James Franco is an American actor, director, screenwriter, producer, and teacher. He is best known for his roles in the films Spider-Man (2002), Pineapple Express (2008), Milk (2008), and 127 Hours (2010). He has been nominated for numerous awards, including three Golden Globe Awards and four Academy Awards.
Franco was born in Palo Alto, California, to Betsy Lou (née Verne), an author, and Douglas Eugene Franco, who ran a Silicon Valley business. He has two older brothers, Tom and Dave, and an older sister, Alison. He was raised in California's Bay Area and attended Palo Alto High School. He was an avid comic book reader as a child, and his favorite superhero was Spider-Man. He has said that he was "kind of a late bloomer" and was not popular in school.
Franco began his acting career in 1999 with a minor role in the television series Pacific Blue. He also appeared in the television series Freaks and Geeks and had a recurring role in the short-lived drama series. He made his film debut in the 1999 comedy Never Been Kissed. In 2000, he had a starring role in the biopic James Dean, and in 2002, he gained worldwide recognition for his portrayal of Harry Osborn in Spider-Man.
Franco had a variety of roles in independent films such as The Company (2003), Tristan & Isolde (2006), and Milk (2008), for which he was nominated for an Academy Award for Best Actor. In 2009, he appeared in the comedies I Love You, Man, and Date Night. He also had a supporting role in the films Eat Pray Love (2010) and Rise of the Planet of the Apes (2011).
In 2011, Franco had his directorial debut with the biopic Sal. He also starred in the films Oz the Great and Powerful (2013), This Is the End (2013), and The Disaster Artist (2017). In 2017, he was nominated for an Academy Award for his performance in The Disaster Artist. He also received critical acclaim for his performance in the HBO series The Deuce (2017–2019).
Franco is also a successful producer, having produced films such as Good Time Max (2007), The Disaster Artist (2017), and The Sound and the Fury (2014). He is also a published author, having written the novels Actors Anonymous (2014) and A California Childhood (2019).
Franco has also taught at the New York University Tisch School of the Arts and the University of Southern California. He has also established a film school at Studio 4, which he co-founded in 2014. He has also served as a guest lecturer at various universities such as Yale, NYU, and UCLA.
Franco's diverse career has earned him international recognition and acclaim. He continues to challenge himself and take on new roles and projects. He is an inspiration to many and a true example of what hard work and dedication can bring.