James Francis Cameron (born August 16, 1954) is a Canadian film director, film producer, screenwriter, editor, and inventor. His writing and directing work includes Piranha II: The Spawning (1981), The Terminator (1984), Aliens (1986), The Abyss (1989), Terminator 2: Judgment Day (1991), True Lies (1994), Titanic (1997), and Dark Angel (2000–2002). In the time between making Titanic and his return to feature films with Avatar (2009), Cameron spent several years creating many documentary films (specifically underwater documentaries), and also co-developed the digital 3D Fusion Camera System. Described by a biographer as part-scientist and part-artist, Cameron has also contributed to underwater filming and remote vehicle technologies.
In total, Cameron's directorial efforts have grossed approximately US$2 billion in North America and US$6 billion worldwide. Without adjusting for inflation, Cameron's Titanic and Avatar are the two highest-grossing films of all time at $1.8 billion and $2.7 billion respectively. In March 2011 he was named Hollywood's top earner by Vanity Fair, with estimated 2010 earnings of $257 million.
Cameron was born in Kapuskasing, Ontario, Canada, the son of Shirley (Lowe), an artist and nurse, and Phillip Cameron, an electrical engineer. His paternal great-great-great-grandfather emigrated from Balquhidder, Scotland in 1825; thus, he descends from Clan Cameron.