James Edward Franco (born April 19, 1978) is an American actor and filmmaker. For his role in 127 Hours (2010), he was nominated for an Academy Award for Best Actor. Franco is known for his roles in films, such as Sam Raimi's Spider-Man trilogy (2002–2007), Milk (2008), Eat, Pray, Love (2010), Rise of the Planet of the Apes (2011), Spring Breakers (2012), and Oz the Great and Powerful (2013). He is known for his collaborations with fellow actor Seth Rogen, having appeared in eight films and one television series with him, examples being Pineapple Express (2008), This Is the End (2013), Sausage Party (2016), and The Disaster Artist (2017), for which he won a Golden Globe Award for Best Actor.
Franco is also known for his work on television where 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 portrayed the title character in the television biographical film James Dean (2001), for which he won a Golden Globe Award, and received nominations for Screen Actors Guild Award and Primetime Emmy Award. Franco had a recurring role on the daytime soap opera General Hospital (2009–2012) and starred in the limited series 11.22.63 (2016). He starred in the David Simon-created HBO drama The Deuce (2017–2019).
Franco volunteers for The Art of Elysium charity and has taught film classes at New York University, the University of Southern California, UCLA, Studio 4, Palo Alto High School, and Playhouse West. During his time as a teacher Franco admitted to having sex with several of his students, which led to lawsuits and a $2 million sexual-misconduct settlement in 2021.