Rosanna Arquette was born in New York City to a Jewish mother and a father of
partially-French descent. Her grandfather, Cliff Arquette, played "Charley
Weaver" on The Jack Paar Show and the original incarnation of Hollywood Squares,
and her father, the late actor Lewis Arquette, was well known as "J. D. Pickett"
on The Waltons. She is the sister of actors Patricia Arquette, David Arquette,
and Alexis Arquette, and the sister-in-law of Courteney Cox Arquette of Friends
Rosanna Arquette followed her family's profession and began acting while being a child. When she was 11 years old, her parents moved to a commune in Virginia. Arquette did not do well at school. At the age of 14 she went to Los Angeles, California, wanting to become a film star.
In Hollywood, Rosanna Arquette had her first roles playing teens with troubles. A few years later she started to act in mature roles. Besides cinema movies, 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.
Rosanna Arquette's first starring role was in John Sayles's Baby It's You, a highly regarded but little seen film. She carried Desperately Seeking Susan but was eclipsed by her pop singer co-star 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 and for a time she quit Hollywood to work in Europe.
In 1989, Martin Scorsese offered her a part in New York Stories. Since then, Rosanna Arquette has appeared, with few exceptions, in one or in several movies each year, some of them of notable interest, like Pulp Fiction and Crash.
In 1990 Rosanna Arquette appeared nude in Playboy's September issue.
Rosanna Arquette has always been torn between work and family. Her dedication to acting has broken several relationships. The first was her boyfriend, Steve Porcaro, member of the rock band Toto (whose international hit "Rosanna" is named after her). Her marriage in 1986 to composer James Newton Howard ended in the same way. The reconciliation with an old love of Arquette, English pop and rock star Peter Gabriel, proved also to be impossible. At that time, Arquette's parents divorced. Later her mother developed breast cancer. Deeply hurt, Arquette married restaurateur John Sidel in 1993. One year later their daughter Zoe Blue was born. Arquette went on working intensively, being often away from home. The tensions this created, and the death of her mother, led the couple to divorce.
More recently, Rosanna Arquette found energies to spend time with her daughter and to become a breast cancer advocate, while continuing with her work, now also as a director. In 2002 she released the critically acclaimed documentary film Searching For Debra Winger. 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.
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