Aug. 16th, 1954
Kapuskasing, Ontario, Canada
James Cameron's Main TV Roles
Main Movie Roles
Guest TV Roles[none found]
James Cameron was born in Kapuskasing, Ontario, Canada, on August 16, 1954. He moved to the USA in 1971. The son of an engineer, he majored in physics at California State University but, after graduating, drove a truck to support his screen-writing ambition. He landed his first professional film job as art director, miniature-set builder, and process-projection supervisor on Roger Corman's Battle Beyond the Stars (1980) and debuted as a director with Piranha Part Two: The Spawning (1981) the following year.
In 1984, he wrote and directed The Terminator (1984), a futuristic action-thriller starring Arnold Schwarzenegger, Michael Biehn, and Linda Hamilton (I). It was a huge success. After this came a string of successful science-fiction action films such as Aliens (1986) and Terminator 2: Judgment Day (1991). Cameron is now one of the most sought-after directors in Hollywood. He was formerly married to producer Gale Anne Hurd, who produced several of his films. He married Kathryn Bigelow in 1989.
- Co-created the newly high-definition video system with cinematographer 'Vince Pace' (qv) that was recently used to film _Ghosts of the Abyss (2003)_ (qv).
- (4 April 2001) Twins, Claire and Quinn, with wife 'Suzy Amis' (qv), born.
- According to Cameron, he got his big break while doing pick-up shots for _Galaxy of Terror (1981)_ (qv) as 2nd unit director. He was shooting scenes of a dismembered arm teeming with maggots (actually mealworms). In order to make them move, he hooked up an AC power cord to the arm, and an unseen assistant would plug it in when the film was rolling. Two producers were strolling through, and when Cameron yelled "Action!" the worms began to writhe on cue. When he yelled "Cut!" the worms stopped. The producers were so amazed at his directing prowess that they began talking with him about bigger projects.
- Brother of 'Mike Cameron (I)' (qv).
- First director to film both a $100 million (_Terminator 2: Judgment Day (1991)_ (qv)) and a $200 million (_Titanic (1997)_ (qv)) movie.
- (15 February 1993) Daughter, with Hamilton, Josephine Archer Cameron born.
- His practice of testing his DPs by darkening the film originated on _Aliens (1986)_ (qv). Cameron wanted to use a particular type of film stock, but cinematographer 'Dick Bush (I)' (qv) ignored him and used a different type. The end result being that the footage shot ended up being unusably dark. After Bush was fired due to an unrelated incident and 'Adrian Biddle' (qv) took over, Cameron found some of the film in a storage cupboard and had the camera operators use it instead of the film Biddle had told them to use. Biddle noticed what was going on after the first take, and compensated with extra lighting, hoping to hide his "mistake" from Cameron, who owned up at the end of the day. Cameron later did the same to 'Mikael Salomon' (qv) on _The Abyss (1989)_ (qv) and to 'Russell Carpenter (I)' (qv) on _True Lies (1994)_ (qv).
- 2007- Ranked #3 on EW's The 50 Smartest People in Hollywood.