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David says he grew up in a show business family where dysfunction was the norm. He is the youngest of five children, all of whom are actors. His grandfather, Cliff Arquette, was an actor and comedian know for his role as "Charlie Weaver" on The Jack Paar Show and Hollywood Squares. David's father, Lewis Arquette, was also a character actor, and his mother, Brenda Nowak, was a poet.
Although they were in the entertainment industry, the Arquette children did not have a glamorous, Hollywood upbringing. David's sisters Rosanna Arquette (Pulp Fiction, The Big Blue, The Whole Nine Yards) and Patricia Arquette (Medium, True Romance, Stigmata) speak frankly about what it was like growing up in their famous family.
When she was a child, Rosanna says her parents moved the entire family to rural Virginia to live on a religious commune, where David was born. "[There was] no electricity, no bathroom," Patricia says. "I don't think there was running water, even."