James Franco is an American actor, filmmaker, and teacher whose first prominent acting role was the lead character Daniel Desario on the short-lived cult hit television program Freaks and Geeks. He also starred in the TV biographical film James Dean (2001) which brought him a Golden Globe Award. Franco volunteers for the Art of Elysium charity and has taught a class at New York University in feature filmmaking and production. In 2013, he began teaching a course in short film production at the University of Southern California and a course in screenwriting at his alma mater, University of California, Los Angeles.
James was born to Betsy Lou, a writer and occasional actress, and Douglas Eugene "Doug" Franco a businessman. He used to take up a late-night job at McDonald's to support himself when his family did not support him in persuing acting career. He received his MFA from Columbia in 2010.
James was in a relationship with actress Ahna O'Reily until 2011. Now he is single.