Entertainment & Arts

Actress Alexis Arquette dies at 47

Alexis Arquette Image copyright AP
Image caption Arquette became an activist for transgender rights

Actress and activist Alexis Arquette has died at the age of 47.

The transgender star - sibling of actors David, Rosanna and Patricia Arquette - died on Sunday morning.

Her other brother Richmond confirmed the news on Facebook with a press release written by Patricia. He said Arquette died while listening to David Bowie's music.

Alexis Arquette appeared in films including Pulp Fiction and The Wedding Singer.

'Fast and painless'

The release read: "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."

Image copyright AP
Image caption Rosanna Arquette, Alexis Arquette and Patricia Arquette are all actors

The statement said that in the days leading to her death, Alexis said "where she was going, there was only one gender".

It added: "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 post continued: "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."

Transgender rights

A cause of death was not given.

Arquette made her film debut in Down And Out In Beverly Hills in 1986 and went on to play a transvestite in Last Exit To Brooklyn in 1989.

She also appeared in The Wedding Singer as a member of a band, impersonating pop star Boy George.

Boy George tweeted: "R.I.P my sister Alexis Arquette. Another bright light gone out far too soon. Love to the family and all that loved Alexis."

Alexis Arquette also appeared in a documentary about transitioning to becoming a woman in 2006.

The film, Alexis Arquette: She's My Brother, screened at the Tribeca Film Festival in 2007.

She also appeared on TV shows including Friends and Californication, and went on to become an activist for transgender rights.

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