In 1981, Cameron got his first shot at directing with Piranha II: The Spawning; his next project, the sci-fi movie The Terminator (1984), launched his career as a writer-director. He followed with the landmark films Aliens (1986) and The Abyss (1989).
Cameron collected an Oscar and a Golden Globe for helming the blockbuster Titanic in 1997 and then stayed relatively quiet for several years. He resurfaced as producer of the TV series "Dark Angel" and as director of the IMAX documentary Ghosts of the Abyss (2003), in which he returned to the Titanic's final resting place. His innovative, box-office smash Avatar (2009) earned Cameron a second Golden Globe win and another Oscar nod for Best Director.