Image Credit: Elizabeth Goodenough/Everett Collection
James Cameron is the director of massive movie hits including ‘Titanic’ and ‘Terminator.’
He is currently married to actress Suzy Amis.
The household name was previously married four times.
James just garnered a Best Picture Academy Award nomination for ‘Avatar: The Way of Water’
James Cameron, 68, is one of the most well-known directors in Hollywood. He’s been at the helm of many of the movie industry’s biggest hits throughout the years, including Titanic, True Lies, Aliens, Solaris, Terminator, Avatar, Alita: Battle Angel, and more. His list of awards and honors is even more impressive — he famously proclaimed himself the “king of the world” after nabbing the Best Picture and Best Director Oscars at the 1998 Academy Awards. The film wound up winning 9 more technical awards — and with its 11 total wins, James’ epic period drama historically tied with 1959’s Ben Hur and 2003’s The Lord of the Rings: The Return Of The King for the most Oscar wins ever.
Along his way to greatness, he has been married no fewer than 5 times. He met his current wife, actress Suzy Amis, on the set of the Leonardo DiCaprio and Kate Winslet-led movie, but she’s not the first actress he’s been married to. As James celebrates several 2023 Oscar nominations for Avatar: The Way Of Water, here’s what to know about the women James has loved in his life behind the scenes.
Suzy Amis and James Cameron (Elizabeth Goodenough/Everett Collection)
James met Oklahoma native Suzy, now 61, on the set of Titanic in the mid 1990’s, when she played Rose’s granddaughter Lizzy Calvert in the contemporary portions of the film. But their relationship wasn’t to be for another few years — James married Terminator star Linda Hamilton in 1997, divorcing her two years later amid speculation that he was already in a relationship with the Titanic actress. Suzy and James finally married in 2000, and they’ve since welcomed daughters Claire and Elizabeth and son James Quinn (known as Quinn Cameron.)
The outspoken vegan, climate activist, and former Ford model was previously married to Sam Robards, the actor son of Jason Robards and screen legend Lauren Bacall. James once said that being attracted to “strong independent” women hadn’t previously worked out for him.
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“Being attracted to strong independent women has the downside that they’re strong independent women — they inherently don’t need you,” James said, per PEOPLE, in Dec 2022. “Fortunately, I’m married now to a strong independent woman who does believe she needs me.”
Linda starred in the Cameron-directed ‘The Terminator’ in 1984 (BEI/Shutterstock)
James directed Linda in the 1984 film The Terminator and in 1991’s Terminator 2: Judgment Day. They moved in together in 1991, and welcomed a daughter, Josephine Archer Cameron, in 1993. They married in 1997, only to have it fall apart as James seemed to move on with Suzy — though Linda famously walked away from the union with a $50 million settlement.
In 2019, when the former couple teamed up for Terminator: Dark Fate (James produced, Linda returned as Sarah Connor). “That relationship was a mystery to all of us — even Jim and myself — because we are terribly mismatched,” she told The New York Times in a 2019 interview. “I used to say we fit together like a puzzle: Everywhere he’s convex, I’m concave.” But she also had a theory as to why he was attracted to her.
“I think what happened there is that he really fell in love with Sarah Connor,” she told the newspaper. “And I did, too.”
Kathryn Bigelow memorably trounced her ex husband when her film ‘The Hurt Locker’ won Best Picture and Best Director at the Oscars in 2010. (Matt Sayles/AP/Shutterstock)
What’s an Oscar winning director without…another Oscar winning director for a wife? James was married to acclaimed The Hurt Locker and Zero Dark Thirty director Kathryn Bigelow from 1989-1991. She was the first woman to win an Academy Award for Best Director for the former, earning the monumental, historical honor in 2010. And she went up directly against her ex-husband, who was nominated in the same category for Avatar, and for Best Picture. He lost both to her.
On the big night, he pantomimed strangling her, then hugged her. But he couldn’t resist suggesting a little “improvement” on her gritty masterpiece film. “I think [The Hurt Locker] would have been better in 3D,” he told Entertainment Weekly in a 2010 print interview per Collider. “Absolutely. It wouldn’t have been hugely better in 3D, but I’m talking a future where you don’t have to put ‘in 3D’ on the movie poster anymore, the same way you don’t put ‘in color’ on posters anymore.”
Gale Anne Hurd
James and Gale Anne Hurd (Michael Germana/Everett Collection)
It’s no surprise that James would also be attracted to a prolific and powerful producer. Gale Anne Hurd was producer and screenwriter on 1984’s The Terminator, and executive producer for 1991’s Terminator 2: Judgment Day. However, she was only married to James from 1985-1989. She was a close collaborator on many of his films, including Aliens and The Abyss, as well.
After her divorce from James, she subsequently married Mission: Impossible director Brian De Palma from 1991-1993, welcoming daughter Lolita de Palma in 1991. She then married screenwriter and director Jonathan Hensleigh in 1995.
James was married to his first wife, Sharon Williams, from 1978-1984. Very little is known about Sharon and his first marriage, though it’s worth noting that it would last six years — three times longer than his marriages to Gale, Kathryn, and Linda, each of whom only lasted two years with the director. She is reportedly a former actress.