Full Name: Ashley Michelle Tisdale
Born: Monmouth County, New Jersey
Date of Birth: July 2nd, 1985
Claim to Fame: The Suite Life of Zack and Cody (2005 – 2008)
Movie Debut: A Bug’s Life (1998)
Television Series Debut: Smart Guy (1997)
Most Recent: Skylander’s Academy (2016-2018)
1985–2004: Childhood and Career Beginnings
Ashley Michelle Tisdale was born in Monmouth County, New Jersey 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 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. 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.
When Tisdale was twelve, she sang for then-President Bill Clinton during an event at the White House as part of a troupe. 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. The following year, Tisdale appeared as a voice actor in both An All Dogs Christmas Carol (1998) and A Bug’s Life (1998). She guest starred in an episode of Boston Public in 2000, earning a 2000 Young Artist Award nomination for “Best Guest Performance in a TV Drama”. 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, stating “I was always in regular school and I worked in clothing stores growing up. I didn’t ‘make it’ until I was 18, so I had already graduated public school. I definitely feel like I had the best of both worlds.”
2005–2009: Breakthrough with Films and Music Career
Tisdale joined the main cast of the Disney Channel series The Suite Life of Zack & Cody in 2005, and would continue to star in the show until 2008. The show proved to be a hit for the network, and earned Tisdale a Nickelodeon UK Kids’ Choice Awards. Tisdale had her breakout role as Sharpay Evans in the Disney Channel film High School Musical (2006). The film was the network’s most successful film of 2006, receiving 7.7 million viewers upon its premiere. The soundtrack for the film, featuring numerous contributions from Tisdale, went on to sell over three million copies in the United States alone. The song “What I’ve Been Looking For” (2006), a duet with Lucas Grabeel, became her first top forty hit on the Billboard Hot 100, and was certified gold by the Recording Industry Association of America (RIAA). Tisdale, along with the rest of the cast, embarked on the High School Musical: The Concert (2006–07) tour to promote the film. She met dancer Jared Murillo while working on High School Musical, and the two later dated for two years; they split up in 2009. During this time, Tisdale began appearing on soundtracks for the Disney Channel, and released a cover of “Kiss the Girl” (2006) to promote The Little Mermaid.
With the success of High School Musical, Tisdale was offered a recording contract from Warner Bros. Records; she began working on her debut studio album in 2006. “Be Good to Me” (2006) was released as the album’s lead single, with “He Said She Said” (2007) being released shortly afterwards as the second single. Tisdale’s debut album, Headstrong (2007), was released in February; the album featured elements of dance-pop and hip-hop music. The album sold 64,000 copies in its first week of release in the United States, debuting at number five on the Billboard 200. The project was a commercial success, selling over 500,000 copies in the country. “He Said She Said” was later re-released as the album’s second single to promote the album, and went on to earn a gold certification from the RIAA. The album’s final two singles were released exclusively in select European territories. Tisdale embarked on her “Headstrong Tour Across America” to promote the album. She also co-executive produced a documentary, There’s Something About Ashley (2007), documenting the recording of the album and the production of her music videos.
Tisdale returned to her role as Sharpay Evans in High School Musical 2 (2007). The film was viewed by seventeen million people during its premiere, making it 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 film’s soundtrack topped the Billboard 200, selling 615,000 copies in its first week of release. Tisdale joined the cast of the animated Disney Channel series Phineas and Ferb, which debuted immediately after High School Musical 2. The show earned ten 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. Tisdale remained on the series until its conclusion in 2015, appearing in various television films in the role as well.
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. The film premiered on ABC Family in 2008 to 4.3 million viewers. Tisdale again appeared 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 working on her second studio album in 2008, taking more creative control over the record than with her last. The album served as a musical departure from her prior record, with Tisdale hoping to attain a more “rock-oriented” and “edgier” sound. The project was preceded by the release of “It’s Alright, It’s OK” (2009), which went on to have some success in countries such as Austria and Germany. Her second studio album, Guilty Pleasure (2009), was released in select territories on June 11, 2009; it would not receive a release in the United States until July 28. The album sold an estimated 25,000 copies in its first week of release, debuting at number twelve on the Billboard 200. The album’s second and final single, “Crank It Up” (2009), was released in select European territories. Tisdale parted ways with the label following the release of the record. During this time, Tisdale began dating director Scott Speer, who had directed her previous music videos; the couple would break up in 2011. Tisdale also starred in the film Aliens in the Attic (2009) 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.
2010–2014: Television roles, Production Work and Marriage
Tisdale announced her return to television in 2010, starring as head-cheerleader Savannah Monroe in The CW drama Hellcats. Tisdale was reported to be the highest paid cast member on the series, earning $30,000 per episode. The show ran for one season, and was cancelled by the network in 2011. Blondie Girl Productions signed a production deal in 2010 to create, develop, and produce both films and television shows. During this time, Tisdale did voice work for the adult animated series Family Guy and The Cleveland Show; she appeared in two episodes of the former. 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 five million viewers in August 2011. 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.
She served as the executive producer of the reality-television series Miss Advised (2012). 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. In June 2012, The Weinstein Company announced that Tisdale had been given the leading role in Dimension Films’ Scary Movie 5. 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.
Tisdale told MTV in 2013 that she had begun working on 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 became engaged to singer Christopher French in 2013, having dated for over one year; the couple wed on September 8, 2014 in a small private ceremony held in Santa Barbara, California. In 2014, she promoted the U.S. launch of Lindt HELLO chocolates by producing an episode of the online series It Started with HELLO.
2015–present: Return to Music and Business Ventures
In December 2014, The Hollywood Reporter announced Tisdale was cast as a prostitute in the comedy Amateur Night 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 2015, and was canceled in October after one season. That Autumn, Tisdale became the creative director of Signorelli, and launched a clothing line with the company in 2016. She will also be overseeing the creation of their spring 2017 sportswear line. Tisdale launched her Illuminate makeup line through BH Cosmetics in 2016. In 2016, Tisdale resumed work on her third studio album with her husband. The couple began posting cover versions of hit songs on Tisdale’s YouTube channel, including a rendition of Elle King’s “Ex’s & Oh’s” featuring Vanessa Hudgens. Tisdale’s third studio album, Symptoms, will release in the fall of 2018 under newly-launched record label, Big Noise.
Although, Ashley has only released two albums of her own with an upcoming third album; she has featured in many other albums including the soundtracks to High School Musical, Phineas and Ferb and Sharpay’s Fabulous Adventure.
001. Believe ☆☆; In July of 2009, Ashley tattooed the word “Believe” on her back with two outlined stars following it. The meaning behind this tattoo was revealed in an interview with Allure Magazine, where she said that “The ‘believe’ tattoo is because my mom always told me to believe.”
002. “Fearless” Angel Wing; Ashley first showed off this tattoo on January 5th, 2011 at the People’s Choice Awards, it’s possible that it was done in December of 2010.
003. Jamais Seule; In September of 2011, Ashley and Vanessa Hudgens went to tattoo artist Bang Bang’s studio to get tattoos together where Ash got the French phrase “Jamais Seule” tattooed on her right foot which translates to “Never Alone.”
004. ☆; In 2012, Ashley showed off more love for outlined stars as she got another star tattooed above her “Fearless” Angel Wing tattoo.
005. “Everything Happens for a Reason” Sanskrit; In early 2013, Ashley got the sanskrit for “Everything Happens for a Reason” tattooed on the inside of her left elbow; The tattoo made it’s debut at the Safe Haven premiere in February 2013.
006. ∞; In 2015, Ashley and her husband, Christopher French both got matching tattoos of the “Infinity” symbol where she got hers on her left wrist.
007. Butterfly; In September of 2018, Ashley got a butterfly tattooed on her arm.