Rosanna Lauren Arquette, b. August 10, 1959, New York, NY.
Rosanna Arquette was pretty much slated to be an actress from birth, as she was born into a family of actors. That acting began with her grandfather, Cliff Arquette, better known as Charley Weaver, a radio humorist, Hee Haw regular and Hollywood Squares kingpin. Her father, actor Lewis Arquette and younger siblings Patricia, Alexis and David complete the full house.
Rosanna's film history contains a legion of odd and off-balance characters that make her more of a scene stealer than a true leading lady. Most critics and fan sites seem to dwell on her sensuality and how it begins with her "distinctive overbite." Okay, sure, but that is kind of a weird thing to dwell on even if it is sexy. No one seems to notice the quirky quality of her voice.
At the age of 15, while living with her family in a commune in Front Royal, Virginia, she decided to hitchhike to San Francisco with some chums. There she did the Renaissance fair circuit before getting her first professional stage acting job in 1975. From there, she managed to score walk-on roles in a few films, most notably in More American Graffiti which lead her into television as Shirley Jones' daughter on the short lived series Shirley and her role in the 1978 television mini-series The Dark Secret of Harvest Home (which is completely responsible for warping my own mind at the age of 13).
In 1982 she secured the role of Gary Gilmore's girlfriend in The Executioner's Song and gained a great deal of attention playing opposite Tommy Lee Jones. From there it was on to major roles on the big screen, beginning with Baby, It's You in 1983. Then her movie career peaked in 1985 with her most well known role as the bored wife in search of a new lifestyle in Desperately Seeking Susan. Also in 1985 she played the desperately disturbed Marcy in After Hours and appeared in Silverado.
Now, let us calmly jump back a couple of years for just a moment. What is the deal with Rosanna Arquette and musicians, you say? I'm glad you asked. Yes, the song "Rosanna" by Toto was written about Rosanna Arquette. She was involved with Steve Porcaro of Toto, at the time, but according to a 1983 Rolling Stone interview she lets us in on a secret. Porcaro did not write the song, it was written by the band about the fact that she used to bring them "juice and beer" at all hours of the night during their recording sessions.
She is also known for having been in a decade long relationship with Peter Gabriel. That somehow led her to Europe and sidetracked her movie career for a while. Now married to a record company executive, John Sidel, she responds to a 1999 Movieline interview query on the possibility of outgrowing her attraction to rock stars with a resounding "Never."
In 1994 I began wondering what had happened to Rosanna Arquette and thought about writing to my congressman. I found out that she had done some stuff, but none of it was all that memorable. Then she made her appearance in Pulp Fiction and we were back in business. In 1996 she made another splash in the film Crash which gained much notoriety for, amongst other things, a make-out scene between Arquette and Holly Hunter and James Spader having a sexual liason with Arquette's leg wound. Eh-hem.
She has since appeared in 1998's Hope Floats, the 1999 music industry satire Sugar Town, 2000's The Whole Nine Yards and 2001's Diary of a Sex Addict.
She is a mother now and having aged very gracefully she has adopted more mature, yet still bizarre, dark and interesting characters. She hangs out with Chrissie Hynde quite a bit as well.
Special thanks to the archives of
Movieline and Rolling Stone
for their assistance here within.