Ashley Tisdale was born in West Deal, New Jersey on July 2, 1985, to Lisa (née Morris) and Mike Tisdale, the manager of a construction company. Her elder sister, Jennifer Tisdale, is an actress, and her maternal grandfather, Arnold Morris, developed the Ginsu Knives. Through her grandfather, Tisdale is related to businessman Ron Popeil. She grew up in Ocean Township. She is Jewish on her mother's side and was raised with "a little bit of both" of her parents' religions.
At the age of three, Ashley Tisdale met her current manager, Bill Perlman, at a New Jersey mall. He sent her to numerous auditions for commercials, resulting in her placement in more than 100 national network TV ads as a kid. She began her theatrical career by appearing in Gypsy: A Musical Fable and The Sound of Music at Monmouth County's Jewish Community Center.
At the age of eight, she was cast to play the part of Cosette in a national touring production of the musical Les Misérables. "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", said Tisdale in an interview to Newsday in 2007. She also claims to have had only a single singing lesson before landing the role. Ashley Tisdale toured for two years on Les Misérables before landing a role in an international touring production of Annie in Korea. At the age of twelve, Ashley Tisdale sang at the White House for President Bill Clinton.
In the late 1990s and early 2000s, Ashley Tisdale had minor roles in several television shows such as The Hughleys, Smart Guy, 7th Heaven, Boston Public and Bette and in the feature films A Bug's Life and Donnie Darko. During this time, she simultaneously worked as a Ford Model. For her role in Boston Public, she received a 2000 Young Artist Award nomination for "Best Guest Performance In a TV drama".
In 2004, she was cast as the teenage candy-counter girl Maddie Fitzpatrick in the Disney Channel series The Suite Life of Zack & Cody, which premiered in March 2005 and ended in 2008. She later won her first award at the UK Nickelodeon Kids' Choice Awards for "Best TV Actress", due to her performance as Fitzpatrick.
Headstrong is Tisdale's US Gold-certified debut album, released in February 2007 via Warner Bros, which debuted at number five on the Billboard 200, with 64,000 copies sold in that week. "Be Good to Me" was released as the album's first single in the December, 2006 and "He Said She Said" was released as the second, in September, 2007. In 2008, "Not Like That" and "Suddenly" were released as singles in a selective number of countries that did not include North America. A music DVD entitled There's Something About Ashley followed the release of her debut album, with a three-song trilogy comprising music videos and a documentary about the creation of Headstrong.
The success of the first High School Musical film led Ashley Tisdale to reprise the role in the 2007 sequel High School Musical 2. She lent vocals for several tracks in the film's soundtrack and her performance in High School Musical 2 was critically acclaimed by many media outlets such as The Hollywood Reporter. Even more successful than the first film, High School Musical 2 became the most-watched cable-television movie, receiving 17 million viewers on its premiere night. Also in 2007, Ashley Tisdale was given the voice role of Candace Flynn, the series' secondary antagonist, in Phineas and Ferb, which became television's most-watched animated series among kids and tweens and had very positive reviews.
As a producer, Ashley Tisdale formed her own production company in 2008 and named it Blondie Girl Productions. The 2008 ABC Family Original Movie Picture This marked Tisdale's debut as an executive producer and also in a leading role, in which she played Mandy Gilbert, an unpopular and bullied teenager. The film captured 4.3 million total viewers in its debut night.
Ashley Tisdale reprised her role as Sharpay Evans in the 2008 Walt Disney Pictures feature film High School Musical 3: Senior Year. Her performance in the film earned her an MTV Movie Award for "Breakthrough Performance Female" in 2009. and acclaim by critics including Owen Gleiberman of Entertainment Weekly, who labeled her one of film's breakout stars and said her portrayal of Evans makes "narcissism a goofy, bedazzled pleasure", and Mark Kermode, who said Tisdale is 2008's "best supporting actress". High School Musical 3 earned $42 million in its domestic opening weekend, which became the biggest opening for a musical film.
Her second studio album, Guilty Pleasure, was released in 2009. Described by Tisdale as a "rocker and edgier" album, it generated mixed reviews, with a 54% rating on Metacritic, and Billboard claimed the album "doesn't give the singer room to comfortably let loose". Guilty Pleasure debuted at number twelve on the Billboard 200, selling 25,000 copies in its first week, archiving a low commercial performance in comparison with her debut album. The song "It's Alright, It's OK" was released as the album's lead single in April in airplay and digital formats and a second single, "Crank It Up", was later released in October.
Tisdale's return into broadcast television occurred in 2010 when her involvement in The CW Television Network drama series Hellcats was announced in March by The Hollywood Reporter, that reported Ashley Tisdale had signed on to co-star on her first major broadcast series role as Savannah Monroe, the peppy and fiercely intense captain of the Hellcats. The series had its script based on the book Cheer: Inside the Secret World of College Cheerleaders by journalist Kate Torgovnick and was described as "Election meets Bring It On" by critics. Hellcats, however, had one full season as it was cancelled by The CW in 2011. She had vocal roles in several TV cartoons, during 2010, including The Cleveland Show, Family Guy and Glenn Martin, DDS. and a cameo appearance in 2012 Valentine's Day episode of Raising Hope.
A High School Musical spin-off entitled Sharpay's Fabulous Adventure, released directly in DVD, featured Tisdale reprising her role as Sharpay Evans and also serving as the executive producer. The Disney Channel Original Movie captured 5 million viewers on its premiere night on Disney Channel. Ashley Tisdale voiced Candance Flynn in the 2011's Phineas and Ferb movie that premiered on Disney Channel with 7.6 million viewers on its debut night.
During 2011, Tisdale started focusing on her career as a television and film producer. Her production company Blondie Girl Productions signed a multiyear production deal with Relativity Media in 2010, to create, develop and executive produce a series. Ashley Tisdale has been working in a film for Disney Channel titled Adventure Quest, a project for Nickelodeon, a Bravo TV reality show titled Miss Advised, an upcoming television series based on Laurie Faria Stolarz's book Blue Is for Nightmares, and an upcoming ABC sitcom inspired by Tisdale's life called Under Construction, in which she is also starring.