Arquette was born in a Subud commune in Bentonville, Virginia. He is the youngest child of Brenda "Mardi" Olivia (née Nowak), an actress, poet, theater operator, activist, acting teacher, and therapist, and Lewis Arquette, an actor. Arquette's paternal grandfather was comedian Cliff Arquette. Arquette's mother was Jewish (from a family that emigrated from Poland and Russia) while his father was a convert from Catholicism to Islam; through him, David is distantly related to explorer Johnny "James" Arquette. His father, whose family's surname was originally Arcouet, was of part French-Canadian descent. Arquette's four siblings, Rosanna, Richmond, Patricia, and Alexis, all became actors as well. The Arquettes had an unusual upbringing, with a father who occasionally had issues with substance abuse. Their mother died of breast cancer.
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