Ashley Tisdale was born in West Deal, Monmouth County, New Jersey to Lisa Morris and Mike Tisdale; she has an older sister, Jennifer, who is also an actress. She has Jewish ancestry; her maternal grandfather is Arnold Morris, the developer of Ginsu Knives, while her great-grandfather was Nathan Morris, the great-uncle of inventor Ron Popeil, and her great-great-grandfather was Kidder Morris, a cantor and shoemaker. Tisdale was discovered at her hometown mall in Monmouth County when she was three. She sang at the White House when she was twelve years old.
Tisdale began acting in the late 1990s, and appeared in
episodes of several television series, including Smart Guy, 7th
Heaven, Grounded for Life, Boston Public, Strong Medicine,
Charmed and Beverly Hills, 90210. She appeared in a minor role
in the 2001 film, Donnie Darko, and had recurring roles on the
series The Hughleys and Still Standing. Tisdale tried out for
both the roles of Maddie Fitzpatrick and London Tipton on The
Suite Life of Zack and Cody before being cast as Maddie. Tisdale
was ultimately happy to receive the role, because she wanted to
portray a positive character, rather than the mean-spirited
London. In order to play the character, she had to dye her long
brown hair blonde which led to it breaking off. She now wears
extensions. As The Suite Life gained in popularity, she became a
featured performer on the Disney Channel, appearing in several
promotions, specials, and ads for the network.
Most recently, she starred in the Disney Channel Original Movie High School Musical; Ashley has pointed out that she enjoyed playing the villainous character (Sharpay) in the film because she was nothing like herself. The role required Tisdale to perform several songs including, "What I've Been Looking For", "Bop to the Top" and "We're All in this Together", which had all managed to chart on the Billboard Hot 100 at one point or so. She also sings her version of the song "Someday My Prince Will Come" (from Disneymania 4 CD) and "Kiss the Girl" (for the DVD special edition release of The Little Mermaid). Tisdale appears in the Disney Channel Games, which began airing in June of 2006; she is the captain of the Green Team, the members of which are Lucas Grabeel, Miley Cyrus, Emily Osment, Mitchel Musso, and Kyle Massey. She has appeared on the Today Show with Zac Efron, Vanessa Anne Hudgens, Lucas Grabeel, Corbin Bleu, Jesse McCartney, and Monique Coleman to perform the dance to the song "We're All in this Together" from High School Musical.
Tisdale has signed a record contract with Warner Bros. Records and has begun work on an album scheduled for a release in early 2007. In July of 2006, Ashley also signed a deal with Staples, Inc.; Ashley Tisdale will appear in the promotional campaign for the company's "Geared 4 School" sweepstakes during the fall of 2006.
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