James Franco is an American actor, director, writer, producer, author and educator. He was born on April 19, 1978 in Palo Alto, California. He first got attention in the short-lived cult show "Freaks and Geeks" from Judd Apatow. He won a Golden Globe for the TV biopic "James Dean...Read more" (2001). His next big role was Harry Osborn in Sam Raimi's big-budget "Spider-Man" (2002) and its two sequels. Franco's varied and acclaimed film credits include "Tristan + Isolde" (2006), stoner-action flick "Pineapple Express" (2008), for which was nominated for a Golden Globe, "Milk" (2008) for which he won an Independent Spirit Award, "Eat Pray Love" (2010), "127 Hours" (2010), "Your Highness" (2011), "Rise of the Planet of the Apes" (2011), and the raunchy "Spring Breakers" (2012), for which he stayed in character throughout production as a seedy, corn-rowed rapper and drug dealer. His film work from 2013 includes "Lovelace" starring Amanda Seyfried as porn star Linda Lovelace, and "Oz the Great and Powerful" which he plays the central Oz. Franco was nominated for an Oscar for "127 Hours," based on the true story of adventurer and canyoneer Aron Ralston who sawed his own arm off after becoming trapped, literally, between a rock and hard place. The real-life Ralston recorded testimonies on a hand-held camera, an element incorporated into the film. The intellectually inclined Franco is also quite the academic. He teaches courses in filmmaking and production at University of Southern California and New York University, a course in screenwriting at his alma mater, University of California, Los Angeles, where he is also an adjunct professor of English. He is a PhD candidate at Yale University. He has published two books, "Palo Alto: Stories" in 2011, and "A California Childhood" in 2013. Franco also has a sense of humor about his own persona. He had a recurring role as Franco, a self-serious multimedia artist, on the lowbrow soap "General Hospital" (2009-2012), a show known for its formulaic, dramatic acting, which Franco embraced.