Actress Alexis Arquette died on Sunday at the age of 47, and her siblings have released a moving statement following the loss of their sister.
“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. 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,” Alexis’ siblings — Rosanna, Richmond, Patricia and David Arquette — said in a statement provided to Access Hollywood by a rep for Patricia. (Patricia also tweeted a link to the statement.)
“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.
David Arquette, Rosanna Arquette, Alexis Arquette, Richmond Arquette, and Patricia Arquette attend the Indian Film Festival Of Los Angeles Opening Night Gala for ‘Sold’ at ArcLight Cinemas on April 8, 2014 in Hollywood (Getty Images)
“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,” the statement continued.
“We learned what real bravery is through watching her journey of living as a trans woman. 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. 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. 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 statement concluded.
The family has asked for privacy during their time of grief.
Boy George paid tribute to Alexis on Twitter on Sunday, writing, “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’ brother, David, tweeted back, writing, “@BoyGeorge thank you so much for this beautiful message. The young Alexis running around the dance club would be as proud as a peacock.”
The “Scream” actor also thanked fans for their support.
“Thank you all for your love and kind words about Alexis. My hero for eternity,” David tweeted to accompany a photo showing him with Alexis.
— Jolie Lash