Actress and transgender activist Alexis Arquette, of the famous Arquette acting family, has died at age 47. Her brother, Richmond, posted the news on Facebook and her brother-in-law Todd Morgan confirmed the death to CNN.
“He was surrounded by all of his brothers and sisters, one of his nieces and several other loved ones,” Richmond Arquette wrote on Facebook, using male pronouns for his late sibling. “We were playing music for him and he passed during David Bowie’s Starman. As per his wishes, we cheered at the moment that he transitioned to another dimension.”
The cause of death was not revealed.
Alexis Arquette, who was born Robert, revealed that she was a transgender woman in 2006. Arquette was the subject of a 2007 documentary, “She’s My Brother,” in which she underwent sexual reassignment surgery.
Since Caitlyn Jenner transitioned, however, Alexis told her brother, actor David Arquette, the she was “gender suspicious,” and would feel like both a man and woman at times. That’s what David Arquette shared on an episode of “Kocktails With Khloe.”
Arquette broke into acting as the trans sex worker Georgette in “Last Exit to Brooklyn” (1989). She played a brief but memorable role as the “Fourth Man” in “Pulp Fiction” and a Boy George impersonator first in the Adam Sandler comedy “The Wedding Singer” and again in “Blended.”
Upon hearing the news of Arquette’s passing, Boy George tweeted, “Another bright light gone out far too soon. Love to the family and all that loved Alexis.”
Her siblings David, Patricia and Rosanna all are actors as well, and the family lived for a time in Chicago in the 1970s. Arquette became involved with Steppenwolf Theatre, playing a small role alongside John Malkovich in “Of Mice and Men.” In 1994, when he identified as male, he played Lee Harvey Oswald in a Steppenwolf adaptation of Don DeLillo’s novel “Libra,” directed by Malkovich.
He told the Sun-Times then that he avoided playing the assassin as purely a villain. “There are times when he’s funny [and] times when he’s a liar,” he said. “There’s moments when he’s very abusive and there are times when he’s a victim.
“I’m playing him as a part of all of us. There’s something in all of us that seeks fame, that requires independence. He was seeking the American Dream but he just couldn’t, for some reason, achieve it.”
Arquette also performed in nightclubs and cabarets under the name Eva Destruction.
Carly Mallenbaum, USA TODAY