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Rosanna Arquette is an American actress best known for her role opposite Madonna in the 1985 hit film Desperately Seeking Susan.
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Rosanna Arquette is an American actress born on August 10, 1959, in New York, New York. She grew up in a family of actors, and in her mid-teens moved to Los Angeles to pursue acting. After small TV and film roles in the late ‘70s, her big break came in 1982 when she starred in the television drama The Executioner’s Song,
for which she earned an Emmy nomination. Arquette’s fame grew when she starred opposite Madonna in the 1985 hit film Desperately Seeking Susan. The actress also appeared in the blockbuster films Pulp Fiction (1994) and Crash (1997).
Actress, director and producer Rosanna Arquette was born on August 10, 1959, in New York City. She grew up in an acting family—both of her parents worked in the entertainment industry. Her father even had a recurring role on the popular family drama The Waltons in late 1970s and early 1980s. Her mother was also a writer and activist.
The oldest of five children, Arquette spent some of her teen years living in Virginia with her family in an artists’ commune. She left home during her mid-teens and spent some time traveling before moving to Los Angeles. There Arquette pursued a career as an actress. After small roles in the television movie Zuma Beach (1978) and the feature film More American Graffiti (1979), she joined the cast of the dramatic comedy series Shirley starring veteran performer Shirley Jones. On the short-lived series, Arquette played Jones’s teenage daughter.
In 1982, Arquette got her first substantial dramatic role. She starred opposite Tommy Lee Jones in The Executioner’s Song, an adaptation of Norman Mailer’s best seller on convicted killer Gary Gilmore. She earned many accolades for her portrayal of Gilmore’s girlfriend Nicole Baker, including an Emmy Award nomination for Outstanding Lead Actress in a Limited Series or a Special.
Working with director John Sayles, Arquette earned rave reviews for her portrayal of an ambitious young woman in Baby It’s You (1983). The 1960s-era drama follows her character’s transition from high school to college and her relationship with a slick, Frank Sinatra-obsessed young man known as the Shiek (Vincent Spano). Critic Robert Ebert described Arquette as “a natural actress . . . she is able to appear on screen with such an unaffected natural quality.” Despite some positive reviews, the film failed to attract much of an audience, grossing only $1.8 million overall.
Arquette had her first box office hit in 1985, starring opposite Madonna in Desperately Seeking Susan. She played Roberta, a frustrated New Jersey housewife, who trades places with a New York City nightlife character named Susan (Madonna) through a case of mistaken identity. That same year, Arquette appeared as Griffin Dunne’s love interest in the dark comedy After Hours (1985) directed by Martin Scorsese. She later teamed up with Scorsese again for his segment in the 1989 film New York Stories, which comprised of three different stories by three different directors.
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