Vanessa Hudgens, 32, is a well-known actress and singer who got her start in 2003 in the teen drama film Thirteen. It wasn’t until her debut as Gabriella Montez in High School Musical that she began to become a household name. While auditioning for the hit Disney musical, Vanessa met her soon-to-be co-star Zac Efron, 34, and the two began a romance shortly thereafter. After their split in 2010, the Knight Before Christmas star went on to date numerous actors and athletes. Find out more about Vanessa’s most recent loves here!
Zac and Vanessa first met and began dating after co-starring together on the hit Disney musical High School Musical — a franchise that catapulted both of their careers and made them into one of the most beloved Disney couples of all time. Opening up on The Hollywood Reporter‘s Awards Chatter podcast in 2019, Vanessa shared how “grateful” she was to have dated Zac early in her career. “It’s just a really weird foreign thing to go through, and by being in a relationship, I feel like it kind of kept me stabilized and grounded, and I had someone to lean on who was going through it as well,” she said.
The couple ultimately went their separate ways in 2010, with a source telling E! online at the time that the relationship simply “ran its course.” After Vanessa broke things off with her next serious boyfriend, Austin Butler, in 2019, HSM fans rooted for her to reunite with Zac — even causing their nickname “Zanessa” to trend on Twitter. As nostalgia-inducing and sweet as it might be for them to find love again a decade after splitting, a reunion is unlikely. During a 2017 appearance on Access Hollywood Live, when asked if she talked to Zac much, Vanessa replied, “Um no. I’ve completely lost contact with him.”
Vanessa was linked to actor Josh Hutcherson in early 2011, after the pair had co-starred together in Journey 2: The Mysterious Island. “I don’t know if ‘dating’ is the right word,” Josh told Seventeen magazine later that year when describing his relationship to the Spring Breakers actress. Although their relationship wasn’t officially confirmed, they did awkwardly and indirectly announce their split on Australia’s TODAY while promoting their film in early 2012. “We were [going out] at one point,” Josh said in the clip, “but she broke my heart — no I’m just kidding.” The Hunger Games star then clarified that they were romantically linked “at one point,” but now remain “just friends.”
Austin Butler was Vanessa’s next serious boyfriend after Zac, as the two dated for nearly nine years. Vanessa and the Carrie Diaries star were first linked in Sept. 2011 and then made their debut as a couple at the Journey 2: The Mysterious Island premiere in Feb. 2012. Vanessa, however, didn’t officially confirm their relationship until 2014 — nearly two years later — when she posted a sweet Instagram tribute to her beau, calling him “the love of my life.”
The pair sparked breakup speculation in 2019 after not spending the holidays together. One month later, they officially parted ways. “Vanessa and Austin are officially broken up, and Vanessa has been telling those close to her about their breakup,” a source revealed to Us Weekly at the time of the split.
The Princess Switch star was briefly linked to Kyle Kuzma, 28, in Jan. 2020, as the two were spotted out on a Brooklyn dinner date just seven days after she split from Austin. Kyle is a basketball player for the Los Angeles Lakers, and Vanessa was also photographed watching him play courtside at a home game in LA. Their romance was short-lived, however, and didn’t really manifest into anything beyond a brief fling.
Cole Tucker is Vanessa’s current boyfriend, and the two seem happier than ever. The pair made things Instagram official on Valentine’s Day 2021 when Vanessa posted a photo of the two kissing and wrote, “It’s you, it’s me, it’s us.” Cole is a professional baseball shortstop and outfielder for the Pittsburgh Pirates. On April 22, the MLB player shared a series of sweet photos with friends and family, including Vanessa, showing how close the pair had gotten since they were first photographed getting cozy in Nov. 2020.
An insider also dished EXCLUSIVELY to HollywoodLife about Cole and Vanessa back in April. “Cole treats Vanessa like a queen, he adores her. People were a little skeptical of him at first. I mean, a pro athlete and he’s only in his early twenties, no one really expected it to last,” the source shared with HL. “But he has been very serious about her from the get-go and that has not wavered. He adores her and says all the time that she is his dream girl, it’s sweet.”
The insider went on, “Vanessa is very taken with him too. Last month she went to see him while he was at Spring training in Florida. All the other wives and girlfriends were very welcoming, she had a blast,” they shared. “It’s a new experience for her, she’s used to guys that are in the business, so she really loves that Cole is different that way. It’s a whole new world for her to join. She’s definitely in love and very, very happy.”