There’s no denying that 2016 was a bad year for celebrity deaths and, looking back, it’s difficult to get an accurate tally of just how many beloved stars were lost in the previous year, but actress Patricia Arquette feels more could have been done for the Academy Awards’ In Memoriam segment. Recalling the memory of her own sister, actress, and transgender activist, Alexis Arquette, Patricia has expressed her feeling that the ceremony could have done more with respect to representing the LGBTQ community in the In Memoriam part of the night’s events.
Patricia Arquette Remembers Alexis Arquette, Even If The Oscars Didn’t
In speaking with Vanity Fair, Patricia Arquette admits she was pleased to see Moonlight win the Best Motion Picture of the Year award at last night’s Oscars, largely because its story of a gay male growing up and chasing his dreams in a homophobic society was an inspiring and uplifting tale. The film’s theme couldn’t have been more apt for Patricia at this time, however, because she says she feels slighted by the Academy Awards’ exclusion of Alexis in their In Memoriam segment.
“I’m really bummed. For the in memoriam, they left out our sister Alexis, and she was trans,” says Ms. Arquette.
While Patricia’s comment suggests the idea that Alexis was purposely excluded from the dedications, it should be noted that there were several celebrities forgotten or dismissed from the memorial. Among a list of those not included were Garry Shandling and Robert Vaughn.
Prior to her passing in September 2016, Alexis Arquette had an impressive list of credits prior to her transition from male to female, as well as a continuing career as a female actor. Patricia says Alexis was determined to live life her way, even if that meant limiting her career and taking a longer, harder path toward success.
“Her career was cut short, not by her passing, but by her decision to live her truth and her life as a transgender woman,” says Patricia. “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.”
Ms. Arquette added that including Alexis in this year’s In Memoriam section would have gone a long way toward speaking to the trans community, especially in connecting with transgender teens and children. Patricia feels that remembering and honoring Alexis would have helped to ease tensions between the transgender community and the rest of society.
The Screen Actors Guild Awards Did Remember Alexis Arquette
While Alexis Arquette may have been slighted by the Academy Awards, Pink News reports that the actress and activist was honored by the Screen Actor Guild Awards, earlier this year. Known for The Wedding Singer, Pulp Fiction, Of Mice and Men, and Last Exit to Brooklyn, Alexis was a promising talent and had done as much for the trans community as an activist as she had done for her film fans, so her loss was keenly felt by many. The late Arquette was HIV-positive and passed away from AIDS-related complications.
At the time of Alexis’ death, she was surrounded by her family, who have shared that the actress had been singing “Starman” by David Bowie at the moment of her passing.
“We learned what real bravery is through watching her journey of living as a trans woman,” the Arquette family said in a statement at the time of Alexis’ death. “We came to discover the one truth – that love is everything.”
Patricia Arquette has revealed that the family is creating a foundation in Alexis’ name, which will work towards bringing equality and acceptance to the transgender community.
[Featured Image by Charley Gallay/Getty Images]