James Franco

James Franco

Infobox actor

caption = Franco at the "Spider-Man 3" premiere, April 2007
birthname = James Edward Franco
birthdate = birth date and age|1978|4|19
birthplace = Palo Alto, California
goldenglobeawards =
2002 "James Dean"
occupation = actor, director, screenwriter, film producer, artist
yearsactive = 1999-present

James Edward Franco (born April 19, 1978) is a Golden Globe-winning American actor, director, screenwriter, film producer, and artist. He began acting during the late 1990s, appearing on the short-lived television series "Freaks and Geeks" and starring in several teen films. In 2001, he received worldwide attention and praise for his portrayal of James Dean in the made for television biographical film "James Dean", which earned him a Golden Globe for Best Actor.

He became well known since the early 2000s when he was cast as Harry Osborn in the "Spider-Man" films. In 2005, he starred in the war film "The Great Raid", in which he played Robert Prince, captain of a Ranger Battalion who rescued prisoners of war from the Cabanatuan prison camp during World War II. The following year, he had starring roles in three movies, "Tristan & Isolde", "Annapolis", and "Flyboys". In 2008, he starred in the comedy/stoner film "Pineapple Express" opposite his "Freaks and Geeks" co-star Seth Rogen. He is set to appear in "Nights in Rodanthe" and "Milk".


Early life

Franco was born April 19, 1978 in Palo Alto, California, the son of Betsy (née Verne), a poet, author and editor, and Doug Franco.cite web|url=http://movies.yahoo.com/movie/contributor/1800352352/bio|title=James Franco Biography|accessdate=2008-08-08|publisher=Yahoo!] His maternal grandmother, Mitzi Levine Verne, runs the Verne Art Gallery, a prominent art gallery in Cleveland, Ohio. [cite web|url=http://admission.case.edu/admissions/news/news_story.asp?iNewsID=249&strBack=/admissions/news/news_archive.asp|title=Case Western Reserve University|accessdate=2008-08-08|publisher=Admission Case] Franco's father is of Portuguese and Swedish descentcite web | title=LatinoReview.com | work=Franco Talks Annapolis! | url=http://www.latinoreview.com/news.php?id=217 | accessmonthday=May 9 | accessyear=2006] and Franco's mother is Jewish,cite web | title=the Jewish News Weekly of Northern California | work=Celebrity Jews | url=http://www.jewishsf.com/content/2-0-/module/displaystory/story_id/22428/edition_id/451/format/html/displaystory.html | accessmonthday=May 9 | accessyear=2006] [cite web|url=http://www.theinsider.com/news/1105838_We_Heart_James_Franco_Getting_Real|title=James Franco News|accessadate=2008-08-08|publisher=The Insider] a descendant of immigrants from Russia. Franco grew up in California with his two younger brothers, Tom and Dave, and graduated from Palo Alto High School in 1996, where he was elected by his senior class as the student with the "best smile". He then enrolled at the University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA) as an English major, and studied acting. [cite web|first=Michael|last=Posner|url=http://www.theglobeandmail.com/servlet/story/RTGAM.20080805.wpineapple05/BNStory/Entertainment/?page=rss&id=RTGAM.20080805.wpineapple05|title=Top of the food chain|accessdate=2008-08-08|date=2008-08-05|work=The Globe and Mail] He dropped out after his freshman year and chose to pursue a professional career as an actor, taking acting lessons with Robert Carnegie at Playhouse West.


After fifteen months of training, he began auditioning in Los Angeles, California, and got his first break in 1999, after he was cast in a leading role on the short-lived but well-reviewed television series "Freaks and Geeks". [cite web|url=http://www.shoutfactory.com/browse/31/freaks_and_geeks.aspx|title=Shout! Factory - Freaks And Geeks|accessdate=2008-08-08|publisher=Shout Factory] Franco has since described the series as "one of the most fun" work experiences that he has had.cite web | title=United Press International | work=Franco to reunite with Freaks pals | url=http://www.upi.com/NewsTrack/view.php?StoryID=20060923-111422-3997r | accessdate=2006-09-23|publisher=United Press International] Franco's first major film was the romantic comedy "Whatever It Takes" (2000), where he met his co-star, now ex-girlfriend Marla Sokoloff. [cite web|first=Owen|last=Gleiberman|url=http://www.ew.com/ew/article/0,,64610,00.html|title=What It Takes Review|accessdate=2008-08-08|date=2000-03-31|work=Entertainment Weekly] [cite web|first=A.O.|last=Scott|url=http://movies.nytimes.com/movie/review?res=9C06E5DA143DF937A15750C0A9669C8B63|title=Whatever It Takes Review|accessdate=2008-08-08|date=2000-03-24|work=New York Times] He was subsequently cast as the title role in director Mark Rydell's 2001 TV biopic "James Dean". [cite web|first=Kelly|last=Carter|url=http://www.usatoday.com/life/television/2001-07-27-james-franco.htm|title=James Franco: The next James Dean|accessdate=2008-08-08|date=2001-07-27|work=USA Today] cite web|first=Chris|last=Lee|url=http://www.latimes.com/entertainment/la-et-franco7-2008aug07,0,1264798.story|title=James Franco plays against type in 'Pineapple Express'|accessdate=2008-08-08|date=2008-08-06|work=Los Angeles Times] Ken Tucker of "Entertainment Weekly" wrote: "Franco could have walked through the role and done a passable Dean, but instead gets under the skin of this insecure, rootless young man." [cite web|first=Ken|last=Tucker|url=http://www.ew.com/ew/article/0,,255462,00.html|title=James Dean TV Review|accessdate=2008-08-13|date=2001-08-03|work=Entertainment Weekly] He was distinguished with a Golden Globe Award, [cite web|url=http://www.goldenglobes.org/browse/member/29141|title=HFPA - Awards Search|accessdate=2008-08-08|publisher=Golden Globes] as well as being nominated for an Emmy Award and a Screen Actors Guild Award. [cite web|url=http://www.sagawards.org/8_award_nom|title=8th Annual SAG Awards Nominee - Screen Actors Guild Awards|accessdate=2008-08-08|publisher=SAG Awards] [cite web|url=http://www.cnn.com/SPECIALS/2002/emmys/print.ballot.html|title=2002 Emmys|accessdate=2008-08-08|publisher=CNN]

Franco was originally considered for the lead role of Spider-Man/Peter Parker in the film version of "Spider-Man", but was instead cast in the supporting role of Harry Osborn, the son of the villainous Green Goblin.cite news|last=Caryotakis|first=Carissa|coauthors=|title=James Franco tells Voice about his work on "Spiderman"|pages=|publisher=The Paly Voice|date=2007-06-09|url=http://voice.paly.net/view_story.php?id=5592|accessdate=2007-10-04] [cite web | url=http://www.usatoday.com/life/movies/2002/2002-05-03-spider-man.htm#more | title=Mike Clark review | work=USA Today | date=2002-05-03 | accessdate=2007-01-23] The success of the "Spider-Man" film led him to reprise the role in two sequels, "Spider-Man 2" (2004) and "Spider-Man 3" (2007). [cite news |first=Kenneth |last=Turan|url=http://www.calendarlive.com/movies/reviews/cl-et-turan29jun29,2,5508627.story?coll=cl-mreview | title=Turan reviews "Spider-Man 2" | work=Los Angeles Times | date=2004-06-29 | accessdate=2007-05-29] [cite news | author=Mark Schilling | coauthors=Dave McNary | url=http://www.variety.com/article/VR1117960513.html?categoryid=19&cs=1 | title=Spider-Man 3 to premiere May 1 | work=Variety | date=2007-03-04 | accessdate=2007-03-05 ] Franco was cast in the 2002 drama "City by the Sea". [cite web|first=Monica|last=Winfield|url=http://www.bbc.co.uk/leicester/films/2003/01/10/city_by_the_sea_2002_review_monica_winfield.shtml|title=BBC Films - City by the Sea Review|accessdate=2008-08-08|date=2003-01-10|publisher=BBC] Franco has also co-starred with Neve Campbell in Robert Altman's "The Company" (2003). [cite web|first=Elvis|last=Mitchell|url=http://movies.nytimes.com/movie/review?res=9B06E4D61531F936A15751C1A9659C8B63|title=The Company Review|accessdate=2008-08-08|date=2003-12-25|work=New York Times] He appeared in the 2005 war film "The Great Raid", in which he portrayed Robert Prince, a captain in the United States' Army elite in the sixth Ranger Battalion, to plan the rescue of prisoners of war from the Cabanatuan prison camp. [cite web|first=Roger|last=Ebert|url=http://rogerebert.suntimes.com/apps/pbcs.dll/article?AID=/20050811/REVIEWS/50803001/1023|title=The Great Raid Review|accessdate=2008-08-12|date=2005-08-12|publisher=Roger Ebert.com|work=Chicago Sun-Times] [cite web|first=Jeff|last=Otto|url=http://movies.ign.com/articles/641/641289p1.html|title=IGN: The Great Raid Review|accessdate=2008-08-12|date=2005-08-11|publisher=IGN]

In 2006, Franco co-starred with Tyrese Gibson in "Annapolis" [cite web|first=Roger|last=Ebert|url=http://rogerebert.suntimes.com/apps/pbcs.dll/article?AID=/20060126/REVIEWS/60125001|title=Annapolis Review|accessdate=2008-08-08|date=2006-01-27|publisher=Roger Ebert.com|work=Chicago Sun-Times] and played legendary hero Tristan in "Tristan & Isolde", a dramatization of the Tristan and Iseult story also starring English actress Sophia Myles. [cite web|first=Joe|last=Leydon|url=http://www.variety.com/review/VE1117929236.html?categoryid=31&cs=1|title=Tristan and Isolde Review|accessdate=2008-08-08|date=2006-01-12|work=Variety] He then trained with the stunt team "The Blue Angels" and received a pilot's license in preparation for his role in "Flyboys",cite web | title=ContactMusic | work=FRANCO TAKES OFF WITH STUNT SQUAD | url=http://www.contactmusic.com/news.nsf/article/franco%20takes%20off%20with%20stunt%20squad_1009048 | accessmonthday=September 23 | accessyear=2006] which was released in September of 2006; the same month, Franco appeared briefly in "The Wicker Man", a horror film starring Nicolas Cage, who directed him in "Sonny". [cite video|year=2006|title=The Wicker Man|medium=DVD|publisher=Warner Bros.] Franco made cameo appearances in "The Holiday" and "Knocked Up". [cite web|url=http://www.usmagazine.com/linsday_lohan_and_james_franco|title=Lohan's Rehab Blamed on Her Obsession With Little-Known "Spider-Man" Actor|accessdate=2008-08-08|date=2007-01-19|work=Us Magazine] He was also featured in the mockumentary, "Finding Ben Stone", on the two-disc edition of "Knocked Up", where he gets fired from the lead role. [cite web|first=Reed|last=Tucker|url=http://www.nypost.com/seven/09232007/entertainment/movies/knocked_up.htm|title=Knocked Up|accessdate=2008-08-08|date=2007-09-23|work=New York Post]

He starred in the 2008 film "Pineapple Express", a comedy co-starring and co-written by Seth Rogen and produced by Judd Apatow, both of whom worked with Franco on "Freaks and Geeks". [cite web|first=Peter|last=Travers|url=http://www.rollingstone.com/reviews/movie/15138038/review/21896158/pineapple_express|title=Pineapple Express Review|accessdate=2008-08-08|date=2008-08-07|work=Rolling Stone] In the "New York Times" review of the film, critic Manohla Dargis wrote: "He’s delightful as Saul, loosey-goosey and goofy yet irrepressibly sexy, despite that greasy curtain of hair and a crash pad with a zero WAF (Woman Acceptance Factor). It’s an unshowy, generous performance and it greatly humanizes a movie that, as it shifts genre gears and cranks up the noise, becomes disappointingly sober and self-serious." [cite web|first=Manohla|last=Dargis|url=http://www.nytimes.com/2008/08/06/movies/06pine.html|title='Pineapple Express' - Stoners Who Put the Bud in Buddies|accessdate=2008-08-24|date=2008-08-06|work=New York Times]

Franco has been signed to star opposite Sean Penn, Josh Brolin, and Emile Hirsch in Gus Van Sant's upcoming Harvey Milk bio-pic "Milk". [cite web|first=Donna|last=Freydkin|url=http://www.usatoday.com/life/people/2008-08-03-james-franco_N.htm|title='Pineaple' star Franco digs deep, plays stoner and serious|accessdate=2008-08-08|date=2008-08-03|work=USA Today] On September 20, 2008, James hosted "Saturday Night Live". [cite news|url=http://blogs.orlandosentinel.com/entertainment_tv_tvblog/2008/09/saturday-nigh-1.html|title="Saturday Night Live" with James Franco improves in week two, but still far from its peak|last=Boedeker|first=Hal|date=2008-09-21|work=The Orlando Sentinel|publisher="blogs.orlandosentinel.com"|accessdate=2008-09-21]

Personal life

In 2008, Franco received his undergraduate degree in English from UCLA. [cite news |first=Pauline |last=O'Connor |title=Hit the town, read a book |url=http://www.calendarlive.com/books/cl-gd-cvr1nov01,0,5797817.story?coll=cl-lat-homepage |work=Los Angeles Times |date=2007-11-01 |accessdate=2007-11-03 ] He moved to New York to attend graduate school at Columbia University's MFA Writing Program and New York University's prestigious Tisch School of the Arts. [cite web|url=http://www.nydailynews.com/gossip/2008/07/10/2008-07-10_for_james_franco_its_lights_camera_educa.html|title=For James Franco, it's lights! camera! education!|accessdate=2008-08-08|date=2008-07-10|work=New York Daily News] [cite news|url=http://www.nydailynews.com/gossip/2008/08/06/2008-08-06_side_dish_write_on_james_franco.html|title=Side Dish: Write on, James Franco|last=Evans|first=Sean |coauthors=Shallon Lester |date=2008-08-06|work=New York Daily News|publisher="nydailynews.com"|accessdate=2008-09-21] [cite news|url=http://www.nypost.com/seven/09102008/gossip/pagesix/no_ogling__128375.htm|title=No Ogling!|last=Froelich|first=Paula|coauthors=Bill Hoffmann|date=2008-09-10|work=New York Post|publisher="nypost.com"|accessdate=2008-09-21] [cite news|url=http://gawker.com/374070/james-franco-to-sexify-morningside-heights|title=Academia: James Franco To Sexify Morningside Heights|publisher=Gawker.com|accessdate=2008-09-21]

Art—painting in particular—is a talent Franco developed during his high school years while attending a rigorous summer school for the arts, California State Summer School for the Arts (CSSSA). Franco has said that painting was the "outlet" he needed in high school, and that he "has actually been painting longer than he has been acting."cite web | title=Lindzi.com Your Connection to the Stars | work=James Franco | url=http://www.lindzi.com/interviews/james.htm | accessdate=February 1 | accessyear=2007] His paintings were displayed publicly for the first time at the Glü Gallery in Los Angeles, California from January 7, 2006 through February 11, 2006. [cite web|first=Ann|last=Oldenburg|url=http://www.usatoday.com/life/2002-08-14-celebs-painting_x.htm|title=Celebrities pour passion into artwork|accessdate=2008-08-08|date=2002-08-14|work=USA Today] Franco can also be seen painting in a scene in "Spider-Man 3". [cite video|year=2007|title=Spider-Man 3|medium=DVD|publisher=Sony Pictures]



External links

*imdb name|0290556|James Franco
*ymovies name|1800352352

###@@@KEY@@@###succession box
for "James Dean"
before=Brian Dennehy
for "Arthur Miller's Death of a Salesman"
after=Albert Finney for "The Gathering Storm"

NAME=Franco, James
DATE OF BIRTH=April 19, 1978
PLACE OF BIRTH=Palo Alto, California

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