Apr. 19th, 1978
Palo Alto, California, USA
Guest TV Roles
Himself - Guest
Himself - Guest
Himself - Guest
Best known for his breakthrough starring role on "Freaks and Geeks" (1999), James Franco was born in Palo Alto, California on April 19, 1978. Growing up with his two younger brothers, James graduated from Palo Alto high school in 1996 and went on to attend UCLA, majoring in English. To overcome his shyness, he got into acting while studying there, which, much to his parents' dismay, he left after only one year. After fifteen months of intensive study at Robert Carnegie's Playhouse West, James began actively pursuing his dream of finding work as an actor in Hollywood. In that short time, he landed himself a starring role on "Freaks and Geeks" (1999). The show, however, was not a hit to its viewers at the time, and was canceled after its first year. Now, it has become a cult-hit. Prior to joining "Freaks and Geeks" (1999), Franco starred in the TV miniseries _"To Serve and Protect" (1999) (mini). After that he had a starring role in Whatever It Takes (2000), which is where he met his future girlfriend, Marla Sokoloff.
Although he'd been working steadily, it wasn't until the TNT made-for-television movie, James Dean (2001) (TV) that James rose to fan-magazine fame and got to show off his talent. Since then he has been working non-stop. After losing the lead role to Tobey Maguire, James settled for the part of Harry Osborne, Spider-Man's best friend in the summer 2002 major hit Spider-Man (2002).
Next was Deuces Wild (2002) and City by the Sea (2002), in which Robert De Niro personally had him cast, after viewing his performance in James Dean (2001) (TV). Definitely growing out of his shyness James Franco is turning into a legend of his own.
- His first overseas trip was to Australia to film _The Great Raid (2005)_ (qv).
- In his spare time he likes to paint
- Has his own production company - Rabbit Bandini Productions.
- While a guest on her NPR program "Fresh Air," Franco told interviewer Terry Gross that when he went back to UCLA to finish his undergraduate degree in creative writing, he was worried that his classmates and professors might think of him as "sliding by" because of his acting career, so he took a lot of extra courses to make sure they knew he was serious. He told Gross that the cap on the number of units that a student is allowed to take in a quarter was 19, but in his last quarter he took 62 units - which as far as he knows is a record for a single student.
- James appeared in two movies that premiered on the same day, _Deuces Wild (2002)_ (qv) and _Spider-Man (2002)_ (qv), both opening on May 3rd. The success of the two films was highly varied as Spider-Man film has to date amassed a box office gross some 67 times greater than that of Deuces.
- His grandmother, Mitzie Verne, is an artist.
- Auditioned for the role of Peter Parker in _Spider-Man (2002)_ (qv), but was given the part of Harry Osbourne.
- Franco told interviewer Terry Gross that when he was in junior high school, he was arrested for shoplifting cologne from a department store and reselling it with his friends at the school. He noted to Gross the irony that in 2008 he shot an advertising campaign in which he became the face of Gucci cologne.