Patricia Arquette remembers her late sister Alexis during Emmys win

Patricia Arquette delivers heartfelt tribute to her late transgender sister Alexis during Emmys acceptance speech and calls for greater support for the trans community

  • Patricia Arquette said backstage Sunday night that she is grieving heavily after her sister Alexis Arquette died at the age of 47 in 2016
  • She made a tearful tribute to Alexis during her acceptance speech after she won best supporting actress in a limited series for her role in the Hulu series The Act
  • Alexis, who was transgender, died from a heart attack and battled HIV for 29 years, according to her death certificate
  • She memorably played a trans sex worker in Last Exit to Brooklyn and a Boy George impersonator in The Wedding Singer 
  • During her acceptance speech, Arquette called for the end to the persecution of trans people, and backstage slammed comedians who joke about them
  • It’s the second Emmy win for Arquette, who won best lead actress in a drama for her role on ‘Medium’ in 2005

Patricia Arquette is having a ‘wonderful time’ in her acting career, but the Emmy winner says she is still personally struggling with the death of her transgender sister.

Arquette said backstage Sunday night that she has been grieving heavily since Alexis Arquette, who was one of the first transgender activists in Hollywood, died at the age of 47 in 2016. 

She made a tearful tribute to her late sibling during her acceptance speech after she won best supporting actress in a limited series for her role in the Hulu series The Act.

Patricia Arquette said backstage Sunday night that she is grieving heavily after sister Alexis Arquette died at the age of 47 in 2016

Patricia made a tearful tribute to Alexis, right, during her acceptance speech after she won best supporting actress. The siblings are pictured together in December 2006

Alexis, pictured in 2010, was transgender. She died from a heart attack and battled HIV for 29 years according to a death certificate

‘I just have to say I’m grateful to be working. I’m grateful to at 50 be getting the greatest parts of my life,’ she said as she collected her trophy. 

During her speech, the 51-year-old actress urged an end to the persecution of trans people.

‘In my heart, I’m so sad,’ she said choking back tears. ‘I lost my sister Alexis. And that trans people are still being persecuted. And I’m in mourning every day of my life, Alexis. And I will be for the rest of my life, for you, until we change the world so that trans people are not persecuted.’ 

‘I think as an actor or actress, we try to act like everything is fine,’ said Arquette while holding her trophy backstage. ‘But the truth is, I’ve been having this heavy grief. I feel like I’m just starting the process. I really miss my sister.’ 

During her acceptance speech, Arquette also urged to end to the persecution of trans people, and backstage, called out comedians who joke about them saying: ‘That’s not acceptable.’ 

She also urged for more employment for trans people, who she says are in ‘deep poverty.’

‘Give them jobs,’ she added. ‘They’re human beings. Let’s give them jobs. Let’s get rid of the bias that we have everywhere.’

Before transitioning in the early 2000s, Alexis starred in multiple movies under the name Robert Arquette – but even back then, she made her film debut playing a trans woman called Georgette in the 1989 film of the novel Last Exit To Brooklyn.

During her acceptance speech, Arquette urged to end to the persecution of trans people, and backstage, called out comedians who joke about them

Patricia remembered: ‘We had conversations, we cried, we talked it through. Alexis said: ‘You know what, it’s okay. It’s a transition for everybody. It’s a transformation for everybody.’ So, I mean, we worked it out. We worked it through together, and Alexis knew we loved her to death.’

The pair were best friends and would talk on the phone daily. 

Alexis suffered from HIV since 1987, and her death certificate revealed she had a bacterial heart infection for the last three weeks of her life.

She memorably played a trans sex worker in Last Exit to Brooklyn and a Boy George impersonator in The Wedding Singer. 

Arquette wrote on social media after her death: ‘Alexis was a brilliant artist and painter, a singer, an entertainer and an actor.


Alexis Arquette pictured left in 2006. and right in 1999, memorably played a trans sex worker in Last Exit to Brooklyn and a Boy George impersonator in The Wedding Singer

‘Her career was cut short, not by her passing, but by her decision to live her truth and her life as a transgender woman.

‘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.’

Arquette’s win is her second Emmy Award. She won outstanding lead actress in a drama series in 2005 for her performance on Medium.  

Arquette also won an Oscar for supporting actress in 2014 for her performance in Boyhood. She has also won two Golden Globes.  

Side by side: Alexis underwent her transition in the early 2000s; she is pictured with Patricia in 1999 back when she was still publicly known as Robert

Famous family: Actor David Arquette, left, Patricia Arquette, center and their sister Alexis Arquette, right are pictured together at a party in December 2006 in Los Angeles, California

PRIMETIME EMMY WINNERS 2019 – KEY CATEGORIES

DRAMA SERIES: 

Better Call Saul

Bodyguard

Game of Thrones – WINNER

Killing Eve

Ozark

Pose

Succession 

This is Us

COMEDY SERIES:

Barry

Fleabag – WINNER

The Good Place

The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel

Russian Doll 

Schitt’s Creek

Veep

ACTOR, DRAMA SERIES:

Jason Bateman – Ozark

Sterling K. Brown – This is Us

Kit Harington – Game of Thrones

Bob Odenkirk – Better Call Saul

Billy Porter – Pose – WINNER

Milo Ventimiglia – This is Us

Billy Porter became the first openly gay black man to win Best Actor in a Drama Series for Pose

SUPPORTING ACTOR, DRAMA SERIES: 

Jonathan Banks – Better Call Saul

Giancarlo Esposito – Better Call Saul

Alfie Allen – Game of Thrones

Nikolaj Coster-Waldau – Game of Thrones

Peter Dinklage – Game of Thrones – WINNER

Michael Kelly – House of Cards

Chris Sullivan – This is Us

ACTRESS, DRAMA SERIES:

Emilia Clarke – Game of Thrones

Robin Wright – House of Cards

Jodie Comer – Killing Eve – WINNER

Sandra Oh – Killing Eve

Laura Linney – Ozark

Viola Davis – How To Get Away With Murder

Mandy Moore – This Is Us

Jodie Comer won Best Actress in a Drama Series for Killing Eve

SUPPORTING ACTRESS, DRAMA SERIES: 

Gwendoline Christie – Game of Thrones

Julia Garner – Ozark – WINNER

Lena Headey – Game of Thrones

Fiona Shaw – Killing Eve

Sophie Turner – Game of Thrones

Maisie Williams – Game of Thrones

ACTRESS, COMEDY SERIES: 

Rachel Brosnahan – The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel

Julia Louis-Dreyfus – Veep

Natasha Lyonne – Russian Doll

Phoebe Waller-Bridge – Fleabag – WINNER

Christina Applegate – Dead to Me

Catherine O’Hara – Schitt’s Creek

Bill Hader won Best Actor in a Comedy Series for the second year in a row

ACTOR, COMEDY SERIES: 

Anthony Anderson – Black-ish

Don Cheadle – Black Monday

Ted Danson – The Good Place

Michael Douglas – The Kominsky Method

Bill Hader – Barry – WINNER

Eugene Levy – Schitt’s Creek

Alex Borstein (right) won Best Actress in a Supporting Role for The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel

SUPPORTING ACTOR, COMEDY SERIES:

Anthony Carrigan – Barry

Stephen Root – Barry

Henry Winkler – Barry

Alan Arkin – The Kominsky Method

Tony Shalhoub – The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel – WINNER

Tony Hale – Veep

SUPPORTING ACTRESS, COMEDY SERIES:

Sarah Goldberg – Barry

Sian Clifford – Fleabag

Olivia Colman – Fleabag

Betty Gilpin – GLOW

Alex Borstein – The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel – WINNER

Marin Hinkle – The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel

Kate McKinnon – Saturday Night Live

Anna Chlumsky – Veep 

ACTOR, LIMITED SERIES OR MOVIE: 

Mahershala Ali – True Detective

Hugh Grant – A Very English Scandal 

Benicio Del Toro – Escape at Dannemora

Jared Harris – Chernobyl

Jharrel Jerome – When They See Us – WINNER

Sam Rockwell – Fosse/Verdon

SUPPORTING ACTOR, LIMITED SERIES OR MOVIE:

Stellan Skarsgard –  Chernobyl

Paul Dano – Escape at Dannemora

Ben Whishaw – A Very English Scandal

Asante Blackk – When They See Us

John Leguizamo – When They See Us

Michael K. Williams – When They See Us 

LIMITED SERIES:

Chernobyl  – WINNER

Escape at Dannemora

Fosse/Verdon

When They See Us

Sharp Objects

Chernobyl won the coveted Best Limited Series for HBO

TELEVISION MOVIE:

Black Mirror

Bandersnatch – WINNER

Brexit

Deadwood 

King Lear

My Dinner with Herve

VARIETY TALK SERIES:

The Daily Show with Trevor Noah

Full Frontal with Samantha Bee

Jimmy Kimmel Live!

Last Week Tonight with John Oliver – WINNER

The Late Late Show with James Corden

The Late Show with Stephen Colbert

VARIETY SKETCH SERIES: 

At Home with Amy Sedaris

Documentary Now!

Drunk History

I Love You, America with Sarah Silverman

Saturday Night Live – WINNER

Who Is America?

RuPaul’s Drag Race won Best Reality-Competition Program

STRUCTURED REALITY PROGRAM: 

Antiques Roadshow 

Diners, Drive-Ins and Dives

Queer Eye – WINNER

Shark Tank

Tidying Up with Marie Kondo

Who Do You Think You Are?

UNSTRUCTURED REALITY PROGRAM:

Born This Way

Deadliest Catch

Life Below Zero

RuPaul’s Drag Race: Untucked

Somebody Feed Phil

United Shades of America with W. Kamau Bell – WINNER

REALITY- COMPETITION PROGRAM: 

The Amazing Race

American Ninja Warrior

RuPaul’s Drag Race – WINNER

Top Chef

The Voice

Nailed It 

GUEST ACTOR IN A COMEDY SERIES: 

Luke Kirby – The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel – WINNER

Rufus Sewell – The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel

Adam Sandler – Saturday Night Live

John Mulaney – Saturday Night Live

Matt Damon – Saturday Night Live

Robert De Niro – Saturday Night Live

Peter MacNicol – Veep

GUEST ACTRESS IN A COMEDY SERIES:

Fiona Shaw – Fleabag

Kristin Scott Thomas – Fleabag

Maya Rudolph – The Good Place

Jane Lynch – The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel – WINNER

Emma Thompson – Saturday Night Live

Sandra Oh – Saturday Night Live

GUEST ACTOR, DRAMA SERIES:

Michael Angarano – This Is Us

Ron Cephas Jones – This Is Us

Michael McKean – Better Call Saul

Kumail Nanjiani – The Twilight Zone

Glynn Turman – How To Get Away With Murder

Bradley Whitford – The Handmaid’s Tale – WINNER

GUEST ACTRESS, DRAMA SERIES:

Laverne Cox – Orange Is the New Black 

Cherry Jones – The Handmaid’s Tale – WINNER

Jessica Lange – American Horror Story: Apocalypse

Phylicia Rashad – This Is Us

Cicely Tyson – How To Get Away With Murder

Carice van Houten – Game of Thrones

Michelle Williams won Best Actress in a Limited Series or Movie

ACTRESS, LIMITED SERIES OR MOVIE:

Amy Adams – Sharp Objects

Patricia Arquette – Escape at Dannemora

Aunjanue Ellis – When They See Us

Joey King – The Act 

Niecy Nash – When They See Us

Michelle Williams – Fosse/Verdon – WINNER

SUPPORTING ACTRESS, LIMITED SERIES OR MOVIE: 

Patricia Arquette – The Act – WINNER

Marsha Stephanie Blake – When They See Us

Patricia Clarkson – Sharp Objects

Vera Farmiga – When They See Us

Margaret Qualley – Fosse/Verdon

Emily Watson – Chernobyl    

Patricia Arquette won Best Supporting Actress in a Limited Series or Movie for The Act

 

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