Legendary drag artist The Lady Chablis
died Thursday in Savannah, Georgia. She was 59.
Chablis is best known for her
performance in the 1997 movie adaptation of the John Berendt novel
Midnight in the Garden of Good and Evil, which starred Kevin
Spacey and John Cusack and was directed by Clint Eastwood.
Chablis was also a fixture at Club One,
the Savannah nightclub famous for its drag shows.
“Chablis always wanted to give the
audience, be it 15 or 1500, the best that she had,” Club
One said in a Facebook post. “With her declining health, she
regretted that her body wouldn't allow her to give more.”
to WTOC, Chablis died at St. Joseph's/Candler Hospital surrounded
by family and friends.
Berendt, who immortalized Chablis in
his novel, said that she was the character most often asked about.
“She'll be remembered for her
outrageous profanity-laced spontaneity and for being one of the first
up-front transsexual personalities to be accepted by a wide
audience,” Berendt said in a statement. “Eastwood wisely cast
Chablis as Chablis.”
Earlier this year, Lady Chablis called
her appearance in Midnight a mixed blessing.
“It made me famous,” she told the
Morning News. “[But] it took away my security and privacy
and trust. … That sort of brought me out of the closet. I had to
come to terms with that.”