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Birth Name: James Edward Franco
Birth Place: Palo Alto, CA
Date of Birth / Zodiac Sign: 04/19/1978, Aries
Profession: Actor; director; writer
Known for his lopsided smile and tendency to play intense characters, film star James Franco is new to daytime, but not to television. James Franco's breakthrough role was as James Dean in a TV movie, appropriately titled James Dean, in 2001. For his performance, James Franco won a Golden Globe award and a Critics Choice Award. Since then, Franco has rarely been out of work. Franco appeared subsequently as Harry Osborne in all three Spider-man films. After seeing him in James Dean, Robert DeNiro personally cast Franco in City by the Sea. Most recently, Franco starred in the criticallly-acclaimed Milk and the popular Pineapple Express.

James Franco - Shy??
Born James Edward Franco on April 19, 1978 in Palo Alto, California, Franco initially studied acting as an English major at UCLA to overcome intense shyness. Once on a stage, Franco immediately knew where he belonged, and left UCLA to study acting full-time. His first job was in the failed series Freaks and Geeks, which today enjoys cult status. Franco went on to do a miniseries, To Serve and Protect before hitting it big as James Dean. James Franco has been announced for six upcoming films, all of which are in development.
James Franco - Full of Surprises
Quirky, unpredictable, and uniquely talented, one never knows what James Franco is going to do next. He shocked Hollywood by approaching General Hospital's producers about appearing on the show, agreeing to a two-month story arc, and Franco has been announced for a guest starring role on 30 Rock.

As far as his film career, with a Golden Globe award and Critics Choice Award for James Dean, an Independent Spirit Award for Milk under his belt, and numerous nominations over the years, can an Oscar be far behind for James Franco?

During the 1990s, actor James Franco broke out as one of the era's go-to guys by playing sports heroes, disaffected pretty boys and rebellious burnouts with equal appeal. His career began in the brilliant-but-canceled TV comedy series
"Freaks and Geeks" (NBC, 1999-2000), and while Franco's portrayal of a moody dreamboat in the series won him a legion of love-struck teenage fans, it was his impressive portrayal of legendary Hollywood bad boy James Dean in the made-for-cable biopic "James Dean" (TNT, 2001) that cemented Franco's status as a serious actor. Keeping one foot in commercial waters, Franco landed a high-profile supporting role in director Sam Raimi's "Spider-Man" film series (2002, 2004, 2007), as
Peter Parker's best friend and romantic rival, Harry Osborne. Franco's Independent Spirit Award-nominated turn in the civil rights activist in the biopic "Milk" (2008) and his popularity in the stoner buddy comedy "Pineapple Express" (2008) confirmed Franco's versatility, as well as his appeal with both mainstream and art house audiences.

Born in Palo Alto, CA on April 19, 1978, James Edward Franco was the firstborn son of Portuguese-Swedish father, Doug Franco, and a Jewish mother, Betsy Levine. Voted the student with the "best smile" during his senior year, Franco graduated from Palo Alto High School in 1996 before enrolling at UCLA as an English major. Much to his parents' disapproval, however, Franco dropped out of college after his freshman year to pursue a career as a professional actor. After an intense year of training under the tutelage of noted drama coach Robert Carnegie at the Playhouse West in North Hollywood,
Franco found an agent and began auditioning for small roles in film and television. Franco first appeared on the big screen in the charming teen comedy "Never Been Kissed" (1999), starring Drew Barrymore. The following year, Franco solidified his appeal with a starring role in "Whatever It Takes" (2000), a modern-day update of the classic play, Cyrano de Bergerac. As the popular, but sensitive jock, Chris Campbell, Franco won the hearts of teenage girls all across America - especially one in particular. During the filming of the movie,
Franco met and fell in love with his longtime girlfriend-to-be, actress Marla Sokoloff. Franco's best-known work up until that time, however, was on the short-lived high school comedy series, "Freaks and Geeks." In it, Franco portrayed Daniel Desario, a nihilistic outsider with a troubled family life. Forced to grow up quickly and see the world with a resigned fatalism, the actor's brooding take on the character won over former good girl Lindsay (Linda Cardellini) on the show - not to mention the admiration of young viewers.

Following the show's cancellation, Franco was cast by director Mark Rydell in the title role of his biopic, "James Dean" (TNT, 2001). The critically lauded biopic would mark a watershed moment for the young actor, both personally and professionally. As a testament to his dedication, Franco - who was, in fact, a Dean look-a-like on film - became so immersed in the character of the tragic icon, he went from being a non-smoker to smoking two packs of cigarettes a day, mirroring the legendary Dean's penchant for excess. The role brought Franco significant acclaim.
In addition to receiving an Emmy nod and a Screen Actors Guild Award nomination for his work, Franco took home the Golden Globe Award in the category of Best Actor in a Miniseries or Motion Picture Made for Television. Most importantly, "James Dean" made the actor a household name.

Having firmly established his acting credentials, Franco next turned his eye toward more commercial fare. In 2002, Franco hit the proverbial jackpot with roles in two high-profile features. The first - the depressing mystery-drama, "City by the Sea" (2002), was a box office misfire, but afforded Franco valuable screen time opposite heavy hitters Robert De Niro and Frances McDormand.
His follow-up, however - director Sam Raimi's "Spider-Man" - was a colossal hit both commercially and artistically. Cast as Peter Parker's best friend and romantic rival, Harry Osborne, Franco created one of his most complex characters to date. An outwardly confident, but inwardly emotionally fragile individual, Franco's Osborne would find his screen time increasing 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 the 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 g s 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 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. Trapped for five days without food and water, Ralston must come to grips with the idea of cutting off his own hand with a dulled knife in order to break free. Both gut-wrenching and inspirational, Franco's performance drew high praise from critics amidst serious Oscar buzz. The actor took his first step toward an Academy Award nod after receiving both a Golden Globe and Screen Actors Guild Award nomination for Best Actor. As further proof he had little to no ego, at the same time he was receiving award nominations for "127 Hours," it was announced Franco was returning to "General Hospital" to continue to terrorize the citizens of Port Charles.

Also Credited As:James Edward Franco
Born:James Edward Franco on April 19, 1978 in Palo Alto, California, USA
Job Titles:Actor, Fast food employee

    * Brother: Dave Franco.
    * Brother: Tom Franco.
    * Father: Doug Franco.
    * Mother: Betsy Franco.

Significant Others
    * Companion: Marla Sokoloff. Co-starred together in Whatever it Takes (2000); no longer together

    * University of California, Los Angeles, Los Angeles , California, Literature
    * University of California, Los Angeles, Los Angeles , California, Writing
    * Columbia University, New York , New York, Masters of Fine Arts, M.F.A
    * Yale University, New Haven , Connecticut
    * New York University, New York , New York
    * Playhouse West, North Hollywood , California
    * Robert Carnegie s Playhouse West

    * 1998 Began to pursue an acting career following a 15-month intensive training course
    * 1999 Cast on the short-lived, but well-received NBC series Freaks and Geeks ; produced by Judd Apatow
    * 1999 Appeared in the teen comedy Never Been Kissed
    * 1999 Featured in the NBC miniseries To Serve and Protect
    * 2000 First major film role, the romantic comedy, Whatever It Takes
    * 2001 Portrayed the titular legend in director Mark Rydell s biographical TV-movie James Dean (TNT); earned Emmy and SAG nominations for Lead Actor in a TV-movie
    * 2002 Cast in the supporting role of Harry Osborn, the son of the villainous Green Goblin, in director Sam Raimi s Spider-Man
    * 2002 Played Robert De Niro s son in the 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 the WWII drama The Great Raid
    * 2006 Made directorial debut with The Ape ; originally co-wrote as a one-act play and later released on video
    * 2006 Played the lead role in the WWI adventure Flyboys
    * 2006 Portrayed legendary hero Tristan, opposite Sophia Myles in Tristan & Isolde
    * 2007 Made a cameo appearance in Judd Apatow s Knocked Up
    * 2007 Once again teamed with Tobey Mcguire and director Sam Raimi to play Harry Osborn for Spider-Man 3
    * 2008 Co-starred with Seth Rogen in Pineapple Express ; co-wrote and co-produced by Rogen and Judd Apatow; earned a Golden Globe nomination for Best Actor
    * 2008 Portrayed Harvey Milk s (played by Sean Penn) lover in director Gus Van Sant s biopic Milk ; earned an Independent Spirit Award nomination for Supporting Actor
    * 2009 Joined the cast of ABC s General Hospital playing the recurring role of serial killer Franco
    * 2010 Along with Anne Hathaway, announced as co-host of the 83rd Annual Academy Awards in 2011
    * 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 Guest-starred on episode of NBC s 30 Rock as himself and carried on a fake romance with Jenna Maroney (Jane Krakowski)
    * 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 Nominated for the 2011 Golden Globe Award for Best Performance by an Actor in a Motion Picture - Drama ( 127 Hours )
    * 2011 Nominated for the 2011 Independent Spirit Award for Best Male Lead ( 127 Hours )
    * 2011 Nominated for the 2011 Screen Actors Guild Award for Outstanding Performance by a Male Actor in a Leading Role ( 127 Hours )

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