Alexis Arquette, the transgender character actress and sibling of actors David, Rosanna, Richmond and Patricia Arquette, died early Sunday morning in Los Angeles. She was 47 and surrounded by family who serenaded her with David Bowie's "Starman," her siblings said in a statement Sunday. No cause of death was given.
"Alexis was a brilliant artist and painter, a singer, an entertainer and an actor," her brothers and sisters said. "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."
Alexis was born Robert Arquette in Los Angeles in 1969, and she was a performer from a young age, appearing in a music video for The Tubes' "She's a Beauty" at age 12 and the occasional other project.
A versatile performer, Arquette got her big break in the 1989 adaptation of Last Exit to Brooklyn where she played the trans sex worker Georgette. She was just visiting New York with her sister Patricia Arquette who was up for a role in the film, but pregnant at the time.
"They asked me if I wanted to read for a role because they knew that I'd done a drag thing at one of my friend's clubs," Arquette said in a 1999 Index Magazine interview. "I ended up getting the job, basically through my sister. If it wasn't for her, I wouldn't have been in New York. But nobody gives you a job, you've got to earn it on your own. I would never want anyone to think that there's some kind of cachet to my name."