James Cameron paid $1 million to save director’s father from abduction

When a fellow director's father was kidnapped, James Cameron didn't hesitate to dish out the dollar in order to pay off his ransom.

Arnie in Terminator 2

The director of some of cinema’s most epic action movies, James Cameron, once forked out over $1 million to save Guillermo del Toro’s father from kidnappers. Cameron and del Toro are, famously, excellent pals. In fact, they’re such good friends that del Toro has already seen Cameron’s upcoming science fiction movie Avatar 2, and showered it in priase.

The true extent of that friendship was put to the test in 1997. In ’97, del Toro’s father Federico del Toro Torres was kidnapped in their Mexican hometown Guadalajara. Del Toro and his brothers received many ransom notes that demanded money in exchange for the return of their father. Guillermo del Toro negotiated with the kidnappers, who held his father Federico for more 72 days.

Those 72 days came to an end when James Cameron, who had met and befriended del Toro earlier in the ’90s, helped to pay off the ransom and end the situation. He withdrew over $1 million in cash, and gave it to del Toro so that the Mexican filmmaker could pay for his father’s release.

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The culprits who apprehended del Toro’s father were never found, and Cameron’s money was never recovered from them. The event led to del Toro and his family leaving Mexico, for fear of future threats of violence. However, it did prove the extent of Cameron’s friendship, and the filmmaking pair (who both rank among the greatest directors of all time) have remained firm friends ever since. If only we all had a friends as dedicated as James Cameron.

For more on James Cameron, check out our guides to the Terminator movies and the Alien movies. Or, to keep up with del Toro’s work check out our 5 star Pinocchio review.