James Cameron's early life
Born in the small Canadian town of Kapuskasing in Ontario on August 16, 1954, James Cameron was the first son he has a younger brother, Michael - of engineer father, Philip, and nurse-turned-housewife mother, Shirley.
When James was in his mid-teens, his father was transferred to Orange County, California, taking the ambitious youngster one step closer to Hollywood. Upon graduating from high school in 1973, the A-grade student had to decide between pursuing a career in the arts or sciences. A two-year community college programme in physics and English, with a minor in engineering, ensued.
Though he did well in his chosen field, James dreamed of finding more creative outlets and dropped out of college at 20 to pen screenplays. He went on to make home movies and held viewings for family and friends, but his life was still a long way from the Hollywood dream and while working on a sci-fi script he drove a truck to make ends meet.
James Cameron's film career
In 1980, James presented his short film Xenon Genesis to the same Hollywood studio where Francis Ford Coppola and Martin Scorsese got their start. There the aspiring filmmaker learned the movie business from the ground up, quickly working his way to the role of director on the 1981 feature film Piranha Part Two: The Spawning. Blockbuster hits followed, including 1984's The Terminator, The Abyss, True Lies and, in 1997, the Kate Winslet and Leonardo DiCaprio vehicle Titanic, which earned him three Oscars.
He went on to direct Avatar (2009) and its sequel, Avatar: The Way of Water (2022), which are among the top four highest-grossing films of all time, which also includes Titanic.
James Cameron's personal life
Following three divorces, James married The Terminator star Linda Hamilton in 1997, with whom he already had a daughter, Josephine. Two years later, the couple divorced and in June 2000 James walked down the aisle for a fifth time, with Suzy Amis. The couple have three children together.