Rosanna Arquette Biography

Rosanna Arquette photo

Born: August 10, 1959


Date of Birth: August 10, 1959

As the eldest sibling in the Arquette dynasty (the granddaughter of TV humorist Cliff Arquette and daughter of actor Lewis Arquette), Rosanna Arquette is the elder sister of actors Patricia, Alexis, and David Arquette. Arquette was living with her family in an artists' commune in Front Royal, Virginia when she decided, at age 15, to hitchhike cross-country to San Francisco with three friends. She made her professional stage debut in 1975 in Metamorphosis at the Story Theater in LA. The Year 1979 marked both her film debut, a walk-on as a "Commune Girl" in More American Graffiti, and her first stint as a TV regular, playing the teenaged daughter of Shirley Jones on the comedy-drama Shirley (1979-80). Arquette worked regularly in TV for a period, appearing in after school specials, PBS dramas, and several notable telefilms including The Executioner's Song (1982) wherein she received enthusiastic notices for her portrayal of the wild girlfriend of convicted killer Gary Gilmore (Tommy Lee Jones).

Arquette shone in her debut as a film lead in John Sayles' Baby, It's You (1983) playing a studious Jewish highschooler who falls for a rebellious Italian boy. She remains best known as the star in the character comedy Desperately Seeking Susan (1985), as a bored suburban housewife who adopts the freewheeling lifestyle of Madonna's character whom she encountered in the personal ads. While this part seemed a perfect springboard to major stardom for the young actress, the major beneficiary of this showcase was actually Madonna. Later that same year, Arquette was the unstable fatalistic date of Griffin Dunne who acts as the catalyst for the nightmarish events of Martin Scorsese's After Hours (1985).

The pattern for much of Arquette's subsequent Hollywood career was soon established: leads in small independent films—usually comedies—and foreign features (The Big Blue 1988); female leads in male-oriented action outings (Silverado 1985); and starring roles in films that were barely released or banished straight-to-video (The Linguine Incident 1991). There were some bright spots including a costarring role as a young artist opposite a shambling master painter (Nick Nolte) in Scorsese's "Life Lessons" segment of New York Stories (1989) and an outstanding performance as a traveling clairvoyant in Mike Hodges' stylish made for cable thriller Black Rainbow (1989).

One explanation for Arquette's fall from prominence in the late 80s and early 90s was her decision to live and work in Europe for six years during what could have been her Hollywood prime. Part of the appeal there was her relationship with musician Peter Gabriel with whom she had a ten year relationship. She returned to Hollywood with an unlikely role opposite action star Jean-Claude Van Damme in Nowhere to Run (1993). Arquette was in much better company as part of the high octane ensemble in Quentin Tarantino's acclaimed Pulp Fiction (1994) and landed one of the female leads in David Cronenberg's controversial Crash (1996). More independent work followed, most notably in Buffalo '66 (1998) and Sugartown (1999). She re-visited mainstream movies in The Whole Nine Yards (2000) opposite Bruce Willis and Matthew Perry.

In the early '00s, she worked frequently in TV. She took roles in episodes of shows including Going to California in 2002, The Practice in 2003, Will & Grace in 2003 and Law & Order: Criminal Intent in 2005. She also appeared in various films throughout the decade, including Dead Cool (2004), Crazy for Love (2005), Welcome to California (2005) and Repo Chick (2009).

In 2011, Arquette teamed up with Jane Fonda, Catherine Keener, and Elizabeth Olsen in Peace, Love, & Misunderstanding, appeared in an episode of Girls in 2013, worked on Ray Donovan between 2013 and 2014, and acted in Kill Your Friends in 2015.

Her latest film is Frank & Lola (2016) with Imogen Poots and Michael Shannon.

She currently lives in the Hollywood Hills. She has a daughter, Zoe, with third ex-husband John Sidell.


Falsely Accused (2016)
Frank & Lola (2016)
Lovesong (2016)
Kill Your Friends (2015)
Draft Day (2014)
Peace, Love, & Misunderstanding (2011)
Growing Op (2008)
Kids in America (2005)
Dead Cool (2004)
Gilded Stones (2004)
Big Bad Love (2002)
Good Advice (2001)
The Whole Nine Yards (2000)
Too Much Flesh (2000)
Pigeon Holed (1999)
Palmer's Pick Up (1999)
Sugar Town (1999)
Interview with a Dead Man (1999)
Fait Accompli (1998)
I'm Losing You (1998)
Hell's Kitchen (1998)
Hope Floats (1998) (uncredited)
Buffalo '66 (1998)
Floating Away (1998)
Homeslice (1998)
Trading Favors (1997)
Deceiver (1997)
Gone Fishin' (1997)
You're Still Not Fooling Anybody (1997) (archive footage)
Crash (1996)
White Lies (1996)
Search and Destroy (1995)
Pulp Fiction (1994)
Fear City: A Family-Style Comedy (1994)
Nowhere to Run (1993)
Fathers & Sons (1992)
The Linguini Incident (1991)
Almost (1990)
Black Rainbow (1990)
Flight of the Intruder (1990)
New York Stories (1989)
The Big Blue (1988/I)
Amazon Women on the Moon (1987)
8 Million Ways to Die (1986)
Nobody's Fool (1986)
Desperately Seeking Susan (1985)
After Hours (1985)
The Aviator (1985)
Silverado (1985)
Baby, It's You (1983)
Off the Wall (1983)
S.O.B. (1981)
Gorp (1980)
More American Graffiti (1979)
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