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James Franco

James Franco

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Also Known As: James Edward Franco Died:
Born: April 19, 1978 Cause of Death:
Birth Place: Palo Alto, California, USA Profession: actor, fast food employee

Biography CLOSE THE FULL BIOGRAPHY

of accolades when he received an Independent Spirit Award nomination for Best Supporting Male. In the fall of 2009, the established film star elicited plenty of head scratching within the blogosphere when he took a guest starring stint on the soap opera "General Hospital" (ABC, 1963- ). While the actor expressed an interest in doing something new and challenging by taking on the grueling shooting schedule of a soap opera, other reports suggested that Franco's daytime run as a mysterious assassin was part of a documentary film project about the actor.Following a guest starring turn as himself to carry on a fake romance with Jenna Maroney (Jane Krakowski) on an episode of "30 Rock" (NBC, 2006- ), Franco had a supporting role opposite Julia Roberts in the dramatic adaptation "Eat Pray Love" (2010). He next portrayed Beat Generation luminary Allen Ginsberg in the experimental film, "Howl" (2010), which explored the 1957 obscenity trial following the release of a famed book of poems. Franco went on to deliver arguably the best performance of his career to date in director Danny Boyle¿s "127 Hours" (2010), playing real life mountain climber, Aron Ralston, whose arm became trapped under a boulder while...

of accolades when he received an Independent Spirit Award nomination for Best Supporting Male. In the fall of 2009, the established film star elicited plenty of head scratching within the blogosphere when he took a guest starring stint on the soap opera "General Hospital" (ABC, 1963- ). While the actor expressed an interest in doing something new and challenging by taking on the grueling shooting schedule of a soap opera, other reports suggested that Franco's daytime run as a mysterious assassin was part of a documentary film project about the actor.

Following a guest starring turn as himself to carry on a fake romance with Jenna Maroney (Jane Krakowski) on an episode of "30 Rock" (NBC, 2006- ), Franco had a supporting role opposite Julia Roberts in the dramatic adaptation "Eat Pray Love" (2010). He next portrayed Beat Generation luminary Allen Ginsberg in the experimental film, "Howl" (2010), which explored the 1957 obscenity trial following the release of a famed book of poems. Franco went on to deliver arguably the best performance of his career to date in director Danny Boyle¿s "127 Hours" (2010), playing real life mountain climber, Aron Ralston, whose arm became trapped under a boulder while climbing alone in an isolated Utah canyon and led to five days of struggling to survive before amputating his hand. Both gut-wrenching and inspirational, Franco¿s performance drew high praise from critics and earned the actor a slew of award nominations for Best Actor, including Golden Globes and Oscar. Meanwhile, Franco was tapped to co-host alongside Ann Hathaway the same Academy Awards for which he was nominated ¿ an obvious effort by the Academy to draw ratings from the younger demographic. Derided by critics, the decision to use the two actors proved to be a disaster, as Franco seemed distant throughout most of the ceremony ¿ some thought he was actually stoned ¿ leaving an ill-suited Hathaway to carry the night. Back on the big screen, Franco starred in the surprising hit prequel, "Rise of the Planet of the Apes" (2011) and played the dashing Fabious in the medieval stoner comedy "Your Highness" (2011). About this time, Franco¿s five-year relationship with actress Ahna O'Reilly came to an end.

Always busy, Franco starred in one movie after another, playing a wealthy lawyer connected to the porn industry in the indie film "About Cherry" (2012) and the former student of a playwright (Winona Ryder) suffering from paranoid delusions in the psychological thriller "The Letter" (2012). From there, he was one of several actors to play poet C.K Williams at various stages of his life in the student-made experimental film "Tar" (2012). Of course, Franco was seen in major studio films as well and enjoyed being the star of 2013¿s first blockbuster hit, "Oz the Great and Powerful" (2013), a prequel of sorts to "The Wizard of Oz" (1939), where he played Oscar Diggs, a womanizing con artist and stage musician who finds himself magically whisked away on the wings of a violent storm to the Land of Oz, where his ambitions are stymied by a war between three witches (Mila Kunis, Rachel Weisz and Michelle Williams). Though receiving mixed reviews, "Oz" earned a big $80 million haul during its opening weekend. Meanwhile, he delivered one of his best and most bizarre performances in Harmony Korine¿s "Spring Breakers" (2013), where he played a Florida drug hustler who tries to seduce four unassuming college girls (Selena Gomez, Vanessa Hudgens, Ashley Benson and Rachel Korine) on spring break. Franco cleverly tweaked his public persona in "This Is The End" (2013), a broad comedy about the apocalypse written and directed by his longtime pals Seth Rogen and Evan Goldberg. The film starred Rogen, Franco, Jay Baruchel, Jonah Hill, Craig Robinson and Danny McBride as fictionalized versions of themselves trapped in Franco's garish Hollywood Hills mansion during the end of the world. This was followed by Gia Coppola's "Palo Alto" (2013), based on Franco's own short stories, and the Sylvester Stallone-penned action film "Homefront" (2013), starring Jason Statham. Franco went behind the camera for "The Sound and the Fury" (2014), based on the William Faulkner novel. Franco's next major project, "The Interview" (2014), turned into one of the most controversial films of the decade. An action comedy about a pair of hapless TV journalists asked by the CIA to assassinate North Korean dictator Kim Jong-Un, "The Interview" became a political hot potato after it was implicated in a large-scale hacking of Sony Pictures that was claimed to have been carried out by a North Korea-backed hacker group. Following further threats, the studio pulled the film from wide release, then quickly allowed roughly 300 indie theaters to show the film beginning on Christmas Day 2014. Franco continued his breathless pace the following year, starring in the thriller "True Story" (2015), social drama "I Am Michael" (2015), Wim Wenders' "Everything Will Be Fine" (2015), Robert Duvall's "Wild Horses" (2015), and stop-motion animated film "The Little Prince" (2015), as well as a cameo in Rogen's "The Night Before" (2015).

sing in subsequent sequels. The young actor returned as a bitter, more driven Osborne in "Spider-Man 2" (2004), also directed by Raimi. While still not a true villain, per se, it was Franco's character that would set the wheels in motion for the hero's battle with the film's true heavy, Doctor Octopus (Alfred Molina).

Balancing his commercial projects with more prestigious ventures, Franco appeared in director Robert Altman's ballet-themed ensemble comedy, "The Company" (2003). Though filmed in 2002, his next film, "The Great Raid," was released in August 2005. In it, Franco played Captain Robert Prince, leader of the 6th Ranger Battalion team that went 30 miles behind Japanese lines to rescue 500 POWs from the notorious Cabanatuan prison camp during World War II. Through a steely gaze and clenched jaw, Franco played his character straight ¿ minus his trademark nuance and intensity. Ultimately a failure, "The Great Raid" took in a paltry $3 million its opening weekend. Franco had scant better luck with his next big picture, "Flyboys" (2006) ¿ a turn-of-the-century "Top Gun" adventure that bombed at the box office. Despite occasional missteps, Franco could always depend on the Marvel Comics universe to keep him front and center. Still obsessed by his irrational hatred for Spider-Man (Tobey Maguire) ¿ whom he blamed for the death of his father (Willem Dafoe) in the first movie ¿ the exacting of Harry's revenge served as a major plot point for the film. Having inherited his late father's vast wealth and state-of-the-art weaponry, the movie's sub-plot dealt with Harry assuming the identity of the New Goblin, one of three super-villains out to kill everyone's favorite web slinger. Directed once again by the gifted Raimi, "Spider-Man 3" (2007) was billed as the last outing for the film's principal cast of Maguire, Kirsten Dunst and Franco.

Following a supporting turn as Sergeant Dan Carnelli in "In the Valley of Elah" (2007), he played a laconic pot dealer who goes on the run with one of his clients (Seth Rogen) after witnessing a murder committed by a crooked cop (Rosie Perez) in "Pineapple Express" (2008), which earned him a Golden Globe nomination for Best Actor in a Motion Picture ¿ Comedy or Musical category. Then in the dark romantic comedy "Camille" (2008), he was a conniving petty thief whose marriage of convenience to a sweet, naïve girl (Sienna Miller) and honeymoon to Niagara Falls results in her death, though neither will let that stop them from having a good time and falling in love. Franco next delivered a strong co-starring role in "Milk" (2008), playing the lover of the openly gay activist and San Francisco County Supervisor, Harvey Milk (Sean Penn). Though most of the critical and award plaudits when to Penn for his powerful performance, Franco earned his share

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Filmographyclose complete filmography

DIRECTOR:

1.
2.
  Zeroville (2016)
5.
  Bukowski (2014)
9.
10.
  Sal (2012)

CAST: (feature film)

2.
 Sausage Party (2016)
3.
 Little Prince (2016)
4.
 King Cobra (2016)
5.
 Actors Anonymous (2016)
6.
7.
 Why Him? (2016)
8.
 Zeroville (2016)
9.
 Fixer, The (2016)
10.
 Goat (2016)
VIEW THE FULL FILMOGRAPHY

Milestones close milestones

1998:
Began to pursue acting career following 15-month intensive training course
1999:
Featured in NBC miniseries "To Serve and Protect"
1999:
Appeared in teen comedy "Never Been Kissed"
1999:
Cast as rebel Daniel Desario on NBC's short-lived but well-received series "Freaks and Geeks," produced by Judd Apatow
2000:
First major film role, romantic high school comedy "Whatever It Takes"
2001:
Portrayed the titular legend in director Mark Rydell's biographical TV movie "James Dean" (TNT)
2002:
Cast in supporting role of Harry Osborn, son of the villainous Green Goblin in director Sam Raimi's "Spider-Man"
2002:
Played Robert De Niro's son in drama "City by the Sea"
2003:
Co-starred with Neve Campbell in Robert Altman's "The Company"
2004:
Reprised role of Harry Osborn for "Spider-Man 2"
2005:
Co-starred in WWII drama "The Great Raid"
2006:
Portrayed legendary hero Tristan opposite Sophia Myles in Tristan & Isolde"
2006:
Made directorial debut with "The Ape"; originally co-wrote as a one-act play and later released on video
2006:
Played lead role in WWI adventure "Flyboys"
2007:
Once again teamed with Tobey Maguire and director Sam Raimi to play Harry Osborn in "Spider-Man 3"
2007:
Made cameo appearance in Judd Apatow's "Knocked Up"
2008:
Co-starred with Seth Rogen in "Pineapple Express," co-written and co-produced by Rogen and Judd Apatow
2008:
Portrayed Harvey Milk's (Sean Penn) lover in director Gus Van Sant's biopic "Milk"
2009:
Joined cast of ABC's "General Hospital" with recurring role of serial killer Franco
2010:
Guest starred on episode of NBC's "30 Rock" as himself and carried on a fake romance with Jenna Maroney (Jane Krakowski)
2010:
Co-starred with Julia Roberts in "Eat Pray Love," based on Elizabeth Gilbert's memoir; Roberts portrayed the author who, after a painful divorce, goes on a life-changing journey through Italy, India, and Indonesia
2010:
Starred in Danny Boyle's "127 Hours" as Aron Ralston, the American mountain climber who was trapped by a boulder for nearly five days before amputating his own arm
2011:
Co-hosted 83rd Annual Academy Awards with Anne Hathaway
2011:
Starred as a scientist in "Rise of the Planet of the Apes"
2013:
Co-directed "Interior. Leather Bar." with Travis Mathews; film re-imagined lost 40 minutes from"Cruising" (1980)
2013:
Played title role in fantasy adventure "Oz the Great and Powerful," directed by Sam Raimi
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Education

University of California, Los Angeles: Los Angeles , California - 2008
New York University: New York , New York - 2011
Columbia University: New York , New York - 2011
Yale University: New Haven , Connecticut -
Robert Carnegie's Playhouse West: -
Playhouse West: North Hollywood , California -

Notes

Franco on how "Freaks and Geeks" writers approach his character: "They don't want it to be another cool kid. They really just wanna display all our faults out there in the open and just make them more real people, not some icon." --quoted in the ULTIMATE TV feature "Who's Hot", November 12, 1999

Companions close complete companion listing

companion:
Marla Sokoloff. Actor. Starred opposite each other in "Whatever it Takes".

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