Ashley Michelle Tisdale was born July 2, 1985 and is an American actress, singer, and producer. During her childhood, Tisdale was featured in over 100 advertisements and had minor roles in television and theatre. She achieved mainstream success as Maddie Fitzpatrick in the Disney Channel series The Suite Life of Zack & Cody. This success was heightened when she starred as Sharpay Evans in the High School Musical franchise. The film series proved to be a huge success for Disney and earned a large following. The success of the films led to Tisdale signing with Warner Bros. Records, releasing her debut album, Headstrong (2007), through the label. The album was a commercial success, earning a gold certification from the Recording Industry Association of America (RIAA). She starred as Candace Flynn in the animated series Phineas & Ferb from 2007 to 2015.
In September 2015, Tisdale was named the creative director of Signorelli. In 2016, she launched her own makeup brand, Illuminate Cosmetics.
She was born in Monmouth County, New Jersey to Lisa Morris and contractor Michael Tisdale. Her father is Christian and her mother is Jewish. Tisdale’s elder sister Jennifer is an actress and producer. She is also related to businessman Ron Popeil through her maternal grandfather Arnold Morris who was best known for being a pitchman for the Ginsu knife. 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 one hundred 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.
When Tisdale was twelve, she sang for then-President Bill Clinton during an event at the White House as part of a troup. Hoping to expand her career, Tisdale and her family moved to Los Angeles, California. She landed her first role in 1997, guest starring on an episode of both Smart Guy and 7th Heaven. During this time, she also began doing modeling work for Ford Models. Tisdale continued to make guest appearances on television shows and appear in minor film roles throughout the following years, with roles in films such as Donnie Darko (2001) and The Mayor of Oyster Bay (2002). During this time, Tisdale continued to work and attend school.
In 2008, Tisdale formed her own production company, Blondie Girl Productions. The television film Picture This (2008) 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.
Tisdale has said that she brings something different with every character she portrays in order to make them her own. After the completion of the High School Musical series in 2008, Tisdale was at first reluctant on accepting older roles because she felt “you can never go backward”. She eventually began to accept more mature roles in 2012. Her first adult roles were Emma Jean, a high-priced escort in the drama series Sons of Anarchy (2012), and Jody Sanders, a mother of three children in the feature film Scary Movie 5 (2013). Tisdale commented after Scary Movie 5 that the role had taken her out of her comfort zone, and that she planned to continue to challenge herself in the future. While discussing her portrayal of Logan Rawlings, a lesbian, on Young & Hungry (2014), she said she likes “to play different characters and push the envelope out of [her] own comfort level”, but confessed she had been nervous about the idea of playing a lesbian. Her main acting influences are Jake Gyllenhaal, Johnny Depp, Robin Williams and Rebel Wilson. Tisdale claims that she would like to emulate Shia LaBeouf’s career and that she is inspired by Wilson’s ability to work simultaneously as a writer, producer and actress in ABC’s Super Fun Night.
Tisdale has supported various charitable organizations and causes during her career. She collaborated with the Make a Wish Foundation in 2008 by visiting sick children in hospitals and helping to raise funds for the organization. Tisdale is also a supporter of Habitat for Humanity, a charity devoted to building homes for people in need. She was scheduled to perform on Idol Gives Back 2008, along with her High School Musical co-star Vanessa Hudgens. However, they were unable to appear due to their High School Musical 3: Senior Year filming schedule; they recorded a video from the film’s set to support the cause instead. She contributed to the A Very Special Christmas 7 album with her rendition of Wham!’s “Last Christmas”; proceeds from sales benefited the Special Olympics. Tisdale was a phone operator during Hope for Haiti Now: A Global Benefit for Earthquake Relief, a charity telethon held on January 2010 to raise funds for seven non-profit organizations that carried out relief work in Haiti following the 2010 Haiti earthquake. Tisdale volunteered for the “Get on the Bus” charity campaign in 2011, which was hosted by the television series Extreme Makeover: Home Edition. She helped to build a house for a family and later performed some of her songs to raise funds. In 2012, she became the face of Project Pink, a campaign launched by Puma SE to raise money for the research of breast cancer treatments. As part of the campaign, she visited Los Angeles’ BEST After School Enrichment Program at Pacoima Charter School in California and presented each child that attended with shoes, clothes, and gift cards. In 2013, Tisdale recorded her song titled “You’re Always Here” and later released it to digital stores as a charity single. During an interview with On Air with Ryan Seacrest, she confirmed that 30 percent of the proceeds of the song would go to St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital.