Alexis Arquette, an actress and transgender activist, died Sunday at age 47. The news was confirmed by her brother Richmond Arquette and brother-in-law Todd Morgan.
Arquette was best known for appearances in the films The Wedding Singer and Pulp Fiction. A film about her transition to becoming a woman, Alexis Arquette: She’s My Brother, made the film festival circuit in 2007.
Richmond Arquette posted on Facebook that “Our brother Robert, who became our brother Alexis, who became our sister Alexis, who became our brother Alexis, passed this morning September 11, at 12:32 am.”
“He was surrounded by all of his brothers and sisters, one of his nieces and several other loved ones,” the posting said. “We were playing music for him and he passed during David Bowie’s Starman. As per his wishes, we cheered at the moment that he transitioned to another dimension.”
Alexis was one of the earliest high-profile advocates for transgender rights, and spoke candidly about identifying as female from an early age.
“I’ve worn makeup since I was 12,” Arquette told Dr. Drew Pinksy during an interview on Larry King Live in 2009. “[My family] weren’t in denial so much as their fear was that if I came out as transgender and live my life as a woman that might receive a lot of flak from people on the street.”
Most recently, Alexis was in the news after claiming that Will and Jada Smith are both gay.
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