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James Cameron

James Cameron by Gage Skidmore.jpg
Cameron at the 2016 San Diego Comic-Con
James Francis Cameron

(1954-08-16) August 16, 1954 (age 69)
Kapuskasing, Ontario, Canada
Alma mater Fullerton College
  • Film director
  • screenwriter
  • film producer
Years active 1978–present
Sharon Williams
(m. 1978; div. 1984)

Gale Anne Hurd
(m. 1985; div. 1989)

(m. 1989; div. 1991)

(m. 1997; div. 1999)

(m. 2000)
Children 4
Awards Full list

James Francis Cameron CC (born August 16, 1954) is a Canadian filmmaker. He is known for making science fiction and epic films, and first gained recognition for writing and directing The Terminator (1984). Cameron found further success with Aliens (1986), The Abyss (1989), Terminator 2: Judgment Day (1991), and the action comedy True Lies (1994). He also wrote and directed Titanic (1997) and Avatar (2009), with Titanic earning him Academy Awards in Best Picture, Best Director and Best Film Editing. Avatar, filmed in 3D technology, earned him nominations in the same categories.

Cameron co-founded the production companies Lightstorm Entertainment, Digital Domain, and Earthship Productions. In addition to filmmaking, he is a National Geographic sea explorer and has produced many documentaries on the subject, including Ghosts of the Abyss (2003) and Aliens of the Deep (2005). Cameron has also contributed to underwater filming and remote vehicle technologies and helped create the digital 3D Fusion Camera System. In 2012, Cameron became the first person to do a solo descent to the bottom of the Mariana Trench, the deepest part of the Earth's ocean, in the Deepsea Challenger submersible.

Cameron's films have grossed approximately US$2 billion in North America and US$6 billion worldwide. Avatar and Titanic are the highest and third highest-grossing films of all time, earning $2.91 billion and $2.19 billion, respectively. Cameron holds the achievement of having directed the first two of the five films in history to gross over $2 billion worldwide. In 2010, Time named Cameron as one of the 100 most influential people in the world. Cameron is also an environmentalist and runs several sustainability businesses.

Early life

James Francis Cameron was born on August 16, 1954, in Kapuskasing, Ontario, to Philip Cameron, an electrical engineer, and Shirley (née Lowe), an artist and nurse. He is the first of five children, with two brothers and two sisters. His paternal great-great-great-grandfather emigrated from Balquhidder, Scotland, in 1825. Cameron spent summers on his grandfather's farm in southern Ontario. As a child, he declined to join in the Lord's Prayer at school, comparing it to a "tribal chant". He attended Stamford Collegiate in Niagara Falls. At age 17, Cameron and his family moved from Chippawa to Brea, California. He attended Sonora High School and then moved to Brea Olinda High School. Classmates recalled that he was not a sportsman but instead enjoyed building things that "either went up into the air or into the deep".

After high school, Cameron enrolled at Fullerton College, a community college in 1973 to study physics. He switched subjects to English, but left the college at the end of 1974. He worked odd jobs, including as a truck driver and a janitor, but wrote in his free time. During this period, he learned about special effects by reading other students' work on "optical printing, or front screen projection, or dye transfers, anything that related to film technology" at the library. After the excitement of seeing Star Wars in 1977, Cameron quit his job as a truck driver to enter the film industry.


1978–1983: Early work

James Cameron
Cameron, September 1986

Cameron's directing career began in 1978. After borrowing money from a consortium of dentists, he learned to direct, write and produce his first short film, Xenogenesis (1978) with a friend. Learning as they went, Cameron said he felt like a doctor doing his first surgical procedure. He then served as a production assistant for Rock and Roll High School (1979). While educating himself about filmmaking techniques, Cameron started a job as a miniature model maker at Roger Corman Studios. He was soon employed as an art director for the science-fiction film Battle Beyond the Stars (1980). He carried out the special effects for John Carpenter's Escape from New York (1981), served as production designer for Galaxy of Terror (1981), and consulted on the design for Android (1982).

Cameron was hired as the special effects director for the sequel to Piranha (1978), titled Piranha II: The Spawning in 1982. The original director, Miller Drake, left the project due to creative differences with producer Ovidio Assonitis. Shot in Rome, Italy and on Grand Cayman Island, the film gave Cameron the opportunity to become director for a major film for the first time. However, Cameron later said that it did not feel like his first film due to power-struggles with Assonitis. Disillusioned from being in Rome and suffering from a fever, Cameron had a nightmare about an invincible robot hit-man sent from the future to assassinate him, which later led to the inspiration of The Terminator. Upon release of Piranha II: The Spawning, critics were not impressed; author Tim Healey called it "a marvellously bad movie which splices clichés from every conceivable source".

1984–1992: Breakthrough

Inspired by John Carpenter's horror film Halloween (1978), in 1982 Cameron wrote the script for The Terminator (1984), a sci-fi action film about a cyborg sent from the future to carry out a lethal mission. Cameron wanted to sell the script so that he could direct the movie. Whilst some film studios expressed interest in the project, many executives were unwilling to let a new and unfamiliar director make the movie. Gale Anne Hurd, a colleague and founder of Pacific Western Productions, to whom Cameron was married from 1984 to 1989, agreed to buy Cameron's script for one dollar, on the condition that Cameron direct the film. He convinced the president of Hemdale Pictures to make the film, with Cameron as director and Hurd as a producer. Lance Henriksen, who starred in Piranha II: The Spawning, was considered for the lead role, but Cameron decided that Arnold Schwarzenegger was more suitable as the cyborg villain due to his bodybuilder appearance. Henriksen was given a smaller role instead. Michael Biehn and Cameron's future wife, Linda Hamilton, also joined the cast. The Terminator was a box office success, exceeding expectations set by Orion Pictures. The film proved popular with audiences and earned over $78 million worldwide. George Perry of the BBC praised Cameron's direction, writing "Cameron laces the action with ironic jokes, but never lets up on hinting that the terror may strike at any moment". In 2008, the film was selected for preservation in the United States National Film Registry, being deemed "culturally, historically, or aesthetically significant".

In 1984, Cameron co-wrote the screenplay to Rambo: First Blood Part II with Sylvester Stallone. Cameron moved onto his next directorial feature, which was the sequel to Alien (1979), a science fiction horror directed by Ridley Scott. After titling the sequel Aliens (1986), Cameron recast Sigourney Weaver as Ellen Ripley, who first appeared in Alien. Aliens follows the protagonist, Ripley, as she helps a group of marines fight off extraterrestrials. Despite conflicts with cast and crew during production, and having to replace one of the lead actors—James Remar with Michael BiehnAliens was a box office success, generating over $130 million worldwide. The film was nominated for seven Academy Awards in 1987; Best Actress, Best Art Direction, Best Film Editing, Best Original Score and Best Sound. It won awards for Best Sound Editing and Best Visual Effects. In addition, Weaver and the film made the cover of Time magazine in July 1986.

Gale Ann Hurd and James Cameron
Cameron with Gale Ann Hurd, 1986

After Aliens, Cameron and Gale Anne Hurd decided to make The Abyss, a story about oil-rig workers who discover strange intelligent life in the ocean. Based on an idea which Cameron had conceived of during high school, the film was initially budgeted at $41 million, although it ran considerably over this amount. It starred Ed Harris, Mary Elizabeth Mastrantonio and Michael Biehn. The production process began in the Cayman Islands and in South Carolina, inside the building of an unfinished nuclear power plant with two huge water tanks. The cast and crew recall Cameron's dictatorial behavior, and the filming of water scenes which were mentally and physically exhausting. Upon the film's release, The Abyss was praised for its special effects, and earned $90 million at the worldwide box office. The Abyss received four Academy Award nominations and won Best Visual Effects.

In 1990, Cameron co-founded the firm Lightstorm Entertainment with partner Lawrence Kasanoff. In 1991, Cameron served as executive producer for Point Break (1991), directed by Kathryn Bigelow, to whom he was married between 1989 and 1991. After the success of The Terminator, there were discussions for a sequel. In the late 1980s, Mario Kassar of Carolco Pictures secured the rights to the sequel, allowing Cameron to begin production of the film, Terminator 2: Judgment Day (1991). Written by William Wisher Jr. and himself, Schwarzenegger and Linda Hamilton reprise their roles. The story follows on from Terminator, depicting a new villain (T-1000), with shape-shifting ability and hunts for Sarah Connor's son, John (Edward Furlong). Cameron cast Robert Patrick as T-1000 because of his lean and thin appearance—a sharp contrast to Schwarzenegger. Cameron explained, "I wanted someone who was extremely fast and agile. If the T-800 is a human Panzer tank, then the T-1000 is a Porsche". Terminator 2 was one of the most expensive films to be produced, costing at least $94 million. Despite the challenging use of computer-generated imagery (CGI), the film was completed on time and released on July 3, 1991. Terminator 2 broke box office records (including the opening weekend record for an R-rated film), earning over $200 million in the North America and being the first to earn over $300 million worldwide. It won four Academy Awards: Best Makeup, Best Sound Mixing, Best Sound Editing, and Best Visual Effects. It also received nominations for Best Cinematography and Best Film Editing, but lost both to political thriller JFK (1991).

1993–2001: Continued efforts and Titanic

In subsequent years, Cameron planned to do a third Terminator film but plans never materialized. The rights to the Terminator franchise were eventually purchased by Kassar from a bankruptcy sale of Carolco's assets. Cameron moved on to other projects and, in 1993, co-founded Digital Domain, a visual effects production company. In 1994, Cameron and Schwarzenegger reunited for their third collaboration, True Lies, a remake of the 1991 French comedy La Totale! The story depicts an American secret agent who leads a double life as a married man, whose wife believes he is a computer salesman. The film co-stars Jamie Lee Curtis, Eliza Dushku and Tom Arnold. Cameron's Lightstorm Entertainment signed a deal with 20th Century Fox for the production of True Lies. Budgeted at a minimum of $100 million, the film earned $146 million in the United States and Canada. The film was nominated for an Academy Award for Best Visual Effects and Curtis won a Golden Globe Award for Best Actress. In 1995, Cameron co-produced Strange Days, a science fiction thriller. The film was directed by Kathryn Bigelow and co-written by Jay Cocks. Strange Days was critically and financially unsuccessful. In 1996, Cameron reunited with the cast of Terminator 2 to film T2 3-D: Battle Across Time, an attraction at Universal Studios Florida, and in other parks around the world.

His next major project was Titanic (1997), an epic film about RMS Titanic, which sank in 1912 after striking an iceberg. With a production budget of $200 million, at the time it was the most expensive film ever made. Starting in 1995, Cameron took several dives to the bottom of the Atlantic Ocean to capture footage of the wreck, which would later be used in the film. A replica of the ship was built in Rosarito Beach and principal photography began in September 1996. Titanic made headlines before its release for being over-budget and exceeding its schedule. Cameron's completed screenplay depicts two star-crossed lovers, portrayed by Leonardo DiCaprio and Kate Winslet, from different social classes who fall in love amid the backdrop of the tragedy; a radical departure from his previous work. The supporting cast includes Billy Zane, Kathy Bates, Frances Fisher, Gloria Stuart, Bernard Hill, Jonathan Hyde, Victor Garber, Danny Nucci, David Warner and Bill Paxton.

Cameron promoting Avatar at the San Diego Comic-Con, 2009

After months of delay, Titanic premiered on December 19, 1997. The film received strong critical acclaim and became the highest-grossing film of all time, holding this position for 12 years until Cameron's Avatar beat the record in 2010. The costumes and sets were praised, and The Washington Post considered the CGI graphics to be spectacular. Titanic received a record-tie of fourteen nominations (tied with All About Eve (1950)) at the 1998 Academy Awards. It won 11 of the awards, tying the record for most wins with 1959's Ben-Hur, and 2003's The Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King, including: Best Picture, Best Director, Best Art Direction, Best Cinematography, Best Visual Effects, Best Film Editing, Best Costume Design, Best Sound Mixing, Best Sound Editing, Best Original Score, and Best Original Song. Upon receiving Best Picture, Cameron and producer Jon Landau asked for a moment of silence to remember the 1,500 people who died when the ship sank. Film critic Roger Ebert praised Cameron's storytelling, writing "It is flawlessly crafted, intelligently constructed, strongly acted, and spellbinding". Authors Kevin Sandler and Gaylyn Studlar wrote in 1999 that the romance, historical nostalgia and James Horner's music contributed to the film's cultural phenomenon. In 2017, on its 20th anniversary, Titanic became Cameron's second film to be selected for preservation in the United States National Film Registry.

After the huge publicity of Titanic, Cameron kept a low profile. In 1998, he and his brother, John, formed Earthship Productions, a company to allow streaming of documentaries on the deep sea, one of Cameron's interests. He had planned to make a film about Spider-Man, a project developed by Menahem Golan of Cannon Films. Columbia hired David Koepp to adapt Cameron's ideas into a screenplay, but due to various disagreements, Cameron abandoned the project. In 2002, Spider-Man was released with the screenplay credited solely to Koepp. In 2000, Cameron made his debut in television and co-created Dark Angel with Charles H. Eglee, a television series influenced by cyberpunk, biopunk, contemporary superheroes and third-wave feminism. Dark Angel starred Jessica Alba as Max Guevara, a genetically enhanced super-soldier created by a secretive organization. While the first season was moderately successful, the second season did less well, which led to cancellation of the series.

2002–2010: Documentaries and Avatar success

In 2002, Cameron served as producer on the 2002 film Solaris, a science fiction drama directed by Steven Soderbergh. The film received mixed reviews and did poorly at the box office. Keen to make documentaries, Cameron directed Expedition: Bismarck, about the German Battleship Bismarck. In 2003, he directed Ghosts of the Abyss, a documentary about RMS Titanic which was released by Walt Disney Pictures and Walden Media, and designed for 3D theaters. Cameron told The Guardian his intention for filming everything in 3D. In 2005, Cameron co-directed Aliens of the Deep, a documentary about the various forms of life in the ocean. He also starred in Titanic Adventure with Tony Robinson, another documentary about the Titanic shipwreck. In 2006, Cameron co-created and narrated The Exodus Decoded, a documentary exploring the Biblical account of the Exodus. In 2007, Cameron and fellow director Simcha Jacobovici, produced The Lost Tomb of Jesus. It was broadcast on Discovery Channel on March 4, 2007; the documentary was controversial for arguing that the Talpiot Tomb was the burial place of Jesus of Nazareth.

James Cameron 2010
Cameron speaking at a TED talk, February 2010

By the mid-2000s, Cameron returned to directing and producing another mainstream film since Titanic. Cameron had mentioned two projects as early as June 2005; Avatar (2009) and Alita: Battle Angel (2019), the latter which he produced, both films were to be shot in 3D technology. He wanted to make Alita: Battle Angel first, followed by Avatar but switched the order in February 2006. Although Cameron had written an 80-page treatment for Avatar in 1995, Cameron stated that he wanted the necessary technology to improve before starting production. Avatar, with the story line set in the mid-22nd century, had an estimated budget in excess of $300 million. The cast includes Sam Worthington, Zoe Saldana, Stephen Lang, Michelle Rodriguez and Sigourney Weaver. It was composed with a mix of live-action footage and computer-generated animation, using an advanced version of the performance capture technique, previously used by director Robert Zemeckis in The Polar Express. Cameron intended Avatar to be 3D-only but decided to adapt it for conventional viewing as well.

Intended for release in May 2009, Avatar premiered on December 18, 2009. This delay allowed more time for post-production and the opportunity for theaters to install 3D projectors. Avatar broke several box office records during its initial theatrical run. It grossed $749.7 million in the United States and Canada and more than $2.74 billion worldwide, becoming the highest-grossing film of all time in the United States and Canada, surpassing Titanic. It was the first film to earn more than $2 billion worldwide. Avatar was nominated for nine Academy Awards, including Best Picture and Best Director, and won three: Best Art Direction, Best Cinematography, and Best Visual Effects. In July 2010, an extended theatrical re-release generated a worldwide $33.2 million at the box office. In his mixed review, Sukhdev Sandhu of The Telegraph complimented the 3D, but opined that Cameron "should have been more brutal in his editing". That year, Vanity Fair reported that Cameron's earnings were US$257 million, making him the highest earner in Hollywood. As of 2020, Avatar and Titanic hold the achievement for being the first two of the five films in history to gross over $2 billion worldwide.


James Cameron October 2012
Cameron in October 2012

In 2011, Cameron served as an executive producer for Sanctum, a disaster-survival film about a cave diving expedition which turns deadly. Although receiving mixed reviews, the film earned a fair $108 million at the worldwide box office. Cameron re-investigated the sinking of RMS Titanic with eight experts in a 2012 TV documentary special, Titanic: The Final Word with James Cameron, which premiered on April 8 on the National Geographic Channel. In the feature, the experts revised the CGI animation of the sinking conceived in 1995. In March 2010, Cameron announced that Titanic will be converted and re-released in 3D to commemorate the centennial anniversary of the tragedy. On March 27, 2012, Titanic 3D premiered at the Royal Albert Hall, London. He also served as executive producer of Cirque du Soleil: Worlds Away and Deepsea Challenge 3D in 2012 and 2014, respectively.

Cameron starred in the 2017 documentary Atlantis Rising, with collaborator Simcha Jacobovici. The pair go on an adventure to explore the existence of the city of Atlantis. The programme aired on January 29 on the National Geographic channel. Next, Cameron produced and appeared in a documentary about the history of science fiction. James Cameron’s Story of Science Fiction, the six-episodic series was broadcast on AMC in 2018. The series featured interviews with guests including Ridley Scott, Steven Spielberg, George Lucas and Christopher Nolan. He stated "Without Jules Verne and H. G. Wells, there wouldn't have been Ray Bradbury or Robert A. Heinlein, and without them, there wouldn't be [George] Lucas, [Steven] Spielberg, Ridley Scott or me".

Alita: Battle Angel was finally released in 2019 after being in parallel development with Avatar. Written by Cameron and friend Jon Landau, the film was directed by Robert Rodriguez. The film is based on a 1990s Japanese manga series Battle Angel Alita, depicting a cyborg who cannot remember anything of her past life and tries to uncover the truth. Produced with similar techniques and technology as in Avatar, the film starred Rosa Salazar, Christoph Waltz, Jennifer Connelly, Mahershala Ali, Ed Skrein, Jackie Earle Haley and Keean Johnson. The film premiered on January 31, 2019, to generally positive reviews and $404 million at the worldwide box office. In her review, Monica Castillo of called it "an awe-inspiring jump for [Rodriguez]" and "a visual bonanza" despite the bulky script. Cameron returned to the Terminator franchise as producer and writer for Tim Miller's Terminator: Dark Fate (2019).

Upcoming projects

In August 2013, Cameron announced plans to direct three sequels to Avatar simultaneously, for release in December 2016, 2017, and 2018. However, the release dates have been postponed to December 16, 2022, with the following three sequels to be released, respectively, on December 20, 2024, December 18, 2026, and December 22, 2028. Deadline Hollywood estimated that the budget for these would be over $1 billion. Avatar: The Way of Water and Avatar 3 began simultaneous production in Manhattan Beach, California on August 15, 2017. Principal photography began in New Zealand on September 25, 2017. The other sequels are expected to begin production as soon as The Way of Water and Avatar 3 have finished. Although the sequels 4 and 5 have been given the green-light, Cameron stated in a 2017 interview, "Let's face it, if Avatar 2 and 3 don't make enough money, there's not going to be a 4 and 5".

Lightstorm Entertainment bought the film rights to the Taylor Stevens novel, The Informationist, a thriller set in Africa; Cameron plans to direct. In 2010, he indicated he would adapt the Charles R. Pellegrino book The Last Train from Hiroshima, which is about the survivors of the atomic bombings of Hiroshima and Nagasaki. Cameron met with survivor Tsutomu Yamaguchi before his death in 2010.

Activism and social causes

As of 2012, Cameron and his family have adopted a vegan diet. Cameron states that "by changing what you eat, you will change the entire contract between the human species and the natural world". He and his wife are advocates of plant-based food and have called for constructive actions to produce more plant-based food and less meat to mitigate the impact of climate change. In 2006, Cameron's wife co-founded MUSE School, which became the first K-12 vegan school in the United States. He has also hosted events for Global Green USA, and pushed for sustainable solutions to energy use.

In early 2014, Cameron purchased the Beaufort Vineyard and Estate Winery in Courtenay, British Columbia for $2.7 million, to pursue his passion for sustainable agribusiness. He sold the vineyard in 2020. In June 2019, Cameron announced a business venture with film director Peter Jackson, to produce plant-based meat, cheese, and dairy products in New Zealand. He suggested that we need "a nice transition to a meatless or relatively meatless world in 20 or 30 years". In 2012, Cameron purchased more than 1,000 hectares (2,471 acres) of land in remote South Wairarapa, New Zealand; subsequent purchases have seen that grow to approximately 5,000 hectares. The Camerons grow a range of organic fruit, nuts and vegetables on the land. Nearby in Greytown, they run a café and grocery store, Forest Food Organics, selling produce from their land.

In June 2010, Cameron met with officials of the Environmental Protection Agency to discuss possible solutions to the Deepwater Horizon oil spill. It was reported that he offered his assistance to help stop the oil well from leaking. He is a member of the NASA Advisory Council and he worked with the space agency to build cameras for the Curiosity rover sent for Mars. However, NASA launched the rover without Cameron's technology due to a lack of time during testing. He has expressed interest in a project about Mars, stating "I've been very interested in the Humans to Mars movement [...] and I've done a tremendous amount of personal research for a novel, a miniseries, and a 3D film". Cameron is a member of the Mars Society, a non-profit organization lobbying for the colonization of Mars. Cameron endorsed Democratic candidate Hillary Clinton for the 2016 United States presidential election.

Personal life

Cameron has been married five times. He was married to Sharon Williams from 1978 to 1984. A year after he and Sharon divorced, Cameron married film producer Gale Anne Hurd, a close collaborator for his 1980s films. They divorced in 1989. Soon after separating from Hurd, Cameron met the director Kathryn Bigelow whom he wed in 1989, and they divorced in 1991. Cameron then began a relationship with Linda Hamilton, actress in The Terminator series. Their daughter was born in 1993. Cameron married Hamilton in 1997. Amid speculation of an affair between Cameron and actress Suzy Amis, Cameron and Hamilton separated after two years of marriage, with Hamilton receiving a settlement of $50 million. He married Amis, his fifth wife, in 2000. They have one son and two daughters together.

Cameron applied for American citizenship in 2004, but withdrew his application after George W. Bush won the presidential election. Cameron resided in the United States, but after filming Avatar in New Zealand, Cameron bought a home and a farm there in 2012. He divided his time between Malibu, California and New Zealand until 2020, after which he sold his Malibu home and decided to live in New Zealand permanently. He said in August 2020, "I plan to make all my future films in New Zealand, and I see the country having an opportunity to demonstrate to the international film industry how to safely return to work. Doing so with Avatar [sequels] will be a beacon that, when this is over [COVID-19 pandemic], will attract more production to New Zealand and continue to stimulate the screen industry and the economy for years.

Cameron has said he is a "Converted Agnostic", adding "I've sworn off agnosticism, which I now call cowardly atheism". Cameron met close friend Guillermo del Toro on the production of his 1993 film, Cronos. In 1998, del Toro's father was kidnapped in Guadalajara and Cameron gave del Toro more than $1 million in cash to pay a ransom and have his father released.

Cameron is an expert on deep-sea exploration, in part because of his work on The Abyss and Titanic, and his childhood fascination with shipwrecks. He has contributed to advancements in underwater filming and remotely operated vehicles, and helped develop the 3D Fusion Camera System. In 2011, Cameron became a National Geographic explorer-in-residence. In his role on March 7, 2012, he dived five miles deep to the bottom of the New Britain Trench with the Deepsea Challenger. 19 days later, Cameron reached the Challenger Deep, the deepest part of the Mariana Trench. He spent more than three hours exploring the ocean floor, becoming the first to accomplish the trip alone. During his dive to the Challenger Deep, he discovered new species of sea cucumber, squid worm and a giant single-celled amoeba. He was preceded by unmanned dives in 1995 and 2009, as well as by Jacques Piccard and Don Walsh, the first men to reach the bottom of the Mariana Trench aboard the Bathyscaphe Trieste in 1960.

In June 2013, British artist Roger Dean filed a copyright complaint against Cameron, seeking damages of $50 million. Relating to Avatar, Cameron was accused of "wilful and deliberate copying, dissemination and exploitation" of Dean's original images; the case was dismissed by US district judge Jesse Ferman in 2014. In 2016, Premier Exhibitions, owner of many RMS Titanic artifacts, filed for bankruptcy. Cameron supported the UK's National Maritime Museum and National Museums Northern Ireland decision to bid for the artifacts, but they were acquired by an investment group before a formal bid took place.


Directed feature films
Year Title Distributor
1982 Piranha II: The Spawning Saturn International Pictures / Columbia Pictures
1984 The Terminator Orion Pictures
1986 Aliens 20th Century Fox
1989 The Abyss
1991 Terminator 2: Judgment Day TriStar Pictures
1994 True Lies 20th Century Fox / Universal Pictures
1997 Titanic Paramount Pictures / 20th Century Fox
2009 Avatar 20th Century Fox
2022Films that have not yet been released Avatar: The Way of Water 20th Century Studios
2024Films that have not yet been released Avatar 3
2026Films that have not yet been released Avatar 4
Films that have not yet been released Denotes films that have not yet been released

Awards and recognition

Cameron receiving a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame, December 2009

Cameron received the inaugural Ray Bradbury Award from the Science Fiction and Fantasy Writers of America in 1992 for Terminator 2: Judgment Day. In recognition of "a distinguished career as a Canadian filmmaker", Carleton University awarded Cameron the honorary degree of Doctor of Fine Arts on June 13, 1998. Cameron received the Golden Plate Award of the American Academy of Achievement in 1998, presented by Awards Council member George Lucas. He also received an honorary doctorate in 1998 from Brock University in St. Catharines, Ontario, for his accomplishments in the international film industry. In 1998, Cameron attended a convocation to receive an honorary degree from Ryerson University, Toronto. The university awards its highest honor to those who have made extraordinary contributions in Canada or internationally. A year later, Cameron received the honorary Doctor of Fine Arts degree from California State University, Fullerton. He accepted the degree at the university's summer annual commencement exercise.

Cameron's work has been recognized by the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences; as one of the few directors to have won three Academy Awards in a single year. For Titanic, he won Best Director, Best Picture (shared with Jon Landau) and Best Film Editing (shared with Conrad Buff and Richard A. Harris). In 2009, he was nominated for awards in Best Film Editing (shared with John Refoua and Stephen E. Rivkin, Best Director and Best Picture for Avatar. Cameron has won two Golden Globes: Best Director for Titanic and Avatar.

In recognition of his contributions to underwater filming and remote vehicle technology, University of Southampton awarded Cameron the honorary degree of doctor of the university in July 2004. Cameron accepted the award at the National Oceanography Centre. In 2008, Cameron received a star on Canada's Walk of Fame and a year later, received the 2,396th star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame. On February 28, 2010, Cameron was honored with a Visual Effects Society (VES) Lifetime Achievement Award. In June 2012, Cameron was inducted to The Science Fiction Hall of Fame at the Museum of Pop Culture for his contribution to the science fiction and fantasy field. Inspired by Avatar, Disney constructed Pandora – The World of Avatar, at Disney's Animal Kingdom in Florida which opened to the public on May 27, 2017. A species of frog, Pristimantis jamescameroni, was named after Cameron for his work in promoting environmental awareness and advocacy of veganism.

In 2010, Time magazine named Cameron one of the 100 most influential people in the world. That same year, he was ranked at the top of the list in The Guardian Film Power 100 and in 30th place in New Statesman's list of "The World's 50 Most Influential Figures 2010". In 2013, Cameron received the Nierenberg Prize for Science in the Public, which is annually awarded by the Scripps Institution of Oceanography. In 2019, Cameron was appointed as a Companion of the Order of Canada by Governor General Julie Payette, giving him the Post Nominal Letters "CC" for life.

In 2020, Cameron was the subject of the second season of the Epicleff Media dramatic podcast Blockbuster. The audio drama, created and narrated by Emmy Award-winning journalist and filmmaker Matt Schrader, chronicles Cameron's life and career (leading up to the creation and release of Titanic), and stars actor Ross Marquand in the lead voice role as Cameron.

Awards and nominations received by Cameron's films
Year Title Academy Awards BAFTA Awards Golden Globe Awards
Nominations Wins Nominations Wins Nominations Wins
1986 Aliens 7 2 4 1 1
1989 The Abyss 4 1
1991 Terminator 2: Judgment Day 6 4 3 2
1994 True Lies 1 1 1 1
1997 Titanic 14 11 10 8 4
2009 Avatar 9 3 8 2 4 2
Total 41 21 26 5 17 7

See also

Kids robot.svg In Spanish: James Cameron para niños

  • James Cameron's unrealized projects
  • Hans Hass Award
  • List of vegans
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