James Cameron pays tribute to Avatar and Titanic producer Jon Landau after his death: "I have a lost dear friend and my closest collaborator"

James Cameron and Jon Landau
(Image credit: Getty Images)

Director James Cameron has paid tribute to his long-time producing partner Jon Landau after he died from cancer this past Friday (July 5). Landau was 63.

"The Avatar family grieves the loss of our friend and leader, Jon Landau. His zany humor, personal magnetism, great generosity of spirit and fierce will have held the center of our Avatar universe for almost two decades," Cameron said in a statement.

"His legacy is not just the films he produced, but the personal example he set – indomitable, caring, inclusive, tireless, insightful, and utterly unique. He produced great films, not by wielding power but by spreading warmth and the joy of making cinema. He inspired us all to be and to bring our best, every day. I have lost a dear friend, and my closest collaborator of 31 years. A part of myself has been torn away."

Landau was executive vice president of feature film production at 20th Century Fox in the early '90s, which is when he first met Cameron. After Landau left Fox, the pair then worked together on 1997's Titanic, which became the first movie to make $1 billion at the box office. They re-teamed for 2009's Avatar and its 2022 sequel, Avatar: The Way of Water, meaning that the duo has made three of the highest-grossing movies of all time. 

Titanic star Kate Winslet also paid tribute to the producer. "Jon Landau was the kindest and best of men," she told Deadline. "He was a man who was rich with compassion and exceptional at supporting and nurturing teams of phenomenal creative people. His strength in life was knowing the importance of family, at home and at work. He was always full of smiles and gratitude. I can’t believe I am writing this, can’t believe he is gone."

Entertainment Writer

I’m an Entertainment Writer here at GamesRadar+, covering everything film and TV-related across the Total Film and SFX sections. I help bring you all the latest news and also the occasional feature too. I’ve previously written for publications like HuffPost and i-D after getting my NCTJ Diploma in Multimedia Journalism.