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Alexis Arquette, Transgender Actress and Sister of David and Patricia, Dies at 47

She appeared in The Wedding Singer and The Surreal Life

Kaitlin Thomas

Actress Alexis Arquette, who appeared in The Wedding Singer and brought increased awareness to the transgender community on the reality series The Surreal Life, died Sunday, her brother, Richmond Arquette, revealed on Facebook. 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," said Richmond. "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."

Remember the celebrities we lost this year

Born Robert Arquette in 1969, Alexis came from a well-known acting family. Her grandfather, Cliff Arquette, and father, Lewis Arquette, were both actors. Like her siblings, Oscar winner Patricia, David, Richmond and Rosanna, Alexis was an entertainer from a young age. Her big screen debut came in 1986, when she appeared in an uncredited role in Down and Out in Beverly Hills. She later went on to appear in films Pulp Fiction and Bride of Chucky, and on popular TV shows Roseanne, Californication, Felicity, Xena: Warrior Princess and Friends, in addition to a number of other roles.


Alexis' transition into a woman was documented in the 2007 documentary Alexis Arquette: She's My Brother.

Shortly after she transitioned, Alexis appeared on The Surreal Life in 2006, bringing transgender visibility to the mainstream, nearly a decade before Caitlyn Jenner chronicled her journey on her reality show.
A cause of death has not been released.