James Edward Franco is an American actor, director, screenwriter, producer, teacher and author. His first prominent role was a lead part on the short-lived cult hit television program Freaks and Geeks; he later achieved recognition for playing the title character in the TV biographical film James Dean, for which he was awarded a Golden Globe Award, and for playing Harry Osborn in Sam Raimi's Spider-Man trilogy. His notable films include Pineapple Express, Milk, 127 Hours, Tristan & Isolde, Annapolis, Rise of the Planet of the Apes, and 2013 releases Oz the Great and Powerful, Spring Breakers, This Is the End, and Lovelace. He also had a recurring role in the ABC soap opera General Hospital. For his role in 127 Hours, Franco received an Academy Award nomination for Best Actor.
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. He is a PhD candidate at Yale University.