Ethnicity: Ancestors of James Franco's paternal line came from Portugal and Sweden, and maternal - Jewish immigrants from Russia.
Franco was born in Palo Alto, California. His mother, Betsy Lou (née Verne), is a writer and occasional actress, and his father, Douglas Eugene "Doug" Franco, ran a Silicon Valley business.The two met as students at Stanford University.Franco's father was of Portuguese and Swedish descent. Franco's mother is Jewish; her family were Russian Jewish immigrants, and her father, Daniel, had changed the family surname from "Verovitz" to "Verne" some time after 1940. Franco's paternal grandmother, Marjorie (Peterson) Franco, is a published author of young adult books. Franco's maternal grandmother, Mitzie (Levine) Verne, owns the Verne Art Gallery, a prominent art gallery in Cleveland, and was an active member in the National Council of Jewish Women.