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James Edward Franco, 42, an American actor, screenwriter, television producer, writer, academic, director, painter,  comedian, and film producer, was born on April 19, 1978, in Palo Alto, California. 

Franco was born in a family of liberals and has two brothers who are also actors, Tom and Dave.

James Franco with Brothers

His father was a Portuguese and Swedish and was the owner of a silicon valley business. Franco’s mother is Jewish, who is an author of children’s books. She also likes to act sometimes but is mostly interested in writing books. He belonged to a Russian-Jewish family. James’ paternal grandmother was also an author of books for teenagers, while his maternal grandmother was an artist and owned an art gallery.

James Franco with family

Franco was arrested for underage drinking, selling stolen fragrances, and graffiti. He always wanted to become an actor but joined the University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA), to become a Marine Zoologist on his parents’ wish, but ended up leaving it in the first year to pursue his dream of acting because he always wanted to become an actor. 

Franco has given a number of hit movies and is known for his amazing acting. Some of the films that made him popular amongst people include Spider-man Trilogy, Pineapple Express, Rise of the Planet of the Apes, Oz the Great and Powerful, The Disaster Artist, Spring Breakers, Milk, This is the End.


Franco was always passionate about becoming an actor and after leaving his university in the first year just to pursue his acting career, he started taking acting classes. James got his first role in a Pizza Hut commercial after 15 months of training in 1997.

Later on, in 1999, Franco got his first lead role in an NBC Tv series, Freaks and Geeks, which unfortunately didn’t do well and was finished only after 18 episodes because of bad reviews and viewership. Although it didn’t turn out to be good, Franco still explains it as one of his best experiences and how much fun he had playing that character.

James Franco in Freaks and Geeks

His first film was Never Been Kissed, after that, he appeared in Whatever It Takes, in 2000. The very next year, in 2001, Franco was offered the movie, James Dean, which was directed by Mark Rydell. Franco completely changed himself in order to understand the character of James Dean. 

James Franco

He started smoking, dyed his hair, learned how to play guitar and bongos, and took motorbike riding lessons. He was a big fan of Dean’s character, so in order to do justice with his character. James first read books on him to understand him completely and found his character very lonely.

He cut off with his family and girlfriend just to fulfill the requirements of that character. His hard work paid off and he won a Golden Globe Award and was nominated for an Emmy Award and Screen Actors Guild Award, for his outstanding performance.

JAMES’ WORK (2002- 2011):

Franco’s career took a huge turn when he appeared in a superhero film, Spider-Man, in 2002, in which he played the role of spiderman’s best friend. The main role was offered to James for the film but due to some reason, he was given this role. The movie became one of the highest-grossing movies and earned about $114 million in the opening and $822 million worldwide.

James Franco spiderman's friend

After that Franco was seen in many movies including Sonny (2002), City By The Sea (2002), The Company (2003), Spider-Man 2 (2004), The Ape (2004), The Great Raid (2005), Annapolis (2006), Tristan and Isolde (2006), Flyboys (2006), The Wickerman (2006), and The Holiday (2006).  

Franco starred in Spider-Man

Later on, in 2007, Franco starred in Spider-Man 3, which became the highest-grossing film of all time and made around $891 million worldwide. His outstanding performance was praised by the viewers. After that, he appeared in a comedy film called Knocked Up, alongside Seth Rogen, Jason Segel, and Martin Starr. Franco also starred in Camille, Interview, and Good Time Max.

In 2011, the actor appeared in a popular Minute to Win It. In the following year, Franco gave many hits like Rise of the Planet of the Apes, The Letter, About Cherry, and Oz the Great and Powerful. 

For the next six years, Franco appeared in many movies and played many inspiring characters that won the hearts of many but later in 2017, Franco decided to take a little break from his acting career and said that he will be back when he is ready again.


James was a big supporter of the LGBT community and in respect for them, he played many roles that reflected such people. But his own sexuality was questioned a number of times and people thought that he was gay. He was once asked about it, to which he responded that this is his personal matter but maybe he is gay. He also added that the only problem in our society is the way they judge people. If someone looks manly enough, even though they are sleeping with boys, no one would question their sexuality.

In 1999, the actor started dating his co-star, Marla Sokoloff of Whatever It Takes. They dated each other for about five years and then broke up since things weren’t working out very well between them.

James Franco with Marla Sokoloff

After that, Franco started dating the actress, Ahna O’Reilly until 2011. The actress didn’t like his interest in education too much, which created a lot of conflicts between them. They finally got separated later in 2011.

James Franco with Ahna O’Reilly

Franco rejoined UCLA in 2006, to complete his education and after 2 years he completed his degree. Later on, in 2008, he joined Columbia University to complete his Masters in Fine Arts and passed out with an amazing GPA of 3.5/4.


James Franco gave a number of hit movies and was loved by many because of his brilliant performances. He received many awards for his hard work in acting. Some of his movies and awards are;


Franco has starred in about 88 movies in total. His top 15 most-watched movies are;

  1. 127 Hours (2010)- Nominated for Oscar
127 Hours Movie
  1. Milk (2008)
Milk Movie
  1. The Disaster Artist (2017)
The Disaster Artist
  1. Spring Breakers (2012)
Spring Breakers
  1. Rise of the Planet of the Apes (2011)
Rise of the Planet of the Apes
  1. Pineapple Express (2008)
Pineapple Express
  1. The Ballad of Buster Scruggs (2018)
The Ballad of Buster Scruggs
  1. Spider-Man (2002)
Spider-Man (2002)
  1. This is the End (2013)
This is the End (2013)
  1. In the Valley of Elah (2007)
In the Valley of Elah
  1. Howl (2010)
  1. Palo Alto (2013)
Palo Alto
  1. Tristan and Isolde (2006)
Tristan and Isolde
  1. City by the Sea (2002)
City by the Sea
  1. Oz the Great and Powerful (2013)
Oz the Great and Powerful


Some of the awards Franco received for his brilliant performances are;

  1. Golden Globe Award for Best Actor: The Disaster Artist (2018)
  2. National Society of Film Critics Award for Best Supporting Actor: Spring Breakers (2014)
  3. Teddy Award for Best Short Film: The Feast of Stephen (2010)
  4. Independent Spirit Award for Best Male Lead: 127 Hours (2011)
  5. Independent Spirit Award for Best Supporting Male: Milk (2009)
  6. Gotham Independent Film Award for Best Actor: The Disaster Artist (2018)
  7. Critics’ Choice Movie Award for Best Acting Ensemble: Milk (2009)
  8. Critics’ Choice Movie Award for Best Actor in a Comedy: The Disaster Artist (2018)
  9. BFCA Critics’ Choice Award for Best Actor in a Picture made for the Television: James Dean (2002)
  10. Golden Globe Award for Best Performance: James Dean (2002)


James Franco, the American actor, and all-rounder has an estimated net worth of about $20 million. The actor earned it all from his hard work and now owns a bunch of property and luxurious cars.



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