×

Alexis Arquette, Actress and Sister to Patricia and David Arquette, Dies at 47

UPDATED: Transgender actress Alexis Arquette died Sunday morning, her brother Richmond Arquette revealed in a Facebook post. She was 47.

“Our brother Robert, who became our brother Alexis, who became our sister Alexis, who became our brother Alexis, passed this morning September 11, at 12:32 am,” Richmond wrote. “He was surrounded by all of his brothers and sisters, one of his nieces and several other loved ones. 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.”

A cause of death has not been yet released. Later on Sunday, Alexis’ siblings Rosanna, Richmond, Patricia and David Arquette issued a statement about the news, calling her a “brilliant artist and painter, a singer, an entertainer and an actor.”

“Her career was cut short, not by her passing, but by her decision to live her truth and her life as a transgender woman,” the statement says. “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 was born as Robert, our brother,” the statement goes on. “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.”

Patricia also paid tribute to Alexis by tweeting David Bowie’s “Starman” and T. Rex’s “Cosmic Dancer.”

“Breaking through the veil singing Starman,” Patricia captioned one tweet. “To My first best friend – Cosmic Dancer,” she wrote with the other.

“I am feeling immense gratitude to have been afforded the luxury of sharing life with him/her, for learning from Alexis, for being given the gift of being able to love him/her and to be loved by him/her. He was a force,” Richmond added in the Facebook post. “He died as he lived, on his own terms. I am immensely grateful that it was fast and painless. It was an incredibly moving experience and I am humbled and grateful to have been able to have been with him as he began his journey onward. Thank you, Alexis, I love you and will love you always.”

Born Robert Arquette, Alexis started acting at a young age and nabbed a variety of roles over her career. She played a Boy George-inspired character in “The Wedding Singer,” and also appeared in “Of Men and Mice,” “Bride of Chucky,” “The Surreal Life,” “Down and Out in Beverly Hills” and most recently in 2014’s “Blended” alongside Adam Sandler and Drew Barrymore.

Alexis came from a long line of actors. Her grandfather Cliff Arquette and father Lewis Arquette were prominent character actors.

Alexis’ transition into a woman was documented in 2007’s “Alexis Arquette: She’s My Brother.”

Boy George also paid tribute to the late actress on Sunday, writing on Twitter, “R.I.P my sister Alexis Arquette. Another bright light gone out far too soon. Love to the family and all that loved Alexis.”

The family asks that in lieu of flowers or gifts, donations be sent to organizations that support the LGBTQ community in honor of Alexis Arquette.

Popular on Variety

More Film

  • Calm With Horses

    Nick Rowland Talks About Toronto Debut Film 'Calm With Horses'

    “Calm with Horses,” which made its world premiere in Toronto’s TIFF in the Discovery section, is the feature directorial debut of Nick Rowland (Amazon series “Ripper Street”), and stars Barry Keoghan (Marvel’s upcoming “The Eternals,” “Dunkirk”), Cosmo Jarvis (“Annihilation”), and Niamh Algar (BBC’s “The Virtues”). The script, which was adapted from Colin Barrett’s short story [...]

  • Colin Trevorrow Directs Jurassic World Short

    Colin Trevorrow Returns to Jurassic World in Short Film 'Battle at Big Rock'

    Dinosaurs are roaming the Earth again. In a new short from “Jurassic World” director Colin Trevorrow, rogue beasts wreak havoc on a family camping trip. The eight-and-a-half minute film, titled “Battle at Big Rock,” takes place a year after the events of “Jurassic World Fallen Kingdom.” The 2018 blockbuster — starring Chris Pratt and Bryce [...]

  • Bert Kreischer The Machine

    Legendary Lands Rights to Bert Kreischer’s Viral Story 'The Machine' (EXCLUSIVE)

    Legendary has optioned the rights to develop comedian Bert Kreischer’s story “The Machine” into a feature film following its viral success, sources tell Variety. The video has generated more than 85 million views on Facebook and YouTube since hitting the social media channels in December 2016 and Legendary moved aggressively to land the rights. Kreischer [...]

  • Margot Robbie poses at the launch

    Margot Robbie in Talks to Executive Produce, Star in Comedy 'Fools Day'

    Margot Robbie is in negotiations to executive produce and star as a fourth-grade teacher in New Line’s comedy “Fools Day.” New Line has acquired Cody Blue Snider’s short film of the same name to adapt into the feature project. Snider, who co-wrote and directed the short, will direct the full-length feature from a script he [...]

  • M Night Shyamalan'Glass' film premiere, Arrivals,

    M. Night Shyamalan Sets Two New Films at Universal

    M. Night Shyamalan will write and direct two new movies at Universal Pictures, the studio announced Monday. The currently untitled thrillers will be released in theaters on Feb. 26, 2021 and Feb. 17, 2023, respectively. “M. Night Shyamalan continues to create exciting, highly original stories that keep global audiences on the edge of their seats,” [...]

  • La Llorona

    Venice Film Review: 'La Llorona'

    Guatamalan writer-director Jayro Bustamante had a dream debut with “Ixcanul” in 2015: The richly textured folk drama premiered in Competition at Berlin and won him the Alfred Bauer Prize, before going on to healthy international arthouse exposure. So it’s surprising that Bustamante’s subsequent work, while amply delivering on his first feature’s promise, has been comparatively [...]

  • La vaca

    Alec Baldwin’s El Dorado Boards Debut by Chile’s Francisca Alegria (EXCLUSIVE)

    In what marks the company’s first Latin American project, Alec Baldwin’s El Dorado Pictures has boarded Chilean filmmaker Francisca Alegria’s debut feature, “The Cow Who Sang a Song About the Future.” The multi-Emmy-winning actor and his El Dorado partner Casey Bader will serve as executive producers of the film, slated to start principal photography in [...]

More From Our Brands

Access exclusive content