated feature, "Whisper of The Heart"
Had a small part as the `Dorky Girl¿ in the cult film "Donnie Darko"
Had a recurring role on the UPN sitcom, "The Hughleys"
Had a recurring role on "Still Standing" (CBS)
Cast as Maddie Fitzpatrick in the Disney Channel series "The Suite Life of Zack and Cody"
Cast as Sharpay Evans in the TV movie "High School Musical"; also performed several songs
Released first solo album, Headstrong
Reprised her role in "High School Musical 2" (Disney)
Appeared in third and final Disney Channel movie "High School Musical 3: Senior Year"
Starred in the family adventure film "Aliens in the Attic"
Cast as a collegiate cheerleader on the CW drama "Hellcats"