James Edward Franco (born April 19, 1978) is an American actor, director, screenwriter, film producer, and artist. He began acting during the late 1990s, appearing on the short-lived television series Freaks and Geeks and starring in several teen films. In 2001 he played the title role in Mark Rydell's television biographical film James Dean, which earned him a Golden Globe for Best Actor.
He became well known in the early 2000s when he was cast as Harry Osborn in the Spider-Man films. In 2005, he starred in the war film The Great Raid, in which he played Robert Prince, captain of a Ranger Battalion who rescued prisoners of war from the Cabanatuan prison camp during World War II. The following year, he had starring roles in three movies, Tristan & Isolde, Annapolis, and Flyboys. In 2008, he starred in the comedy/stoner film Pineapple Express opposite his Freaks and Geeks co-star Seth Rogen. He has appeared in Nights in Rodanthe and played a prominent role in the biographical film Milk.
Franco was born April 19, 1978 in Palo Alto, California, the son of Betsy (née Verne), a poet, author and editor, and Doug Franco. His maternal grandmother, Mitzi Levine Verne, runs the Verne Art