2016 has really been a doozy in regards to celebrity deaths. It seems like every other week we are met with the tragic passing of film legends and icons. From Anton Yelchin, Kenny Baker, and Gene Wilder, we have lost film legends who have affected generations of film fans. This trend only seems to continue, as actor, singer, and Transgender advocate Alexis Arquette has just died at the age of 47.
TMZ has broken the news that Alexis Arquette passed away just this morning. There has not yet been a cause of death reported, TMZ is reporting that she had actually been fighting an illness for quite some time. So while the general public and her many fans and supporters may be shocked by her sudden passing, it appears that those most close to Arquette were prepared and she reportedly passed away surrounded by her friends and family.
Moviegoers will most likely know Alexis Arquette best for playing George in 1998's The Wedding Singer. In the Adam Sandler movie she played another member of Robbie's wedding band- the one impersonating Boy George. Every once in a while Robbie would need a little break, and would therefore turn to George to sing the popstar's infamous "Do You Really Want To Hurt Me?" over and over again. Take a look at one of those iconic scenes below.
Aside from Alexis Arquette's many acting credits, which include roles in Pulp Fiction, The Bride of Chucky, and Blended, she was also a pioneer for the Transgender community. Way before Caitlyn Jenner ever did a Diane Sawyer interview, Alexis was providing the mainstream audience with a real life Transgender person that they could see on the television.
At the start of Alexis' career she was still going by her birth name: Robert Arquette. A member of the Hollywood royal family, Alexis eventually began her transition, and did it in the public eye. Rather than hiding away during her journey to her true identity, she documented it in Alexis Arquette: She's My Brother. The film would debut at the 2007 Tribeca Film Festival, and would help educate people for years as to what exactly it means to be a Trans person in America.
Additionally, Alexis Arquette would also do a fair amount of late night appearances, usually in an attempt to educate an America that perhaps didn't yet have the tools and vocabulary to understand what it means to be Transgender. You can check out one of her appearances on Larry King below.
Overall, Alexis Arquette's loss is sure to be felt by quite the sum of people. She's been in the public eye and worked enough in film and TV to have amassed the respect of various actors and filmmakers, and those who enjoyed her many projects are sure to miss her talents. Additionally, the affect she had on the Transgender community is not to be forgotten, as Trans visibility and representation seems to finally be at a tipping point in the country. And she surely was a champion in a time where there were very few.
Our thoughts go out to Alexis Arquette's family and friends at this time.