James Edward Franco (born April 19, 1978) is an American actor, filmmaker, and college instructor. For his role in 127 Hours (2010), he was nominated for an Academy Award for Best Actor. Franco is known for his roles in live-action films such as Sam Raimi's Spider-Man trilogy (2002–2007), Milk (2008), Pineapple Express (2008), Eat, Pray, Love (2010), Rise of the Planet of the Apes (2011), Spring Breakers (2012), Oz the Great and Powerful (2013), This Is the End (2013), and The Disaster Artist (2017), for which he won a Golden Globe Award for Best Actor. He is known for his collaborations with fellow actor Seth Rogen, having appeared in eight films and one television series with him.
Franco is also known for his work on television; his first prominent acting role was the character Daniel Desario on the short-lived ensemble comedy-drama Freaks and Geeks (1999–2000), which developed a cult following. He also portrayed the title character in the television biographical film James Dean (2001), for which he won a Golden Globe Award. Franco had a recurring role on the soap opera General Hospital (2009–2012) and starred in the limited series 11.22.63 (2016). He also stars in the David Simon created HBO drama The Deuce (2017–present).
Franco volunteers for the Art of Elysium charity, and has also taught film classes at New York University, the University of Southern California, UCLA, Studio 4, Palo Alto High School, and Playhouse West. Several of his former students from Studio 4 and Playhouse West have stated that Franco had behaved in inappropriate or sexually exploitative ways while serving as their teacher.