|Net Worth:||$700 million|
|Age/Date of Birth:||66 years old (August 16, 1954)|
|Height:||6 ft 2 in or 188 cm|
His fascination with shipwrecks inspired him to make the 1997 film “Titanic” which became the first film to gross $1 billion making it the highest-grossing film of all time. Cameron broke his own record with the release of 2009’s Avatar which grossed $2.78 billion worldwide, becoming the first film to exceed the $2 billion mark. Both Titanic and Avatar rank as the top 2 highest-grossing films of all time. Titanic earned Cameron at least $115 million while Avatar brought him not less than $350 million. Cameron’s films have grossed over $6 billion worldwide.
Here is all you need to know about him, his net worth, and his marriages.
The Legendary James Cameron: A Look at How He Began
James Francis Cameron was born on August 16, 1954, in Kapuskasing, Ontario, Canada. When he was 17 years old, his family moved to Brea, California. With an early fascination for science fiction, Cameron studied physics in college but later switched to English. Nonetheless, he dropped out to pursue his cinematographic interests, working part-time as a truck driver.
After watching 1977’s Star Wars, Cameron became hugely motivated to pursue his filmmaking passion. As a result, he quit his job and moved to Hollywood where he honed his filmmaking skills working for studios. Cameron proved to be particularly good with special effects which opened the door to more gigs.
He Borrowed Money to Direct His First Movie In 1978
It was in 1978 that the Canadian took the first significant step towards actualizing his career dream of becoming a filmmaker. As the story goes, he borrowed money from a group of dentists which he used to write, direct, and produced his first film titled Xenogenesis.
The following year, he worked as a production assistant for Rock and Roll High School and there has been no stopping him since then. Cameron began gaining so much attention in the industry and was subsequently hired to work in various capacities in various projects. For instance, he was consulted for the design of 1982’s Android. The previous year, he worked as the production designer for Galaxy of Terror and provided the special effects for Escape from New York.
James, who would come to be known for making epic and science fiction movies, was the art director for Battle Beyond the Stars (1980). He also served as the special effect director for Piranha II: The Spawning. As fate would have it, creative disagreement between the original director of the movie and its producer created an opportunity for Cameron to direct his first major movie. The filmmaker would later relate that directing the movie left him sick that he had a nightmare which inspired his first major directorial success, The Terminator.
Analysis of His Net Worth and Career Earnings
One doesn’t need to search hard to find how James Cameron acquired his $700 million fortune. Over the course of his career, the Canadian filmmaker has made several movies that made box-office history and it all started with The Terminator.
The Terminator Break Made James Cameron a Multi-millionaire
Cameron had his first major directorial success with The Terminator. He birthed the idea for the film after dreaming about an invincible robot sent to kill him. In order to serve as the director for the film, Cameron sold the screenplay for $1 to the production company, Pacific Western Productions. With Arnold Schwarzenegger as the lead actor, the film became a massive hit, grossing over $78 million against a $6.4 million budget.
Following his success with Terminator, Cameron was chosen to write and direct Aliens (1986), the second installment in the Alien franchise. Cameron proved his first success was no fluke as Aliens became a box office hit, grossing about $183 million against an $18 million budget. He also scored big with the 1989 film, The Abyss.
Cameron reprised his role as writer and director for the first sequel of Terminator titled “Terminator 2: Judgment Day”. The film had a budget of $100 million, one of the biggest ever at the time. It also broke box office records to become the highest-grossing film of 1991 after making about $520 million at the global box office. Cameron received $6 million for his dual role.
He Made at Least $115 Million from Titanic
Inspired by his interest in the RMS Titanic sinking in 1912, Cameron decided to create a fictionalized story of the wreck with a romantic blend, as common with most of his works. Titanic had the highest budget of any film ever, $200 million. The record budget plus prolonged production schedule was met by huge criticisms from skeptics who predicted that the movie, like its namesake, would be a wreck.
Their notion seemed to hold after the first week when the movie made just under $29 million. However, numbers began to shoot over the roof in the second week. Cameron’s exceptional story-telling saw moviegoers exit theatres in tears, crooning to the film’s major theme song “My Heart Will Go On” sung by Cameron’s compatriot, Celine Dion. The song itself proved to be a milestone in Celine Dion’s career.
Titanic’s box office return quickly made it the highest-grossing film in the US, Canada, and the world over. It received a record-tying 11 Oscar Awards. A 3D re-release in 2012 in commemoration of the 100th anniversary of the original shipwreck pushed its numbers further to $2.18 billion. Cameron received $600,000 for his screenplay work, $8 million salaries, as well as a percentage of the back-end profit, bringing his Titanic earnings to at least $115 million.
And a Hefty $350 Million from Avatar
Cameron waited 12 years before releasing his next feature film, Avatar. And he ensured it was worth the wait. Released in 3D, Avatar broke box office records to become the first movie to gross over $2 billion. Cameron’s 2009 earnings as estimated by Forbes reached $210 million. Factoring in DVD sales and other avenues through which the movie generated income brought Cameron’s earnings from Avatar to at least $350 million.
What’s more? Shortly after the first Avatar release, reports surfaced that Cameron had begun work on the Avatar sequels. The filmmaker revealed that there would be at least 4 of them.
Initially conceiving the idea for Avatar in the mid-1990s, Cameron co-invented the Fusion Camera System technology used in shooting the computer-generated animation film. In addition to his salary and backend profits, Cameron can monetize the technology by selling it to other 3D filmmakers.
His Net Worth Compared to Other Famous Filmmakers In the World
Based on the foregoing, it is clear that James Cameron is one of the most successful and popular filmmakers the world has ever seen. He’s often compared with the likes of Steven Spielberg, Quentin Tarantino, Martin Scorsese, Tim Burton, and Christopher Nolan. Check out his figures compared to these colleagues of his’ regarded as the richest and highest-grossing filmmakers across the globe.
James Cameron Has Been Married 5 Times Thus Far
While his career has been very successful, the same can’t be said of his personal life especially when it comes to marriage. The popular filmmaker has been married five times through which he fathered four kids.
- 1st Wife’s Name: Sharon Williams
- Occupation: Undetermined
- Duration of Marriage: 1978 – 1984
- No of Kids with James: Nil
Much isn’t known about the Canadian filmmaker’s first wife as the marriage happened in the early days of his career. Nonetheless, we can tell that he met Sharon in high school, she was his girlfriend.
William Wisher, a screenwriter known to be a good friend of the filmmaker once disclosed that he met James through his first wife. According to Wisher, he knew Sharon who was James’ girlfriend, and through her, he met James in late 1972.
It is hard to tell what led to the end of their union but it’s no secret that their marriage started in 1978 and ended in 1984. They didn’t have any children together.
- 2nd Wife’s Name: Gale Anne Hurd
- Date of Birth: October 25, 1955
- Occupation: Film Producer
- Duration of Marriage: 1985 – 1989
- No of Kid with James: Nil
Gale is undoubtedly one of the most popular wives of the filmmaker. She is known to have produced popular projects like 1989’s The Abyss, 1986’s Aliens, and The Terminator through a production company she founded called Pacific Western Productions.
It is believed that James and Gale fell in love while working together in the 1980s. While we can’t confirm that Gale had something to do with the end of his first marriage, the fact that James married her the year that followed 1984 when he parted ways with his first wife has given people reasons to believe it was the case.
Their marriage ended as unexpectedly as it began, lasting for barely four years.
- 3rd Wife’s Name: Kathryn Ann Bigelow
- Date of Birth: November 27, 1951
- Occupation: Film Producer, Director, and Screenwriter
- Duration of Marriage: 1989 – 1991
- No of Kid with James: Nil
Gale isn’t the only movie producer that the famous filmmaker has been married to. The same year his marriage to Gale ended, he got married to Kathryn Bigelow, regarded as the most successful female filmmaker the world has ever seen.
Amongst other accomplishments, Bigelow stands out as the only woman to have won Oscars for Best Director as of 2021; this was for The Hurt Locker, a 2008 thriller film she directed. In 2010, Time magazine named her one of the 100 most influential people of the year.
Presumably, it was work that brought Kathryn and James together. They fell in love and got married but the union ended as quickly as it started, lasting for roughly two years.
- 4th Wife’s Name: Linda Carroll Hamilton
- Date of Birth: September 26, 1956
- Occupation: Actress
- Duration of Marriage: 1997 – 1999
- No of Kid with James: One Daughter (Josephine Archer Cameron)
The filmmaker married his fourth wife Linda Hamilton in 1997, after 6 years of dating. However, due to Cameron’s affair with Titanic actress Susy Amis, the couple separated 8 months later and divorced in 1999. Cameron was ordered to pay her $50 million in the divorce settlement.
As an actress, Linda is famed for playing Sarah Connor in the Terminator film series as much as she is admired for being Catherine Chandler in the TV series, Beauty and the Beast. Recently, she disclosed that her marriage to James Cameron suffered because he was only committed to his work.
James and Linda had a daughter together named Josephine Archer Cameron; she was born on the 15th of February 1993.
James Is Currently Married to Suzy Amis
- 5th Wife’s Name: Suzy Amis Cameron
- Date of Birth: January 5, 1962
- Occupation: Advocate, Former Actress, and Model
- Duration of Marriage: 2000 – Present
- No of Kid with James: 3 (Elizabeth Rose, Claire, and Quinn Cameron)
He married Suzy Amis in 2000 and the couple has had 3 children together. Now famed as the wife of the popular filmmaker and as an environmental advocate, Suzy was once a model and actress.
Jame and Suzy met while working on Titanic wherein she played Lizzy Calvert. The filmmaker has never been married to any woman as long as he has been married to Suzy and he hopes to spend the rest of his life with her. The couple lives primarily in California and New Zealand. He owns several properties in the latter, including at least 13 parcels of land in Wairarapa.
It was reported that he bought 2,500 acres of farmland around Lake Pounui for $16 million. Cameron owns an 8200 sq ft, 6-bedroom, and a 7-bathroom mansion in Malibu. A dedicated vegan, he owns a 100-acre ranch in Santa Barbara, as well as the Beaufort Vineyard and Estate Winery in Courtenay, British Columbia, which he bought in 2014 for almost $3 million.
|Estimated Net Worth:||$700 million|
|Source of Wealth:||Filmmaking|
|Also Known As:||Iron Jim, Jim, James Cameron and his Lawyers, H, A. Milton, J. C.|
|Profession:||Filmmaker, Environmentalist, Explorer, Philanthropist|
|Famous For:||His record-breaking films which include cult movies like The Terminator (1984), Aliens (1986), The Abyss (1989), Titanic (1997), Avatar (2009), etc. Being a pioneer in 3D technology and revolutionizing 3D cinema with his film Avatar|
|Colleges/Universities Attended:||Fullerton College|
|Educational Qualifications:||Dropped out|
|Birthday & Zodiac
|Age/Date of Birth:||66 years old (August 16, 1954)|
|Birth Place:||Kapuskasing, Ontario, Canada|
|Country of Residence: ||USA|
|Height:||6 ft 2 in or 188 cm|
|Weight:||78 kg or 172 lbs|
|Hair Color:||Dark Brown, but his hair has turned gray due to his advancing age.|
|Other Body Measurements:||Not available|
|Spouse/Partner:||Suzy Amis (1998-Present). He was previously married to Sharon Williams
(m. 1978; div. 1984)
Gale Anne Hurd (m. 1985; div. 1989), Kathryn Bigelow (m. 1989; div. 1991), Linda Hamilton (m. 1997; div. 1999)
|Family and Relatives
|Mother:||Shirley Cameron (née Lowe)|
|Children:||Josephine Archer Cameron, Claire Cameron, Quinn Cameron, Elizabeth Rose Cameron, Jasper Robards (Step-son)|
|Siblings:||Mike Cameron (Younger Brother) (Stunt Performer), John David Cameron (Younger Brother) (Producer). He also has 2 other younger siblings|
|Other Relatives:||Not available|