Alexis Arquette, the trailblazing transgender performer, has died at 47-years-old.
— Entertainment Weekly (@EW) September 12, 2016
The cause of death is as yet unknown, with Rolling Stone magazine simply reporting that Alexis Arquette had suffered from “a lengthy illness.”
What is known is that the performer’s death was not a surprise to family and friends. People magazine reports that Alexis Arquette was surrounded by family and friends at the time of death, and that it had been their wish to be serenaded by David Bowie’s “Starman” at the moment of passing.
Patricia Arquette, sister to the late Alexis Arquette, tweeted following her sibling’s death with a link to David Bowie’s iconic song.
Breaking through the veil singing StarMan https://t.co/A3way5S3Lb
— Patricia Arquette (@PattyArquette) September 11, 2016
In a press release that was published by Patricia Arquette and posted by Richmond Arquette, another sibling in the Arquette family, Alexis Arquette’s siblings described them as a “brilliant” transgendered person who “refused to play roles that were demeaning or stereotypical.”
In particular, the press release stated that Alexis had expressed to siblings that they had already visited “the other side,” and that there was only one gender there.
“On the other side, we are free from all of the things that separate us in this life, and… we are all one.”
Interestingly, Richmond had earlier posted a series of photos and a message on Facebook announcing the death of Alexis Arquette. In that first message, which has since been deleted, Richmond referred to Alexis Arquette as “our brother Robert, who became our brother Alexis, who became our sister Alexis, who became our brother Alexis,” going on to refer to Alexis by the personal pronouns “he,” “him,” and “his” as appropriate.
“He died as he lived, on his own terms.”
That post seems to have since been deleted, replaced with the official press release that purports to have been written by Patricia Arquette, which refers to Alexis solely by the female personal pronouns.
@BoyGeorge it mentions a facebook post by Alexis Arquette’s brother Richomnd but I went to his facebook page and theres nothing there
— Amanda In Wonderland (@princessgleek) September 11, 2016
CNN mentioned an earlier interview with David Arquette in which he revealed that his Wedding Singer star sibling, who transitioned from male to female early in life, referred to themselves as “gender suspicious.”
“She was like, ‘Yeah, sometimes I’ll be a man, sometimes I’ll be a woman. I like to refer to myself as gender suspicious.'”
One of Alexis Arquette’s most memorable roles was as a Boy George impersonator in the Adam Sandler film The Wedding Singer.
Oh no! Say it ain’t so…..???? RIP Alexis Arquette. My favorite part of the Wedding Singer pic.twitter.com/yE8UMCvK0e
— Wizka_lisa (@leec_much) September 12, 2016
Following the performer’s death, Boy George tweeted a heartfelt message for the entertainer who had brilliantly and hilariously impersonated him in the hit movie.
R.I.P my sister Alexis Arquette. Another bright light gone out far too soon. Love to the family and all that loved Alexis.
— Boy George (@BoyGeorge) September 11, 2016
David Arquette later thanked Boy George for his kind words.
@BoyGeorge thank you so much for this beautiful message. The young Alexis running around the dance club would be as proud as a peacock
— David Arquette (@DavidArquette) September 11, 2016
Courteney Cox, the former wife of David Arquette and therefore Alexis Arquette’s former sister-in-law, also tweeted her condolences after hearing of Alexis’s passing.
My heart goes out to anyone who was lucky enough to know Alexis.
We will love and miss you forever.
— Courteney Cox (@CourteneyCox) September 11, 2016
Alexis Arquette also had a brief but memorable role playing against her then sister-in-law Courteney Cox in the Friends episode “The One with Chandler’s Dad,” according to IMDb.
[Photo by Mark Mainz/Getty Images for AFI]