Bright-eyed Olesya Rulin may have found tremendous success as an actress and singer at a young age, but her beginnings were decidedly humble. Born in a destitute village in Russia, she immigrated to the United States with her family in 1994, at the age of eight, and subsequently began studying singing and ballet. At 12, she started modeling, and within a few years she was appearing on shows like Touched by an Angel. In 2006, she was cast as Kelsi Nielsen in High School Musical, a project that would become a major phenomenon and make her a familiar face to legions of fans. Rulin would go on to appear in the film's sequels, but she had no plans to abandon her education, studying economics in Paris and enrolling at Columbia College Chicago, majoring in musical theater. She returned to both High School Musical sequels, and also appeared in the projects Forever Strong, Flying By, and Apart.
Biography by Cammila Collar
- Is fluent in Russian.
- Got her start playing guest roles on Touched By an Angel and Everwood.
- Was featured in the cast of Halloweentown High along with her High School Musical "classmate" Lucas Grabeel.
- Hosted Disneymania's Concerts for Conservation tour.