James Franco (born April 19, 1978) is an American actor, director, screenwriter, filmmaker and academic who became popular on the series, “Freaks and Geeks” (1999-2000), before taking up starring roles in “Spider-Man” trilogy (2002, 2004 and 2007), “Milk” (2008) and “Eat, Pray, Love” (2010). He was nominated for an Oscar for Best Actor for his role in “127 Hours” (2010). He went on to star in other action-adventure movies such as “Rise of the Planet of Apes” (2011), “Oz the Great and Powerful” (2013) and “The Disaster Artist” (2017) which won him a Golden Globe Award for Best Actor in 2018.
James Franco Bio: Age, Parents,Early Life
James Edward Franco was born on April 19, 1978, in Palo Alto, California, to Doug Franco (father) and Betsy Levine (mother). His father ran a business in Silicon Valley and his mother is a children’s book writer and an occasional actress. Franco is the eldest of the three male children of his parents and he has a Portuguese, Swedish and Jewish descent.
James Franco Education Details
He attended Palo Alto High School, where he was known for his deviant ways and doing minor things like: graffiti, stealing, crashing cars.
Following his graduation from high school in 1996, Franco headed for the University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA) where he studied English and Drama. His time in UCLA was brief; he dropped out in his first year to realize his dream of becoming a fine actor. He later returned to UCLA to complete his studies and earn his undergraduate degree. Franco honed his acting skills intensely under Robert Carnegie, Jeff Goldblum and Tony Savant. Also, he spent time taking acting lessons and training at the Playhouse West in North Hollywood. Around this time, he took up a late-night job at McDonald’s to make ends meet since his parents refused to support him. At 19, he took up his first major role as Brian in the crime drama series, “Pacific Blue” (1997).
James Franco Acting Career
After 15 months of intensive acting lessons at renowned drama coach Robert Carnegie’s Playhouse West in North Hollywood, Franco got his first breakthrough role in the regular cast of the NBC’s series, “Freaks and Geeks” (1999-2000). Though the series was short-lived but it surprisingly got wide critical acclaim and gained tremendous fans all around the country. In the same year, he earned his debut in teen-oriented film, “Never Been Kissed.” Following his growing popularity, he managed to secure bigger roles in “If Tomorrow Comes” and in the romantic comedy, “Whatever it takes.” His acting career got a big shot after he made a brilliant depiction of the title character in 2001’s TNT TV biopic, “James Dean.” His portrayal got him enthusiastic reviews from critics and also earned him three prestigious awards nominations. In the following year, he took home a Golden Globe Award for the Best Performance by an Actor in a Mini-Series or a Motion Picture Made for Television. Franco latter admitted that he prepared for the role by smoking two packs of cigarettes a day.
Also, in 2002, as Franco’s status continue to grow even bigger, he starred in “Spider-Man,” as Harry Osborne, son of villainous Green Goblin. This movie garnered a box office success of more than $821 million income from around the globe. Still in 2002, he got critics’ acclaim for his outstanding performance alongside Robert De Niro in the crime drama, “City by the Sea” and also in Nicolas Cage movie, “Sonny.” In 2003, the talented thespian featured in “Mean People Suck” and “The Company.” In 2004, he reunited with the “Spider-Man” cast to shoot the second installment “Spider-Man 2,” and also marked his debut as a screenwriter, producer and director with the release of “The Ape.” In 2005, he followed with his own writing and directing work in “Fool’s Gold” and in the same year, he starred in “The Great Raid,” an action war movie. In 2006, he appeared in many motion pictures among which are “Tristan & Isolde” and World War 1 movie, “Flyboys,” in which he had to obtain a pilot’s license to play part. In 2007, he reprised his role as Harry Osborne in “Spider-Man 3,” which was a mega box office hit with $890 million raked in worldwide.
In 2010, he got his greatest splash till date with his performance in the gripping thriller, “127 Hours,” which got him numerous nominations including Oscar nomination for Best Actor. Franco has gone on to appear in many movies from 2011 to date in which he has either directed or acted. Recent movies that has featured both the acting and directing skills of Franco are “Future World” (2018) and “Zeroville” (2019).
Franco’s Education Continues
In 2006, he re-enrolled at UCLA majoring in creative writing and taking heavy course load while continuing to act. In 2008, he completed his first degree graduating with a GPA of 3.5/4.0. He subsequently moved to New York and promptly began working on his Masters of Fine Art degree at Columbia University, which he completed in 2010. Thereafter, he enrolled as a Ph.D. student in English at Yale University.
James Franco Religion
Franco is a self-professed Jewish adherent, but he has said his believe in the existence of God is complicated.
Is James Franco Married Or Dating?
Franco’s sexuality has been called to question because of his open support for the LGBT community and for his choice of roles as gay characters in some of his movies. On relationship matters, he met Marla Sokoloff on the set of “Whatever It Takes,” and they dated for five years (1999-2004). Between 2004 and 2005, he dated Ashley Hartman. He got into a relationship with actress Ahna O’Reilly in 2006 before they parted ways in 2011, citing his interest in education got between them. Franco briefly dated Agyness Deyn in 2011. His latest relationship has been with Isabel Pakzad whom reports have it that he has been dating since November 2017.
James Franco Net Worth
Based on information gathered, the net worth of the 42-year-old thespian is estimated at $20 million.