Oscar Directors: Cameron, James (Titanic, Avatar)

James Cameron was nominated for two Best Director Oscars, winning in 1997 for his first nod, Titanic, which swept most of the awards that year.

His second nomination was in 2009, for Avatar, also a blockbuster, but he lost to
Kathryn Bigelow (his former wife), who won for The Hurt Locker.

Born on August 16, 1954, in Kapuskasing, Ontario, Canada, James Cameron is the son of an engineer. He majored in physics at California State University, but after graduating drove a truck to support as screenwriting habit.

He landed his first professional film job as art director, miniature-set builder, and process projection supervisor on producer Roger Corman’s Battle Beyond the Stars (1980).

After a poor debut as a director the following year, Cameron earned a living as an uncredited script doctor, then returned to directing, scoring a huge success with The Terminator, a futuristic action picture starring Arnold Schwarzenegger, which became the box-office sleeper of 1984.

It was the first of several films Cameron was to make in collaboration with his first wife, producer Gale Anne Hurd. Aliens (1986) confirmed his growing reputations as one of Hollywood’s most skillful directors of sci-fi action films.

His next film, The Abyss (1989), was a commercial and critical disappointment, but it was followed by the big hit Terminator 2: Judgment Day (1991), a sequel to his earlier film.

Having divorced Gale Anne Hurd, he married director Kathryn Bigelow in 1989, but the marriage did not last long.