Alexis Arquette, the transgender actress born Robert Arquette, passed away at the age of 47 yesterday. The news was confirmed by the actress' siblings, Patricia Arquette, David Arquette, Rosanna Arquette and Richmond Arquette. No cause of death has been given at this time. But here is part of the statement written by Patricia Arquette, on behalf of the entire family.
"Our sister, Alexis Arquette, passed away this morning, September 11th, 2016. Alexis was a brilliant artist and painter, a singer, an entertainer and an actor. She starred in movies like Last Exit to Brooklyn, Pulp Fiction, Jumpin' at the Boneyard, Of Mice and Men, The Wedding Singer and The Bride of Chucky. Her career was cut short, not by her passing, but by her decision to live her truth and her life as a transgender woman. Despite the fact that there are few parts for trans actors, she refused to play roles that were demeaning or stereotypical. She was a vanguard in the fight for understanding and acceptance for all trans people. She fiercely lived her reality in a world where it is dangerous to be a trans person - a world largely unready to accept differences among human beings, and where there is still the ugliness of violence and hostility towards people that we may not understand."
Alexis Arquette came out as a transgender actress in 2006, and her transition was chronicled in the 2007 documentary entitled Alexis Arquette: She's My Brother. One of her most notable earlier roles was playing the unnamed male roommate in Quentin Tarantino's 1994 classic Pulp Fiction. After hiding in the bathroom with a large revolver, Alexis' character rushes out and fires several shots at Jules (Samuel L. Jackson) and Vincent (John Travolta) although they all missed his intended targets. Alexis Arquette also played the Boy George-obsessed George in Adam Sandler's 1998 comedy The Wedding Singer, a role she returned to as the transgender Georgina in the 2014 comedy Blended. Here is the rest of the Arquette family's statement below, which was posted on Richmond Arquette's Facebook yesterday, revealing that her entire family sang David Bowie's classic "Starman" as she passed.
"Alexis was born as Robert, our brother. We loved him the moment he arrived. But he came in as more than a sibling - he came as our great teacher. As Alexis transitioned into being a woman, she taught us tolerance and acceptance. As she moved through her process, she became our sister, teaching us what real love is. We learned what real bravery is through watching her journey of living as a trans woman. We came to discover the one truth - that love is everything. In the days leading to her death, she told us she was already visiting the other side, and that where she was going, there was only one gender. That on the other side, we are free from all of the things that separate us in this life, and that we are all one. She passed away surrounded by love. We held her and sang her David Bowie's 'Starman' as she punched through the veil to the other side. We washed her body in rose petals and surrounded her with flowers. Alexis always had to do everything first. She left before we were ready to let her go. We are all heartbroken that she is no longer with us, but we are grateful for the grace and kindness we were all shown during this difficult time. We are comforted by the fact that Alexis came into our family and was our brother and then our sister, and that she gave us so much love. We will love you always, Alexis. We know we were the lucky ones. The family asks that in lieu of flowers or gifts, donations please be sent to organizations that support the LGBTQ community in honor of Alexis Arquette. Please respect our privacy during this time of grieving."
After news spread of her passing yesterday, Alexis Arquette's siblings and friends such as Patricia Arquette, David Arquette and his ex-wife Courteney Cox paid tribute to the actress through social media. Boy George, Elvira and Roseanne Barr are among the others who honored the actress on Twitter yesterday. Take a look at these tribute tweets below, as the Hollywood community mourns the passing of Alexis Arquette.
Breaking through the veil singing StarMan https://t.co/A3way5S3Lb— Patricia Arquette (@PattyArquette) September 11, 2016
Thank you all for your love and kind words about Alexis. My hero for eternity pic.twitter.com/Z18xLtYTBv— David Arquette (@DavidArquette) September 11, 2016
My heart goes out to anyone who was lucky enough to know Alexis.— Courteney Cox (@CourteneyCox) September 11, 2016
We will love and miss you forever.
R.I.P my sister Alexis Arquette. Another bright light gone out far too soon. Love to the family and all that loved Alexis.— Boy George (@BoyGeorge) September 11, 2016
hail hail a vagenius has vacated this realm! RIP Alexis Arquette. this picture is backstage of my 1999 talk show. pic.twitter.com/pj7Zo8duvC— Roseanne Barr (@therealroseanne) September 11, 2016
I'm saddened by the passing of Alexis Arquette! She was always sweet to me! ❤️ to her family and friends— Manila Luzon (@manilaluzon) September 11, 2016