Alexis Arquette was born July 28, 1969 into Hollywood royalty. Her father, Lewis Arquette, was an actor and director, and her mother, Brenda “Mardi” Nowak, was an actress and activist who taught acting classes and ran a theater. His siblings, Rosanna, Patricia and David Arquette, would each chart a successful path for themselves to acting stardom. At 12, Alexis got into acting, starring in a music video for The Tubes song “She’s a Beauty”.
Born Robert Arquette, Alexis knew she was transgender from a young age. Arquette underwent sex reassignment surgery in 2006 and supported other celebritieslike Chaz Bono, who wanted to do the same.
In the 1980s, she innovated for young transgender people. At 19, she played a transgender sex worker in the film “Last Exit to Brooklyn” (1989). Arquette starred in over 40 films during his prolific career – although most were small independent films. In the 1990s, Arquette appeared in supporting roles in “Threesome”, “The Wedding Singer” and “Pulp Fiction”.
After contracting HIV in 1987, Arquette went through long periods of poor health. In 2013, she decided to become a man again. But the growing decline in Arquette’s health could not be reversed. On September 11, 2016, at the age of 47, Alexis Arquette died after being placed in an artificial coma due to complications related to HIV. The official cause of death was cardiac arrest.