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Ashley Tisdale bio
Ashley Tisdale (born July 2, 1985) is an American actress, singer, and producer. During her childhood, she appeared in more than 100 TV advertisements and had roles in theatre and television shows. In 2004, she was cast as Maddie Fitzpatrick in Disney Channel‘s The Suite Life of Zack & Cody, and rose to prominence in 2006 as Sharpay Evans in the television film High School Musical. The High School Musical series included three films and the spin-off Sharpay’s Fabulous Adventure (2011). Tisdale’s resultant popularity led her to sign a record deal with Warner Bros. Records in 2006. Her debut album, Headstrong (2007), was certified gold by the Recording Industry Association of America (RIAA) and features the single “He Said She Said“. Two years later, Tisdale released her second studio album, Guilty Pleasure. In 2013, she announced plans to make music again and confirmed that she has been recording her third studio album.
From 2007 until 2015, Tisdale voiced Candace Flynn in Disney Channel’s three-time Emmy Award-winning animated series Phineas and Ferb. The cartoon quickly became the television’s most-watched animated series among kids and tweens and has received critical acclaim. Her other roles have included Savannah Monroe in The CW‘s television drama series Hellcats (2010–11), Jody Sanders in Scary Movie 5 (2013) and the title character of Hub Network‘s animated series Sabrina: Secrets of a Teenage Witch (2013–present), for which she received a Daytime Emmy Award nomination in 2014.
Besides acting and singing, Tisdale has ventured into producing. After forming a production company in 2008, she began working as the executive producer on films and television series including the ABC Family television film Picture This (2008), the unscripted series Miss Advised (2013), and the comedy series Young & Hungry (2014).
1985–2003: Early life and career beginnings
Ashley Michelle Tisdale was born in Monmouth County, New Jersey, on July 2, 1985, to Lisa Morris and contractor Michael Tisdale. Her father is Christian and her mother is Jewish; she was raised with “a little bit of both” religions. Tisdale’s elder sister Jennifer is an actress and producer. She is also related to businessman Ron Popeil through her maternal grandfather. At the age of three, Tisdale met her manager, Bill Perlman, at a New Jersey mall. He sent her to various auditions for commercials, and she was placed in more than 100 national network TV advertisements as a child. She began her theatrical career by appearing in Gypsy: A Musical Fable and The Sound of Music at Monmouth County’s Jewish Community Center.
Tisdale was eight years old when she was cast to play the part of Cosette in the musical Les Misérables, and only recalled taking a single singing lesson before landing the role. In 2007, Tisdale told Newsday, “When I was little, I saw the play Les Misérables on Broadway. I thought it was the most amazing thing I have ever seen, so I went to my manager and told him I wanted to be in it”. Tisdale toured for two years with Les Misérables before landing a role in a touring production of Annie in Korea. At the age of 12, Tisdale sang for President Bill Clinton during an event at the White House. In the late 1990s and early 2000s, after moving to Los Angeles, California with her family, Tisdale had minor roles in television shows including The Hughleys, Smart Guy, 7th Heaven, Boston Public, and Bette, appeared in the feature films A Bug’s Life and Donnie Darko, and worked as a model for Ford Models. For her role as Carol Prader in Boston Public, she received a 2000 Young Artist Award nomination for “Best Guest Performance In a TV drama”.
2004–06: High School Musical and rise to prominence
The producers of the Disney Channel television series The Suite Life of Zack & Cody cast Tisdale as Maddie Fitzpatrick, a teenage candy-counter girl who works in a fancy hotel, in 2004. The series premiered in March 2005 and ended in September 2008. For this role, she won her first award at the Nickelodeon UK Kids’ Choice Awards 2007 for “Best TV Actress” in 2008.
In 2006, Tisdale played Sharpay Evans in the Disney Channel Original Movie High School Musical. High School Musical became Disney Channel’s most-watched movie that year, viewed by 7.7 million in its US premiere broadcast. The soundtrack, on which Tisdale contributed vocals for several songs, sold more than 3.7 million copies in the US and became the top-selling album that year. All of the songs featured on the soundtrack appeared on the Billboard Hot 100 chart. Tisdale subsequently became the first female artist to debut with two songs simultaneously on the Hot 100 chart, with What I’ve Been Looking For and “Bop to the Top”. High School Musical was nominated for six Primetime Emmy Awards, winning two. To promote the film, Tisdale and the cast embarked on a tour titled High School Musical: The Concert during 2006 and 2007. After meeting dancer Jared Murillo while working on High School Musical, he and Tisdale dated from 2007 to 2009.
2007–09: Studio albums and film career
After the release of High School Musical, Tisdale opted not to sign with Disney’s affiliated record label Hollywood Records like her co-stars. She eventually signed with Warner Bros. Records to a recording contract, and she began work on her debut album Headstrong. In December 2006, producer J.R. Rotem confirmed he was producing and writing with Tisdale on the album. In contrast to her songs in High School Musical, Tisdale opted to pursue a more mature sound with R&B, dance-pop, and hip hop influences while working on her debut. To promote Headstrong, the song “Be Good to Me” was released to mainstream radio stations in the month preceding the album’s release as its lead single. Headstrong was released in February 2007 and debuted at number five on the Billboard 200, selling 64,000 copies in the first week. The second single “He Said She Said” became Tisdale’s most successful single in the US. A documentary about the album’s creation, along with a three-song music video trilogy, was featured on a music DVD titled There’s Something About Ashley, released in November 2007. Headstrong was eventually certified gold by the Recording Industry Association of America (RIAA) for sales exceeding 500,000 copies in the US.
Work on High School Musical 2 began in 2007, and Tisdale was confirmed to return for the sequel as Sharpay Evans. The film premiered on Disney Channel in August 2007 to 17 million viewers and became the most-watched movie on cable television. She received positive reviews for her performance in the film, which earned two Primetime Emmy Awards nominations. The soundtrack, featuring Tisdale, debuted at number one on the Billboard chart with sales of 615,000 copies, making it the fourth biggest week’s sales for a soundtrack album as of 2014.
Disney Channel picked up the animated series Phineas and Ferb in 2006; Tisdale was cast as the voice of Candace Flynn, a main character whose primary motivation is getting her brothers in trouble. The series’ first episode was broadcast immediately after the premiere of High School Musical 2 to 10 million viewers and became the most-watched animated series among kids and tweens in 2010. Phineas and Ferb has also received acclaim by critics and has won three Primetime Emmy Awards.
In 2008, Tisdale formed her own production company, Blondie Girl Productions. The television film Picture This marked Tisdale’s debut as an executive producer and as an actress in a leading role; she played Mandy Gilbert, an unpopular and bullied teenager. The film premiered on ABC Family in 2008 to 4.3 million viewers.
Tisdale reprised her role as Sharpay Evans in High School Musical 3: Senior Year, which premiered in October 2008. It earned $42 million in its domestic opening weekend, and grossed a total of $255 million worldwide. Her performance in the film earned her critical acclaim, earning an MTV Movie Award for “Breakthrough Performance Female” in 2009. Owen Gleiberman of Entertainment Weekly labeled her one of film’s breakout stars, and Mark Kermode said Tisdale was 2008’s “best supporting actress”.
Tisdale began work on her second studio album Guilty Pleasure soon after she finished promoting High School Musical 3: Senior Year. She said she had been involved in every aspect of the production of the album, from its “guitar-driven” sound to much of the writing process. “It’s Alright, It’s OK” was the song chosen to precede the album as its lead single; it was released to mainstream radio and digital retailers in April 2009. Guilty Pleasure was eventually released in June 2009. Described by Tisdale as a “rocker and edgier” album, it debuted at number 12 on the Billboard 200, selling 25,000 copies in the first week; this was significantly lower than the first-week sales for her previous album.
Tisdale starred in the 2009 20th Century Fox family film Aliens in the Attic as teenager Bethany Pearson. Although she is credited as one of the main characters, The New York Times said Tisdale “spends much of the film off screen”. The film was a minor success in box offices, grossing $60 million worldwide. From 2009 to 2011, she was in a relationship with director Scott Speer, who directed five of her music videos.
2010–12: Return to broadcast television and producing
Tisdale’s return to broadcast television was announced in 2010. She starred in The CW drama series Hellcats as Savannah Monroe, the captain of a cheerleading team. The series based its script on the book Cheer: Inside the Secret World of College Cheerleaders by journalist Kate Torgovnick; it was described by critics as “Election meets Bring It On“. TV Guide reported Tisdale was the best-paid cast member of the series, earning $30,000 per episode. Hellcats ran for one season before being cancelled by The CW in 2011.
She performed voice roles in animated series during 2010, including The Cleveland Show, Family Guy, and Glenn Martin, DDS. In 2012, she made a guest appearance in an episode of Raising Hope and had a starring role in a CBS pilot produced by Louis C.K., which was not picked up by the channel. Tisdale also portrayed a desirable and high-priced escort in a two-episode arc in the fifth season of FX‘s Sons of Anarchy. In 2010, Disney Channel announced its intention to produce a High School Musical spin-off focusing on the life of Sharpay Evans in New York after she concluded high school. Tisdale was confirmed to return as Evans for the spin-off and serve as the executive producer of the project. Sharpay’s Fabulous Adventure premiered on Disney Channel to 5 million viewers in August 2011.
Tisdale and her production company Blondie Girl Productions signed a multiyear production deal with Relativity Media in 2010 to create, develop, and produce films and television series. Miss Advised was the first project on which Tisdale served as the executive producer without also performing in a starring role. A reality show that followed three single relationship experts, it debuted on Bravo in the United States and aired for one season in 2012.
2013–present: Marriage and return to television
In 2013, E! aired a television special produced by Tisdale named Inner Circle that focused on her friendship with actress Vanessa Hudgens. The next year, Tisdale teamed again with Disney Channel on the film Cloud 9, on which she worked as an executive producer. ABC Family’s comedy series Young & Hungry is also produced by Tisdale; it stars Emily Osment and premiered in June 2014. Future projects Tisdale and her production company have been working on include three series intended for internet release.
In June 2012, The Weinstein Company announced that Tisdale had been given the leading role in Dimension Films’ Scary Movie 5. Starring alongside Lindsay Lohan and Charlie Sheen, she portrayed Jody, a dancer in her late-20s. The film was released in April 2013, and grossed $15 million on its first weekend, making it the lowest-grossing weekend for a Scary Movie film; it was also panned by critics. Tisdale had a recurring role in ABC‘s sitcom Super Fun Night as Jazmine, the sister of Rebel Wilson‘s character, and guest starred on CBS‘s The Crazy Ones in 2013. That same year, Tisdale was cast to voice the title character of Hub Network‘s animated series Sabrina: Secrets of a Teenage Witch. For her performance as Sabrina, Tisdale was nominated for “Outstanding Performer in an Animated Program” in the 41st Daytime Emmy Awards. In December 2014, The Hollywood Reporter announced Tisdale was cast to star as a prostitute in the comedy Drive, She Said alongside Jason Biggs. In 2014, Tisdale auditioned for TBS‘s workplace comedy series Clipped, on which she was eventually cast in a main role as Danni. The series ran from June to August of 2015, and was canceled in October after one season.
Four years after the release of her second studio album Guilty Pleasure (2009), Tisdale told MTV that she had been recording her third studio album. She said she was inspired to make music again and that she hoped to “surprise people a little bit, something different from what I’ve done before”. Tisdale announced to MTV that she opted to pursue a dance-pop sound on the album, which was expected to be released in 2014. In December 2013, Tisdale teased on her Twitter account about a “special project” related to music. She confirmed that the project was a single titled “You’re Always Here“, which was written about her late grandfather. The song was eventually released independently to digital stores that same month.
Tisdale began dating Christopher French, the lead singer of the band Annie Automatic, in December 2012. They became engaged in August 2013 and married on September 8, 2014 in a small private ceremony held in Santa Barbara, California.