James Franco, whose full name is James Edward Franco and who was born on April 19, 1978, in Palo Alto, California, U.S., is an actor, director, and writer from the United States. His rakish charm and chiseled good looks helped him bring sincerity and weight to roles as different as drug dealers with dementia and comic book villains.
James Franco’s Childhood
James Edward Franco was born in Palo Alto, California, on April 19, 1978. Tom and Dave Franco, his two brothers, are both actors. Franco graduated from Palo Alto High School in 1996.
He subsequently enrolled in the University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA) as an English major, but walked out after his first year to follow his ambition of becoming an actor, despite his parents’ wishes.
After dropping out of college, he studied acting with Robert Carnegie at the Playhouse West and supported himself by working at McDonald’s.
James Franco’s Personal Life
Franco, despite his secular background, considers himself Jewish. In 2015, he had a formal Bar Mitzvah ceremony, which was presided over by a rabbi. After meeting on the set of Whatever It Takes in 1999, he dated co-star Marla Sokoloff for five years.
He later dated actress Ahna O’Reilly, with whom he parted in 2011. He has been accused of sexual assault by several women, including actress Ally Sheedy, former lover Violet Pansy, and several women who previously studied acting under Franco or were taught by him.
Franco returned to UCLA in 2006 after dropping out of college in the late 1990s to pursue an acting career. He majored in English with a specialty in creative writing. His undergraduate honors thesis was a book, which he completed under the guidance of author Mona Simpson in June 2008.
He continued to invest heavily in his education, moving to New York City to attend graduate school programs in writing at Columbia University School of the Arts, filmmaking at New York University’s Tisch School of the Arts, fiction writing at Brooklyn College, and poetry at Warren Wilson College’s MFA Program for Writers.
In 2010, he obtained his M.F.A. from Columbia. He also studied at Yale University’s Ph.D. English department and the Rhode Island School of Design. Franco was featured in UCLA print advertising with the motto “Some A-Listers Get A’s.”
James Franco’s Career
Franco’s reputation rose further with his performance as the titular character in the 2001 television biographical film James Dean, for which he won a Golden Globe and was nominated for an Emmy and a Screen Actors Guild (SAG) Award.
He went on to star in popular films such as Sam Raimi’s Spider-Man trilogy: Spider-Man (2002), Spider-Man 2 (2004), and Spider-Man 3 (2006). (2007). He has also appeared in Sonny (2002), City by the Sea (2002), Milk (2008), Pineapple Express (2008), Eat, Pray, Love (2010), Rise of the Planet of the Apes (2011), Spring Breakers (2012), Oz the Great and Powerful (2013), and This Is the End (2014). (2013).
He received another Golden Globe Award, this time for Best Actor, for his performance in The Disaster Artist (2017).
Franco had success on television as well as in the cinema. His noteworthy television performances include recurring roles on General Hospital from 2009 to 2012, a starring part in the short series 11.22.63 in 2016, and a starring role in the HBO drama The Deuce from 2017 to 2019.
Furthermore, Franco is well-known for his many collaborations with fellow actor Seth Rogen, with the two acting in eight films and one television series together. Franco received a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame in 2013, at 6838 Hollywood Blvd.
James Franco’s Net Worth
James Franco is a well-known figure in the entertainment industry in the United States, having had roles as an actor, director, screenwriter, film producer, artist, and poet. His net worth is estimated to be $30 million.
His performance in the film 127 Hours (2010), for which he received a nomination for an Academy Award in the category of Best Actor, is widely regarded as one of his finest works.
Other Franco Projects
Franco is a capable director in his own right, having produced and directed several films over the years. He produced and directed the documentary Saturday Night, which is about the making of a Saturday Night Live (SNL) episode, and was informed and affected by his experience hosting two SNL episodes.
In May 2010, his short films The Feast of Stephen and Herbert White premiered at the Maryland Film Festival. Franco has also directed the 90-minute docudrama The Broken Tower (2011), which tells the tragedy of poet Hart Crane’s death. It premiered at the Los Angeles Film Festival in 2011 and was published on DVD in 2012.
Franco also had his first solo art exhibition, named “The Dangerous Book Four Boys,” at The Clocktower Gallery in New York City, which featured film, drawings, sculptures, and installations. Franco is also a published author.
Palo Alto, a collection of short tales about growing up in Palo Alto, was released by Scribner in October 2010, to mixed reviews. Franco has also dabbled with music, and his band Daddy debuted in September 2012 with the single “Love in the Old Days” and the EP MotorCity.