Patricia Arquette is an American actress who performs simultaneously in films and television with equal élan. This blue-eyed actress hails from a family of actors and entertainers. Her acting career, comprising of big screen flicks, independent projects, and television, spanning over two decades reflects her versatility as she has taken up hysterically funny to dreading roles. She made her film and television debut in 1987 with ‘A Nightmare on Elm Street 3: Dream Warriors’ and ‘Daddy’ respectively. Some of her award-winning performances were delivered in films and TV series, such as ‘Wildflower,’ ‘Medium,’ ‘The Hi-Lo Country,’ and ‘Boyhood.’ Of these, Richard Linklater-directed ‘Boyhood’ needs special mention. Her role of Olivia Evans in the film not only got her widespread appreciation but also fetched several awards, including ‘Oscar,’ ‘BAFTA Award,’ ‘Golden Globe Award,’ ‘Boston Society of Film Critics Award,’ and ‘Critics' Choice Movie Award.’ The television drama series ‘Medium’ earned her ‘Primetime Emmy Award for Outstanding Lead Actress in a Drama Series.’ She is among 13 such actresses including the likes of Julia Roberts, Kate Winslet, and Anne Hathaway who have received the ‘Oscar,’ ‘BAFTA Award,’ ‘SAG Award,’ ‘Golden Globe Award,’ and ‘Critics' Choice Award’ for a single film.
Childhood & Early Life
Patricia Arquette was born on April 8, 1968, in Chicago, Illinois, USA, to Lewis Arquette and Brenda Olivia ‘Mardi’ as one of their five children. She is distantly related to the renowned explorer Meriwether Lewis from her father’s side.
She hails from a family of actors and performers associated with the entertainment industry. While her father was a director and actor, her mother was a writer, performer, therapist, and activist. All her siblings have worked in the entertainment business.
She was quite a rebel in her early teens. At 12, she was caught shoplifting and at one time went bald.
During the early-70s, she studied at the ‘Mid-City Alternative School.’ She also attended the ‘Los Angeles Center for Enriched Studies’ after the family relocated to Los Angeles in 1974.
She fled from her home when she was 14 and moved in with her older sister Rosanna who at the time was an upcoming actress. Eventually, she followed in Rosanna’s footsteps to become an actress. She received training for acting from the famous drama coach Milton Katselas.
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In 1987, Patricia Arquette landed her first film role in ‘Pretty Smart’ where she played the character of Zero, a boarding school student.
In 1987, she also played Kristen Parker in the film ‘A Nightmare on Elm Street 3: Dream Warriors’ and made her television debut in the film ‘Daddy’ where she played Stacy, a teenage pregnant girl.
Her portrayal of Alice Guthrie, a deaf epileptic girl, in the 1991 released television movie ‘Wildflower’ earned her the ‘CableACE Award’ for ‘Best Actress in a Miniseries or Movie.’
Her popularity increased in the 1990s with critically acclaimed films like ‘True Romance’ (1993), ‘Ethan Frome’ (1993), ‘Beyond Rangoon’ (1995), ‘Flirting with Disaster’ (1996), and ‘Lost Highway’ (1997) among other films. These films showcased her versatility in different genres, including psychological thrillers, horror films, comedy, and romance.
In 1996, her movie ‘Flirting with Disaster,’ that garnered more than $14 million at the box office, was screened at the ‘Cannes Film Festival.’
In 1999, Patricia Arquette returned to the genre with which she started her career when she played Frankie Paige in the horror film ‘Stigmata.’ Though not critically acclaimed, the film was commercially successful as it earned over $80 million. In the same year, her film ‘Bringing Out the Dead,’ in which she appeared alongside her then-husband Nicolas Cage, was highly acclaimed by the critics.
Her career in films continued with ‘Little Nicky’ (2000), ‘Human Nature’ (2001), ‘The Badge’ (2002), and ‘A Single Woman’ (2008) among other films. These films covered different genres, including light-hearted comedy, drama, mystery, and biopics, reflecting her wide range as a performer
Her 2003 released film ‘Holes,’ which was based on Louis Sachar’s novel, had a tremendous run at the box office, earning more than $71 million.
Her performance as Allison Dubois in NBC’s television drama series ‘Medium’ fetched her ‘Primetime Emmy Award for Outstanding Lead Actress in a Drama Series.’ She played the role from 2005 to 2011, appearing in 130 episodes.
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She shot for the Richard Linklater-directed film ‘Boyhood’ from 2002 and continued for the next 12 years until its release in 2014. Her portrayal of Olivia Evans, a single mother who faces several odds while bringing up her children, received widespread appreciation. For her supporting role in the film, she earned several awards, including ‘Oscar,’ ‘BAFTA Award,’ ‘Golden Globe Award,’ ‘SAG Awards,’ and ‘Critics' Choice Movie Award.’
Arquette began starring in the ‘CBS’ series CSI: Cyber, a show about ‘FBI’ agents, in early 2015. ‘CBS’ canceled the series after two seasons in 2016.
In the miniseries ‘Escape at Dannemora,’ Arquette portrayed Tilly Mitchell. The series was premiered on November 2018.
She has also starred in the ‘Hulu’ series ‘The Act.’
In 2019, she was seen in the film ‘Otherhood’ alongside Angela Bassett and Felicity Huffman.
Awards & Achievements
In 2015, she won the ‘Academy Award’ in the category of ‘Best Supporting Actress’ for her performance in ‘Boyhood.’
Personal Life & Legacy
She became pregnant with her son Enzo Rossi (who was born on January 3, 1989), from her relationship with musician Paul Rossi, when she was 20 years old.
She married Nicolas Cage on April 8, 1995, but got separated from him after nine months. The couple finally got a divorce on May 18, 2001.
In 2002, she got engaged to actor Thomas Jane. Their daughter Harlow Olivia Calliope Jane was born on February 23, 2003.
After a courtship of four years, Arquette and Jane got married in Venice, Italy, on June 25, 2006. The couple later got divorced on July 1, 2011.
From the past two decades, she has been involved with different charity works. She dedicated herself to raise awareness about breast cancer after her mother died of the disease in 1997.
She has participated in the annual ‘Race for the Cure.’ In 1999, she served as the spokesperson for ‘Lee National Denim Day,’ a fundraiser event initiated by Lee Jeans to aid breast cancer research and educational programs.
Following the 2010 earthquake in Haiti, she formed a non-profit organisation with her friend Rosetta Millington-Getty to aid different projects, including housing construction and community development in the ravaged place. She joined hands with the welding students of ‘Robert Morgan Educational Center’ in Miami and utilized old shipping containers to construct shelters in Haiti.
She did a television commercial for ‘PETA’ to help homeless dogs and cats.
During her ‘Oscar’ acceptance speech for ‘Boyhood’ at the 2015 ‘Academy Awards,’ she made a statement on gender inequality which was instantly weighed in by millions of viewers.