James Francis Cameron (born August 16, 1954) is a Canadian-born American film director noted for his action/science fiction films, which are often completed behind schedule and over budget but compensate by being extremely successful financially. Thematically, James Cameron's films generally explore the relationship between man and technology.
He was born in Kapuskasing, Ontario, Canada, the son of Phillip (an electrical engineer) and Shirley Cameron (an artist), but his family moved to Brea, California in 1971. There he studied physics at Cal State-Fullerton but was only ever interested in movie work. He started as a screenwriter, and went on to do art direction and effects work (on Battle Beyond the Stars and Escape from New York, for example, working with producer Roger Corman) before landing his first directorial job in 1981.
Cameron is known for the breakthrough work he expects from his special effects (FX) crews, beginning with The Terminator (the special effects of which, while somewhat dated today, were quite advanced upon the film's release in 1984). The special effects in Terminator 2: Judgment Day made extensive use of computer-generated imaging (CGI), and won an Academy Award for Best Visual Effects. Cameron's Titanic in 1997 made use of both CGI and a variety of sets of different scales, and also won a Visual Effects Oscar. Titanic was notable also for being the most expensive film made to that point, and for recouping that investment by becoming the biggest box-office hit in film history. Among the film's record-tying 11 Oscars were three for Cameron, as director, producer and editor.
His latest projects have been undersea documentaries on the Titanic and the Bismarck.
He has been married five times, including to Kathryn Bigelow (1989-91) and Linda Hamilton (1997-99). His current wife is Suzy Amis, whom he married in June 2000.
Directorial feature filmography
Piranha II: The Spawning (1981)
The Terminator (1984)
The Abyss (1989)
Terminator 2: Judgment Day (1991)
True Lies (1994)
Dark Angel (2000 series)