Oscar Actors: Arquette, Patricia–Background, Career, Awards, Cumulative Advantage

Patricia Arquette Career Summary:

Occup. Inheritance: Yes; father actor

Social Class;

Stage Debut:

Film Debut: 1987; age 19

TV Debut

Oscar Award: 1, Supporting Actress, “Boyhood,” 2014; age 46

Other Oscars:

Other Awards: Emmys

Marriages: two actors; Nicolas Cage; Thomas Jane (divorces)



Patricia Arquette (born April 8, 1968) made her feature film debut as Kristen Parker in A Nightmare on Elm Street 3: Dream Warriors (1987).

Her other notable films include True Romance (1993), Ed Wood (1994), Flirting with Disaster (1996), Lost Highway (1997), The Hi-Lo Country (1998), Bringing Out the Dead (1999), Stigmata (1999), Holes (2003), Fast Food Nation (2006), The Wannabe (2015), and Toy Story 4 (2019).

For playing a divorced mother in the coming-of-age drama film Boyhood (2014), which was filmed from 2002 until 2014, Arquette received critical praise and won several awards, including the Best Supporting Actress Oscar.

On TV, she played Allison DuBois—based on the author and medium Allison DuBois, who claims to have psychic abilities—in the supernatural drama series Medium (2005–2011). She won the Primetime Emmy Award for Outstanding Lead Actress in a Drama Series in 2005, from two nominations she received for the role, in addition to three Golden Globe Award and Screen Actors Guild Award nominations.

Arquette also appeared in the CSI franchise as Avery Ryan, the Deputy Director of the FBI, starring in CSI: Cyber (2015–16). She went on to star as Joyce Mitchell in the Showtime miniseries Escape at Dannemora (2018), winning a Golden Globe, a Screen Actors Guild Award for Outstanding Performance by a Female Actor in a Miniseries or Television Movie.

As Dee Dee Blanchard in the Hulu anthology series The Act (2019), she won the Golden Globe and Primetime Emmy Award for Supporting Actress.

Occupational Inheritance: Father Actor

Arquette was born in Chicago, Illinois, in 1968 to Lewis Arquette, an actor, and Brenda Olivia “Mardi” (née Nowak), who was involved in the arts and worked as a therapist. Through her father, Patricia is related to explorer Meriwether Lewis. Arquette’s father had converted from Catholicism to Islam. Arquette’s mother was Jewish, and her ancestors emigrated from Poland and Russia.

Siblings: Actors

Patricia’s siblings also became actors: Rosanna, Richmond, Alexis, and David. When she was a child, her parents offered to get her braces for her teeth, but she refused–she wanted to have flaws to help her with character acting.

Her family lived on a commune in rural Bentonville, Virginia. Their father was an alcoholic, and their mother violently abusive. When Arquette was 7, the family relocated to Chicago, and later on settled in Los Angeles.

Arquette attended Catholic school, and as a teenager, she had wanted to be a nun. At the age of 14, Arquette ran away from home after learning her father was having an affair—she settled with her sister, Rosanna Arquette, in Los Angeles. She has described her father as an actor for industrial films, commercials and voiceovers; he was best known for his role as J.D. Pickett in the TV series “The Waltons.” Before pursuing acting, Arquette had wanted to be a midwife. She put this career aside briefly in an attempt to gain acting jobs and gained success in the industry.

In 1987, Arquette’s first starring roles included pregnant teenager Stacy in the TV film “Daddy,” boarding school student Zero in “Pretty Smart,” and Kristen Parker in A Nightmare on Elm Street 3: Dream Warriors, alongside Robert Englund as Freddy Krueger. She reprised her role as Kristen in the music video to Dokken’s Dream Warriors (1987). She was asked to reprise her role in the sequel, A Nightmare on Elm Street 4: The Dream Master (1988), but she declined. She gave up the role of Tralala in “Last Exit to Brooklyn” due to her pregnancy with her son Enzo.  In 1988, Arquette played the daughter of Tess Harper in “Far North.”

Her roles in the early 1990s were in low budget and indie films, including Prayer of the Rollerboys (1990), The Indian Runner (1991), the directorial debut of Sean Penn; and the drama Inside Monkey Zetterland. In 1992, she won a CableACE Award for Best Lead Actress in a Mini-Series for her portrayal of a deaf girl with epilepsy in Wildflower, directed by Diane Keaton and starring Reese Witherspoon.

Arquette received the most recognition for her role as Alabama Whitman, a free-spirited, kind-hearted prostitute in Tony Scott’s “True Romance (1993). The film was a moderate box office success but became a cultural landmark because of Tarantino’s screenplay, which preceded Pulp Fiction.

Arquette appeared in the TV film Betrayed by Love (1994), and the biopic Ed Wood, directed by Tim Burton and starring Johnny Depp, where she portrayed his girlfriend. Her next role was as Laura Bowman in John Boorman’s Beyond Rangoon (1995).

Arquette appeared in 3 films in 1996, including the comedy “Flirting with Disaster” (1996), about a young man’s cross-country pursuit to find his parents.  The other two were: “The Secret Agent,” an adaptation of Joseph Conrad’s 1907 novel. and “Infinity,” a biopic of the early life of American physicist Richard Feynman.