James Franco was born to his mother, Besty Lou an occasional actress and a writer. His father, Douglas Eugene Franco died in 2011. He used to run a Silicon Valley business. His father and mother met when they were students at Stanford University. His mother is of Russian and Jewish descent and his father is of Swedish and Portuguese ancestry. Back in the early 1940s, his grandfather, Daniel changed his surname to Verne from Verovitz.
James grew up in California with his two brothers. Tom and Dave, both are actors. James was very good at his studies from a very young age. He was encouraged by his father to do good in his studies. He did very well in SATs as well. In 1996, he graduated from Palo Alto High School. There, he used to act in plays. Later in 1998, he attended CSSSA for further theater studies.
James was once arrested during his high school years for graffiti and for being a part of a group that stole designer fragrances from the store and later sold them to classmates. Because of this, Franco for short became the war of the state.
James was interested in marine zoologists when he was young. Besides, he was also interested in acting or wanted to become an actor. But he was not courageous enough of pursuing the career as he has this fear of getting rejected. But, after dropping out of the University of California, he finally decided to pursue a career as an actor.
He then started taking lessons with Robert Carnegie at Playhouse West. During this time, he used to take a late-night job at McDonald’s to support himself as his parents were not supporting him. His parents were not happy with him leaving his studies behind and pursuing acting.
After 15 months of training, he finally started auditioning in Los Angeles. He got paid for the first time playing in a television commercial for Pizza Hut. There, he even featured in a dance with Elvis Presley.
After getting several guest roles on television series, in 1999, he finally got the lead role in one of the famous NBC TV series ‘Freaks and Geeks.' It didn’t run for long and got canceled after 18 episodes because of low viewership. He also describes this series as ‘one of the most fun’ work experiences so far.
After that, he got an opportunity to play in another series ‘Whatever It Takes’ in 2000. In 2002, he again got almost the lead role in the major hit ‘Spider-Man.' His next movies were City by the Sea (2002) and Deuced Wild (2002). For City by the Sea, he was personally asked to be cast by Robert De Niro as he was impressed by his act in James Dean (2001).
Later, he played in other famous movies like Pineapple Express (2008), Milk (2008), Eat Pray and love (2010), Date Night (2010), Rise of the Planet of Apes (2011), Spring Breakers (2012), This is the End (2013), Oz the Great and Powerful (2013). Recently in 2017, he starred in the movie ‘The Disaster Artist. He's one of the major words when he was cast in a superhero film ‘Spider-Man’ as Harry Osborn.
He started playing in the film in 2002. He continued his roles in ‘Spider-Man 2’ and ‘Spider-Man 3’ as well. James even directed, scripted, and starred in ‘Good Time Max’ in 2007. The movie was about two brothers, one of them becomes a doctor and another one is unemployed.
Talking about Franco’s personal life, he has a long dating history. He dated a famous American actress Marla Sokoloff way back from 1999 to October 2002. The actress is renowned for Lucy Hatcher on The Practice. Again from 2004-to 2005, he dated another American actress Ashley Hartman, who is famous for Victoria's Secret TV.
After a year of his breakup with Ashley, he again met another American actress for whom he went crazy. He started dating Ahna O'Reilly in 2006. The couple dated for a long time but because things didn’t work out, they had to separate in July 2011.
James seems to have a unique thing for actresses. But he has also dated a British Model. He started dating Agness Deyn at the start of 2010. The duo dated for over a year and finally broke up in 2011. Talking about his present relationship, he is currently dating 39-year-old Isabel Pakzad. The couple has been dating since July 2017 and is often seen hanging out together or having romantic dates.
James Franco has earned a good sum throughout his life. As of 2022, his estimated net worth is around $35 Million. He falls on the list of top highest-paid American actors. Recently, ‘People With Money’ announced that Franco is the highest-paid actor in the world. It further says that the actor earned around $75 million between November 2016 and 2017.
Franco bought a beautiful house for himself recently in LA. He spent over $750,000 just on the house. The home is located in Silver Lake, and it is about 1,700 square feet. The house has two bedrooms and three bathrooms and other luxury goods like heated carpets, fireplace, etc.