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Lucas Grabeel

Lucas Grabeel

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Biography CLOSE THE FULL BIOGRAPHY

With his Midwestern, fresh-faced sincerity and his talent for singing and dancing, Lucas Grabeel was seemingly a born natural for the Disney 'tween empire. He was barely out of high school himself when the Missouri transplant was cast in "High School Musical" (2006), becoming an instant teen idol for his role in the mega-hit film series and for his vocals on the best-selling soundtracks. His profile remained high with the three "HSM" films and several other Disney TV movies, but rather than risk being typecast in family films, Grabeel wisely got to work experimenting with a range of different material. Supporting roles in broad comedies and even dramas like "Milk" (2008) starring Sean Penn, indicated that there was more to Grabeel's onscreen appeal than just musical numbers, and that his charisma could easily translate to larger, more varied audiences.Lucas Grabeel (pronounced GRAY-beel) was born in Springfield, MO on Nov. 23, 1984 and was an active performer from the time he was very young. He sang and played drums with church groups, appeared in numerous musical productions throughout his school years, and was a member of the varsity choir at Kickapoo High School - incidentally, the same school...

With his Midwestern, fresh-faced sincerity and his talent for singing and dancing, Lucas Grabeel was seemingly a born natural for the Disney 'tween empire. He was barely out of high school himself when the Missouri transplant was cast in "High School Musical" (2006), becoming an instant teen idol for his role in the mega-hit film series and for his vocals on the best-selling soundtracks. His profile remained high with the three "HSM" films and several other Disney TV movies, but rather than risk being typecast in family films, Grabeel wisely got to work experimenting with a range of different material. Supporting roles in broad comedies and even dramas like "Milk" (2008) starring Sean Penn, indicated that there was more to Grabeel's onscreen appeal than just musical numbers, and that his charisma could easily translate to larger, more varied audiences.

Lucas Grabeel (pronounced GRAY-beel) was born in Springfield, MO on Nov. 23, 1984 and was an active performer from the time he was very young. He sang and played drums with church groups, appeared in numerous musical productions throughout his school years, and was a member of the varsity choir at Kickapoo High School - incidentally, the same school where Brad Pitt graduated in 1982. In addition to his dedication to entertaining, Grabeel was active with his church, traveling internationally as part of a mission group on several occasions. In 2003, right out of high school, he relocated to Los Angeles to pursue an acting career. His wholesome, All-American look and his enthusiasm led to an uncommonly quick rise in Hollywood. Grabeel landed his first TV commercial gig shortly after arriving in L.A. and his first acting role came a year later in "Halloweentown High" (2004), the third feature in the immensely popular "Halloweentown" original movie series from the Disney Channel.

A solid run of guest television appearances followed, including turns on "Boston Legal" (ABC, 2004-09), "Veronica Mars" (UPN, 2004-06; CW, 2006-07) and "Smallville," (WB, 2001-06; CW, 2006-11) where he portrayed the young, bald Lex Luthor. But it was Grabeel's return to the squeaky clean Disney fold that transformed him into a teen idol with his role in the runaway hit TV movie, "High School Musical" (Disney Channel, 2006) - a modern musical take on classic cross-tribal love stories like "Romeo & Juliet" and "Westside Story." His role as the deeply loyal (and slightly slower) twin brother of villainous drama queen Sharpay Evans (Ashley Tisdale) was not the largest in size, but Grabeel lent a light comedic touch to the character and shined in his four musical numbers, especially "Bop to the Top," a Latin-tinged duet with Tisdale that showed off his dancing skills. "HSM" as it came to be known, was a certified pop culture phenomenon, spawning the top-selling album of the year, a reality TV show, a book series, video games, and many live stage productions. In the U.S. alone, four of Grabeel's soundtrack cuts landed on the Billboard Hot 100 at the same time, rocketing him to screen and pop music fame simultaneously.

Along with his "HSM" castmates, Grabeel spent the majority of 2006 promoting the movie around the world, including a national concert tour with most of the original cast. He took a short detour to reprise his genial warlock Ethan Dalloway in the sequel, "Return to Halloweentown" (2006), where his screen time was expanded to meet the demands of his post-"High School Musical" fame. He also made a vocal appearance in the animated DisneyToon feature "The Fox and the Hound 2" (2006), singing the track "You Know I Will." "High School Musical 2" debuted on Disney in August of 2007 and broke all records to become the most watched cable television event in history, drawing 17 million viewers. Grabeel found himself on the music charts again with his appearance on the movie's number one soundtrack. The in-demand pop sensation began to field offers outside the Mouse universe, and in 2007 co-starred in "Alice Upside Down," an adaptation of the popular coming-of-age book series.

In his first feature lead, Grabeel played the title character in "The Adventures of Food Boy" (2008), a quirky indie about a young man who discovers he has a superpower enabling him to create food out of thin air. The film was named "Best Family Film" at the Newport Beach Film Festival in the spring of 2008. In the fall of that year, Grabeel reprised Ryan Evans in the first "HSM" theatrical release, "High School Musical 3: Senior Year" (2008), a bigger budget version of the small screen hits that retained every bit of wholesome sincerity right down to the G rating. Ready to graduate from high school at last, 24-year-old Grabeel followed up with a bold departure - a supporting role in "Milk" (2008), director Gus Van Sant's biopic of 1970s gay rights activist Harvey Milk, starring Sean Penn. He further explored new cinematic territory with a co-starring role opposite David Hasselhoff in the action comedy "Beverly Hills Ninja 2" (2009).

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CAST: (feature film)

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 Milk (2008)
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 Halloweentown High (2004) Ethan The Warlock
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