Birth Name: James Edward Franco
Place of Birth: Santa Clara, California, United States
Date of Birth: April 19, 1978
*paternal grandfather – Portuguese Madeiran
*paternal grandmother – Swedish
*mother – Ashkenazi Jewish
James Franco is an American actor, director, producer, and writer. His roles include Harry Osborn in the Spider-Man films, as well as Whatever It Takes, James Dean, City by the Sea, Annapolis, Milk, Howl, Date Night, 127 Hours, Rise of the Planet of the Apes, Spring Breakers, Oz the Great and Powerful, Palo Alto, Homefront, True Story, and Why Him? Among his films as director are Sal, As I Lay Dying, The Sound and the Fury, and The Disaster Artist, all of which he appeared in.
James is the son of Betsy (Verne) and Douglas Eugene Franco. His father ran a Silicon Valley business, and his mother is a writer and actress. His brothers are actor and artist Tom Franco, who founded the Firehouse Art Collective in Berkeley, and actor and filmmaker Dave Franco. A picture of James’s father can be seen here. A picture of James’s mother can be seen here.
James’s father was of half Portuguese/Madeiran and half Swedish descent. James’s mother is Jewish, of Russian Jewish, German Jewish, Polish Jewish, and Lithuanian Jewish descent. James has said, “I’m Jewish, my mother’s Jewish,” although he is not religious. In 2015, he had an official Bar Mitzvah ceremony, presided by a rabbi of the Reform denomination.
James’s paternal grandfather was Daniel Franco, Jr. (the son of Daniel Franco and Eugénia Baptista). James’s grandfather Daniel was born in Illinois, to Portuguese emigrants, from the Madeira islands. James’s great-grandfather Daniel was the son of João Franco and Maria de Mendonça. James’s great-grandmother Eugénia was the daughter of João Baptista and Carlota de Freitas.
James’s paternal grandmother was Marjorie J. Peterson (the daughter of Claus Fredolph Peterson and Martha Louise Rehn). James’s grandmother Marjorie Franco was born in Illinois, and is a children’s author. Claus was born in Illinois, to Swedish parents, Carl Magnus Peterson and Amelia Bernadette Ackerman. Martha was also born in Illinois, to Swedish parents, Edward Anderson Rehn and Anna Louise Knall.
James’s maternal grandfather was Daniel Surad Verovitz/Verne (the son of Carroll Verovitz and Bessie G. Surad). Daniel was born in Ohio. Carroll was born in Chicago, Illinois. Carroll’s father, Harry/Harris David Verovitz, was a Russian Jewish immigrant. Carroll’s mother, Mary Harris, was born in Ohio, to a German Jewish father and a Polish Jewish mother. Bessie was born in Portland, Oregon, the daughter of Philip Surad and Mary Shank, who were Jewish emigrants from Russia.
James’s maternal grandmother was Marcella Ruth “Mitzie” Levine (the daughter of Emanuel “Manuel” Levine and Jessie Bialosky). Marcella was born in Ohio, and owned the Verne Art Gallery, a prominent art gallery in Cleveland. Emanuel was a noted judge in Cleveland; he was born in Vilna, Lithuania, to Jewish parents, David J. Levine and Michelle Corban. Jessie was born in Ohio, the daughter of Louis Bialosky and Rebecca Shapiro, who were Polish Jewish immigrants.
James’s paternal grandfather, Daniel Franco, Jr., on the 1930 U.S. Census – https://familysearch.org
James’s paternal grandmother, Marjorie J. Peterson, on the 1930 U.S. Census – https://familysearch.org
Obituary of James’s paternal grandmother, Marjorie J. (Peterson) Franco – https://www.legacy.com
James’s maternal grandfather, Daniel Surad Verovitz, on the 1930 U.S. Census – https://familysearch.org
James’s maternal great-great-grandfather, Harry/Harris David Verovitz, on the 1920 U.S. Census – https://familysearch.org
James’s maternal grandmother, Marcella Ruth “Mitzie” Levine, on the 1930 U.S. Census – https://familysearch.org
James’s maternal great-grandmother, Jessie Bialosky, on the 1900 U.S. Census – https://familysearch.org