James Cameron
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  • Faith: Atheist
  • Career: Director
  • Birthday:  August 16, 1954

James Cameron is a filmmaker. He's a significant figure in the post-New Hollywood era and one of the industry's most innovative filmmakers. He typically uses novel technologies with a classical filmmaking style. He first gained recognition for directing and writing "The Terminator" and found further success with "Aliens," "The Abyss," "Terminator 2: Judgement Day," "True Lies," as well as "Avatar" and its sequels. He co-produced, directed, wrote, and co-edited "Titanic," winning three Academy Awards for Best Picture, Best Film Editing, and Best Director.

He's a recipient of various other industry accolades, and three of his films have been chosen for preservation in the National Film Registry by the Library of Congress. Cameron co-founded the production companies Digital Domain, Lightstorm Entertainment, and Earthship Productions. In addition to filmmaking, he's a National Geographic sea tourist and has produced numerous documentaries on the subject, including "Ghosts of the Abyss" and "Aliens of the Deep." He's also contributed to underwater filming and remote vehicle technologies and helped create the digital 3D Fusion Camera System.

In 2012, he became the first person to make a solo descent to the bottom of the Mariana Trench, the deepest part of the Earth's ocean, in the "Deepsea Challenger" submersible. Cameron's movies have grossed over $8 billion worldwide, making him the second-highest-grossing film director of all time. Three of his movies are among the top four highest-grossing films of all time: "Avatar,” "Avatar: The Way of Water," and "Titanic." He directed the first movie to gross over $1 billion, the first two films to gross over $2 billion, and is the only director to have had three movies grossing over $2 billion. In 2010, Time Magazine named him one of the 100 most influential people in the world. Cameron is also an environmentalist and runs several sustainability businesses.

Cameron was born in Ontario and is the first of five children with two sisters and two brothers. He spent summers on his grandfather's farm and attended Stamford Collegiate in Niagara Falls. When he was 17, Cameron and his family moved from Chippawa to Brea, California, where he attended Sonora High School and then moved to Brea Olinda High School. Classmates recalled that he wasn't a sportsman but instead enjoyed building things that "either went up into the air or the deep." After high school, Cameron enrolled at Fullerton College, a community college, in 1973 to study physics. He switched subjects to English but left college at the end of 1974. He worked odd jobs, including as a truck driver and high school janitor. After the excitement of seeing "Star Wars" in 1977, he quit his job as a truck driver to enter the film industry.

What religion is James Cameron?

Cameron identifies as an atheist. He used to be agnostic but called it a stance he's come to see as "cowardly atheism." In an interview with The Hollywood Reporter, he said, "I've sworn off agnosticism, which I now call cowardly atheism. I've come to the position that in the complete absence of any supporting data whatsoever for the persistence of the individual in some spiritual form, it is necessary to operate under the provisional conclusion that there is no afterlife and then be ready to amend that if I find out otherwise."

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