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Rosanna Lauren Arquette (born August 10, 1959) is a Golden Globe-nominated American actress, film director, and film producer.


Early life

Arquette was born in New York City, the daughter of Mardi Olivia (née Nowak), an actress, poet, theater operator, activist, acting teacher and therapist, and Lewis Arquette, an actor and director.[1] Arquette's paternal grandfather was comedian Cliff Arquette. Arquette's mother was Jewish, the daughter of a Holocaust refugee from Poland,[2] and her father was a convert to Islam and a descendant of explorer Meriwether Lewis.[3][4][5][6] Arquette's siblings are actors Patricia, Alexis, Richmond and David Arquette. Arquette is also the sister-in-law of Courteney Cox Arquette, 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 films, 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, a highly regarded but little seen film. She starred in Desperately Seeking Susan alongside pop singer 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. 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.[7]

In recent years, Arquette has also been expanding into directing. Recent films which she has directed include the documentaries Searching for Debra Winger (2002) and All We Are Saying (2005); she also produced both projects.[8]

Arquette also appeared in the short running What About Brian as Nicole Varsi.

Personal life

Arquette was married when she was 19 to director/composer Tony Greco; they divorced in October 1980. Arquette briefly dated Toto member Steve Porcaro; the band's Grammy Award-winning single "Rosanna", the lead track on the album Toto IV, was named after her, but the song itself was not about her, according to writer David Paich. In a 1983 interview with Rolling Stone, Arquette said that she used to bring the band "juice and beer" at all hours of the night during their recording sessions. Her 1986 marriage to composer James Newton Howard ended in divorce as well. The reconciliation with an old love of Arquette's, English pop and rock star Peter Gabriel, proved also to be impossible. Arquette married restaurateur Jon Sidel in 1993. One year later their daughter, Zoe Blue Sidel, was born. Arquette went on working intensively, which meant she was often away from home. The couple divorced in 1999. Arquette got engaged to entertainment executive, David Codi, in September of 2001.[9]

More recently, Arquette has focused her energies on spending time with her daughter and promoting awareness of breast cancer, while continuing with her work, now also as a director. Her mother had died of breast cancer in 1997. In 2002 her critically acclaimed documentary Searching For Debra Winger was released. In the film, Arquette interviews prominent and respected actresses (mostly between the ages of 30 and 60) in an attempt to find out whether it was practical for a working actress to successfully maintain a family.


"I'm a wreck. I get hurt very easily. I don't have a tough shell. I'm so insecure — it's pretty stupid for me to be in this business, isn't it?"[10]
"I have buck teeth. I sucked my thumb until I was 11... and then I went on to suck other things…"[11]
"I'm very insecure. I hate working out. I detest it. I have places that could probably be more toned, but in Europe, imperfection is beautiful".[12]
"I love music and wanted to sit down with some of the people I admire and discuss what keeps them going — the balance between art and life, the state of the art of music today and what inspires them. Most true artists care about music as a pure, passionate art form, but can get caught in the trap of the business which, sadly, has now become more important than the artist or even the music itself".[13]

Filmography as actress

More American Graffiti (1979)
Gorp (1980)
S.O.B. (1981)
The Executioner's Song (film) (1982)
Johnny Belinda (film) (1982)
Baby It's You (film) (1983)
Off the Wall (1983)
The Aviator (1985)
Desperately Seeking Susan (1985)
Silverado (1985)
After Hours (1985)
8 Million Ways to Die (1986)
Nobody's Fool (1986)
Amazon Women on the Moon (1987)
The Big Blue (1988)
New York Stories (1989)
Black Rainbow (1989)
Sweet Revenge (1990)
Almost aka. Wendy Cracked a Walnut (1990)
Flight of the Intruder (1991)
Son of the Morning Star (TV Mini-series) (1991)
The Linguini Incident (1991)
Radio Flyer (1992)
Fathers & Sons (1992)
The Wrong Man (1993 film) (1993)
Nowhere to Run (1993)
Pulp Fiction (1994)
Search and Destroy (1995)
Crash (1996)
White Lies (1996)
Vive le cinéma! (1996)
Gone Fishin (1997)
Deceiver (1997)
Do Me a Favor (1997)
Gun (1997)
Buffalo '66 (1998)
Hope Floats (1998)
Floating Away (1998)
Hell's Kitchen (1998)
I'm Losing You (1998)
Fait Accompli (1998)
Homeslice (1998)
Sugar Town (1999)
Palmer's Pick Up (1999)
Pigeonholed (1999)
Interview with a Dead Man (1999)
The Whole Nine Yards (2000)
Too Much Flesh (2000)
Things Behind the Sun (2001)
Joe Dirt (2001)
Big Bad Love (2001)
Good Advice (2001)
Diary of a Sex Addict (2001)
Dead Cool (2004)
Will & Grace (2004-2005) (guest star in episodes)
The L Word (2004-2006)
What About Brian (2006)
Grey's Anatomy (2006) (guest star for one episode)
I-See-You.Com (2006)
Medium (2008)

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