James Franco Bio
Actor James Franco has captured the attention of audiences on both the small and big screen, and he’s poised to do it again with upcoming Oz: The Great and Powerful, a reimagining of the classic Wizard of Oz tale. Find out more about him in his Kidzworld Bio!
James Franco was born in Palo Alto, California. His father is of Portugese and Swedish descent, and his mother’s family is Russian Jewish. James has two younger brothers, Tom and Dave (who is also an actor). There’s no shortage of artistic talent or brains in the family, their mother is a poet, author and editor and their grandmother runs a successful art gallery in Cleveland. Being smart and artistic doesn’t necessarily keep you out of trouble though, James had run-ins with the law as a teenager for graffiti and theft, but managed to clean up his act and made it to the University of California to study English Literature. He always dreamed of being an actor, but was worried what people might think, but after his first year of university he decided to drop out and pursue his dream.
Freaks and Geeks
James parents refused to support him while he pursued acting, so he worked at McDonald’s even though he was a vegetarian at the time, until he started studying with an acting coach who allowed him to pay him later. His big break came when he landed a leading role as a ‘70s high school bad boy in the cult classic show Freaks and Geeks. Although the show was short-lived, James was memorable and soon started landing small roles in films like Drew Barrymore’s Never Been Kissed and in the biographical movie James Dean as the title role! For James Dean he received a Golden Globe Award and nominations for an Emmy and Screen Actors Guild Award.
Spider-Man to Oz
After receiving rave reviews from fans and critics for Freaks and Geeks and James Dean, it was only a matter of time before James started showing up in blockbuster hits. He became a household name when he landed the role of Harry Osborn (son of the Green Goblin) in the Spider-Man films starring Tobey Maguire. James reclaimed the role of Harry for Spider-Man 2, 3 and 4. He also took on challenging roles, like the drug addict in City by the Sea, the lone climber who loses his arm in 127 Days as well as appearing in comedies like Knocked Up! And on the acclaimed sitcom 30 Rock. The latest buzz on James is the prequel Oz: The Great and Powerful, where he plays the Wizard!
That’s not all he’s been up to, feeling like he had missed out James re-enrolled in university and has since not only earned his degree but also a Master of Fine Arts in Creative Writing from Columbia University and has also been painting and putting his paintings on display, and has been open with the press about how much he loves school and painting – he even missed the nominations for the Golden Globes one year in order to make it to class!
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