Vanessa Hudgens Through the Years: ‘High School Musical,’ ‘Rent’ and More

Singing was the start to a lifelong career for Vanessa Hudgens.

Hudgens grew up singing and doing musical theater since she was 4 years old. She starred in local productions of The Wizard of Oz, The Music Man and Cinderella before portraying Gabriella Montez in the Disney Channel franchise High School Musical. She also released studio albums V (2006) and Identified (2008) between movies.

Following her time on Disney, Hudgens starred in Sucker Punch (2011), Spring Breakers (2012) and Netflix’s The Princess Switch movies. She continued to perform on stage and starred in Fox’s live musical productions Grease Live! (2016) and Rent: Live (2019).

In May 2024, the actress was revealed to be the season 11 winner of The Masked Singer. During the season premiere, Hudgens alluded to her successful career while under the persona of Goldfish.

“When I first started out, I made a splash overnight. But all that success made me feel like I was living in a fishbowl, with everyone’s eyes and expectations on me,” she said at the time.

After being unmasked, Hudgens reflected on the competition saying, “I never knew that this would give me the freedom to purely just do something that I love.”

“I grew up doing musical theater,” she told E! News following her big win. “I’ve been doing it almost my entire life. All those hours don’t go and disappear. I got to bring that with me into the work I constantly do. And this was a really beautiful and fun place to be able to share that.”

Keep scrolling to see the Disney star’s life in photos: