Home Celebrity James Franco’s Father Passes Away Suddenly

Doug Franco, actor James Franco’s dad, passed away suddenly last week. He was 63. The news was just released by the family late tonight. Doug had a Harvard MBA and was a long time entrepreneur in the Silicon Valley. He leaves his wife Betsy, mother of James, actor Dave and brother Tom. Doug Franco, who was of Swedish and Portugese descent, was one of the nicest guys you could hope to meet. He was also extremely proud of his sons. He told me during Oscar week how awed he was by James’s recent accomplishments and whirlwind of activity– a nomination, the hosting, the school stuff, all of it. And it was with Doug that I happened to walk up the stairs to the stage of the Kodak Theater when the Academy Awards ended this year. He was so eager to congratulate James and take family pictures. A lovely guy, gone way too soon. Condolences to the Franco and Verne families.

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Roger Friedman began his Showbiz411 column in April 2009 after 10 years with Fox News, where he created the Fox411 column. His movie reviews are carried by Rotten Tomatoes, and he is a member of both the movie and TV branches of the Critics Choice Awards. His articles have appeared in dozens of publications over the years including New York Magazine, where he wrote the Intelligencer column in the mid 90s and covered the OJ Simpson trial, and Fox News (when it wasn't so crazy) where he covered Michael Jackson. He is also the writer and co-producer of "Only the Strong Survive," a selection of the Cannes, Sundance, and Telluride Film festivals, directed by DA Pennebaker and Chris Hegedus.
11 replies to this post
  1. Mr. Franco was a great humanitarian. His organization Orchard International had a hand in building hospitals in some of the worlds hot spots. He will be missed by all those whose hearts have been touched by his generosity.

  2. His spirit will live on in his 3 boys. James looks so much like his father! You can just tell Doug was a good man. Hopefully, that wonderful Franco smile that the boys inherited will return to their faces and their memories will comfort them and their mom. Anyone who has lost a parent, esp suddenly, knows that life will never be the same, but it will become bearable again. My thoughts for peace and comfort are sent to the Franco family.

  3. I just heard and I’m so socked right now! Such a shame , leaving so early. A man full of life happy with his wife and proud of his sons decerved much better than that. My very condolences to all the family. Betsy you have to be strong ,it’s really cruel to lose your love so early. Boys the same goes for you I send you all my love. Please take care of your mother now. RIP Doug Franco

  4. I believe Mr. Franco had a heart attack. So sad. But, he lived a full life and raised three great kids. He organized charitable work to bring aid to some of the poorest places in he world. A great example. Rest in peace.

  5. Very sorry to hear this news. To all the family our sympathy. Great faith tells me that one day you will all be together again. With Love from Canada.

  6. I am so sorry this has happened. I know how hard it must be for the family. It is evident he was a great man considering the wonderful sons he raised and long marriage to Betsy. He was brilliant and charitable and will be missed by so many. My prayers go out to both families as well.

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