James Cameron was born in Ontario, Canada in 1954 and has been a movie lover since childhood. He studied physics at California State University, but after graduating he decided to pursue a career as a filmmaker instead. He worked as a model maker then became an art director for Battle Beyond the Stars in 1980. Utilizing his impressive skills, Cameron quickly moved up the ladder to second unit director and production designer. He made his directorial and screenwriting debut with Piranha II: The Spawning released in 1983.
In 1984 he directed Terminator, his first of several giant hits. Cameron and Gale Anne Hurd co-wrote the script for Terminator, then he directed the film and she produced it. In the movie, a machine known as a terminator goes back in time to 1984 in order to kill Sarah Connor, the mother of the man who will lead humanity in the fight against the machines. The same year Terminator was released he signed on to direct Aliens the sequel to Ridley Scott’s sci-fi scare fest Alien. Cameron was an excellent choice to helm the project pairing the director who favored tough heroines with Ripley, the consummate survivor. A few years later he wrote and directed The Abyss about a crew on an oil rig attempting to rescue the team on a sunken submarine.
His next film was Terminator 2: Judgement Day, which was a huge hit filled with action, an intriguing story, revolutionary special effects, and a buff Linda Hamilton as Sarah Connor who had become a formidable action heroine. His next mega action hit came in 1994 with True Lies, reuniting him with Arnold Schwarzenegger and Bill Paxton. Unlike his earlier action films True Lies successfully melded action and comedy with every character constantly telling lies of varying degree and grandeur.
In 1997 he wrote and directed a smash hit that held the box office record for highest grossing film for 12 years. Titanic was a difficult project on many fronts, particularly in its astronomical budget, mishaps on set, and problems filming the actual wreckage of the Titanic rotting on the ocean floor. Starring Kate Winslet and Leonardo DiCaprio the movie combined a sweeping historic epic with the intoxicating, and tragically doomed, relationship of Rose and Jack.
He reentered the feature film foray in 2009 with his second movie to hold the record for highest grossing film of all time, surpassing Titanic. Avatar boasted amazing state of the art technology and revolutionizing 3-D filming. Not only did the movie jump off the screen in entrancing 3-D, the world of Avatar featured some of the most imaginative creatures to appear on film in vibrant, gorgeous colors. The movie grossed about $2 billion in North America and $6 billion worldwide.