Date of Birth : Aug 10th 1959
Golden Globe-nominated American actress, film director, and film producer.
Arquette was born in New York City, daughter of Mardi Olivia (Nowak), an actress, poet, political activist, teacher and therapist, and Lewis Arquette, an actor and director. Arquette’s paternal grandfather was comedian Cliff Arquette. Arquette’s mother was Jewish, the daughter of a Holocaust refugee from Poland, and her father was a descendant of explorer Meriwether Lewis. Arquette’s siblings are actors Patricia, Alexis, Richmond and David Arquette. Arquette is also the sister-in-law of Courteney Cox, who is married to Arquette’s brother David.
In 1963, Arquette’s family moved to Chicago, where her father managed The Second City theater for several years. When she was 11 years old, her parents moved to a commune in Front Royal, Virginia. Arquette did not do well at school. In 1974, she hitchhiked across the country with three older teenagers, eventually going to San Francisco, where she worked at Renaissance and Dickens fairs. Her professional theater debut was May 27, 1977, appearing in the Story Theatre Musical Ovid’s The Metamorphoses at the Callboard Theatre on Melrose Place in Los Angeles.
In Hollywood, she had her first roles playing teens with troubles. A few years later she started to act in mature roles. Besides cinema movies, Arquette appeared from the beginning of her career in television films. In 1982, she earned an Emmy Award nomination for the TV film The Executioner’s Song. Thereafter, she played in many cinema movies and TV films and has worked with many of the most acclaimed film directors of the last twenty years. Arquette’s first starring role was in John Sayles’s Baby It’s You (film), a highly regarded but little seen film. She carried Desperately Seeking Susan but was eclipsed by her pop singer co-star Madonna. After Hours also played to her comedic talents but failed to find an audience while 8 Million Ways to Die was buried by the studio and for a time she quit Hollywood to work in Europe.
In 1989, Martin Scorsese offered her a part in New York Stories. Since then, Arquette has appeared, with few exceptions, in one or in several movies each year, some of them of notable interest, like Pulp Fiction and the David Cronenberg film, Crash. An offbeat choice, however, was to fly downunder and make the Australian film Wendy Cracked a Walnut (1990) (also known as “…Almost”). An expensive film, and a huge box office flop, only the musical score by Bruce Smeaton was generally noted by critics, for its musical innovation. In 1990, Arquette appeared on the cover and in a nude pictorial in Playboy’s September issue, although she claimed it was without her prior knowledge or approval.
Known for most of her career as an actress, in recent years, Arquette has also been expanding into film direction. Recent films which she has directed include the documentaries Searching for Debra Winger (2002) and All We Are Saying (2005); she served for both projects in the role of producer, as well as director.