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

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Alexis Arquette

"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," her family said a statement.

Alexis Arquette has died, according to her family. She was 47.

The announcement was first made Sunday morning by her brother, Richmond, on Facebook. Later in the day, her family released a full statement.

"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," the statement said. "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."

A cause of death was not given.

"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," the statement continued. "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."

Her other brother, David, tweeted later in the afternoon: "Thank you all for your love and kind words about Alexis. My hero for eternity." 

Her sister, Patricia, tweeted Bowie's "Starman."

"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," the family said in their statement. "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."

The statement continued: "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."

The statement was signed by Rosanna, Richmond, Patricia and David.

Stars who knew Alexis Arquette shared their thoughts on social media:

UPDATES:

Sept. 11, 2:45 p.m.: This story has been updated with a statement from the family.

Sept. 11, 1:45 p.m.: This story has been updated with a comment from David Arquette. 

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