Alexis Arquette dies at 47

"She left before we were ready to let her go," say siblings.

by Jennie Kermode

Alexis Arquette
Alexis Arquette Photo: Irina Slutsky

David, Rosanna, Richmond and Patricia Arquette have led tributes to their sister Alexis Arquette, who died on Sunday morning at the age of just 47. The Last Exit To Brooklyn star is said to have been ill for some time.

"Alexis was a brilliant artist and painter, a singer, an entertainer and an actor," said her siblings in a statement. They also praised her courage in living openly as a trans woman, which led to restricted opportunities in Hollywood. "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," they said.

In the last few months of her life, Alexis explored different ways of looking at gender, and suggested to friends that it was no longer something she understood in binary terms. She had surprised some fans by taking on a male role - that of the Roman emperor Caligula - in Xena: Warrior Princess in 2001.

Alexis was known for her devotion to the horror genre, appearing in the likes of Bride Of Chucky and the original Buff The Vampire Slayer. She also had small roles in hits like Pulp Fiction and The Wedding Singer.

Her family revealed that she was listening to David Bowie's Starman when she died.

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