Wednesday, March 2, 2011


James Edward Franco (born April 19, 1978) is an American Actor, film director, screenwriter, film producer, author, painter and performance artist. He began acting during the late 1990s, appearing on the short-lived television series Freaks and Geeks and starring in several teen films. He achieved international fame with his portrayals of Harry Osborn in Sam Raimi's
Spider-Man trilogy, drug dealer Saul Silver in Pineapple Express and Aron Ralston in 127 Hours. His other well known films include Milk, Tristan & Isolde, Flyboys, Date Night, Your Highness, Eat Pray Love and the upcoming Planet of the Apes reboot Rise of the Apes. He has been nominated for three Golden Globe awards, winning one, and received an Academy Award nomination for his work in 127 Hours.
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Franco was born in Palo Alto, California. His mother, Betsy Lou (née Verne), is a poet, author, and editor, and his father, Douglas Eugene Franco, runs a non-profit agency and a shipping container company; the two met as students at Stanford University. Franco's father is of Portuguese and Swedish descent and Franco's mother is Jewish, a descendant of immigrants from Russia (her family's surname had been changed from "Verovitz" to "Verne"). His paternal grandmother, Marjorie (Peterson) Franco, was a published author of young adult books; his maternal grandmother, Mitzie (Levine) Verne, owns the Verne Art Gallery, a prominent art gallery in Cleveland, and was an active member in the National Council of Jewish Women.
Franco grew up in California with his two younger brothers, Tom and Dave, the latter of whom is also an actor. Talented at mathematics, Franco interned at Lockheed Martin. He graduated from Palo Alto High School in 1996, where he acted in plays. He enrolled at the University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA) as an English major, but dropped out after his freshman year against his parents' wishes to pursue a career as an actor, taking acting lessons with Robert Carnegie at the Playhouse West.

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