James Franco profile
James Franco in “Rise of the Apes”
James Franco

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When James Franco accepted the 2002 Golden Globe for Best Actor in the made-for-TV movie “James Dean,” it was clear then that Franco was on the cusp of stardom. In fact, he had already been around for a few years, primarily as part of the Judd Apatow pyramid with his role in “Freaks and Geeks.” While the show was short-lived, it was a major launching pad not only for Apatow himself, but for Seth Rogen and James Franco as well. In addition, James was paying his dues with minor roles in “Never Been Kissed” and “Whatever It Takes,” but it was as Daniel Desario on “Freaks & Geeks” that brought more attention to his talents. Thanks to inhabiting the iconic role of James Dean – and bearing a natural striking resemblance to the late actor – James established himself as an up and comer here to stay.

The “Spider-Man” franchise paved the way for James to dabble in commercial pictures, while giving him an opportunity to perform in more serious fare, a la Robert Altman’s “The Company,” “The Great Raid” and “Flyboys.” After “Spider-Man 3” in 2007, Franco made it clear that he was interested in continuing to explore his acting range, with turns as a sergeant in “In the Valley of Elah” and a stoner in “Pineapple Express.” While he has pulled off some impressive performances, Franco’s greatest challenges still lie ahead. Now in his 30s, Franco will undoubtedly continue with both mainstream and arthouse work, while also experimenting behind the camera, as he has been doing in recent years. “Milk,” the biopic helmed by Gus Van Sant with Sean Penn in the lead and James in a major supporting role, should once again be a forceful strike reminding audiences of how talented he really is. Meanwhile, education continues to call as he pursues post-graduate work at Columbia University – much to the delight of his adoring female (and probably male) classmates.

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James on the Web

James’ ultimate web resource.

Extremely detailed biography covers every aspect of James’ public life.

James on the Screen

James made his silver screen debut as Brian on “Pacific Blue” in 1997, and his big screen debut only came a few years later in "Never Been Kissed." He followed that up with a recurring role on Judd Apatow's "Freaks & Geeks," the TV movie "James Dean," and as Harry Osborne in the "Spider-Man" trilogy. Roles alongside Robert De Niro ("City by the Sea") and for director Robert Altman ("The Company") followed, but the actor really came into his own with films like "Pineapple Express" and "Milk." More recently, James has appeared in "127 Hours" (for which he recieved an Oscar nomination for Best Actor), "Your Highness," "Rise of the Planet of the Apes," and a bizarre recurring guest role on the TV soap opera "General Hospital."

James Says

On resting:
“I don’t even like to sleep – I feel as if there’s too much to do.”

On art:
“I needed an outlet in high school and came across painting. I’ve actually been a painter longer than I’ve been an actor.”