Patricia Arquette Celebrates Her Sister Alexis' Life with a Dance Party 2 Years After Her Death
The Oscar winner stars in the Showtime's new limited series Escape at Dannemora
The Oscar winner, 50, who is currently starring in Showtime’s new limited series, Escape at Dannemora, got together with her family on Sept. 11, the two-year anniversary of Alexis’ death, to celebrate her sister’s life.
“My sister put together a celebration in Alexis’ honor and we had a dance party,” Patricia says. “I danced a lot. I like 80s and old soul and punk. If I don’t like the music, I resort to interpretive dance as a punishment.”
Alexis, who was one of the first transgender activists in Hollywood, died at age 47 from complications stemming from HIV, which she had contracted almost three decades before.
“Alexis was really also very powerful, and strong, and really brave, very brave,” Patricia told PEOPLE in 2017.
“We had a long conversation when Alexis told me that she was transgender, and I said, ‘Okay. So what do you do about Hollywood? How will you get work? People are not progressive in Hollywood and it could really negatively impact your career. Are you thinking everything through?’” Patricia recalled.
Despite the risks, Alexis was confident in her decision to come out in Hollywood. “Alexis was very brave to make that decision,” Patricia added. “She really wanted to help progress the world and move the world forward.”
Patricia’s sister Rosanna also started the Alexis Arquette Family Foundation “so that we could do good things in the world under Alexis’s name,” she told PEOPLE in May. One of the Foundation’s initiatives was creating the Alexis Project with the Violence Intervention Program at the LAC+USC Medical Center to give queer young people medical and mental health services.
“We’ve gotten so many letters. I’ve had letters from people all over the world who said their first experience of a trans person was with Alexis,” Patricia said. “Alexis was incredibly creative our whole lives. She was my best friend when we grew up, so I wouldn’t change one thing about Alexis.”