The Lady Chablis, Star of ‘Midnight in the Garden of Good and Evil’ and Drag Icon, Dies at 59

Midnight In The Garden Of Good
Moviestore Collection/REX/Shutterstock

The Lady Chablis, who was featured in John Berendt’s 1994 book “Midnight in the Garden of Good and Evil” and the 1997 film adaptation, died Thursday. She was 59.

Club One, the Savannah Georgia venue where Chablis performed her revue, posted the following message on their Facebook page:

“The Lady Chablis, who stole hearts – and the spotlight – in ‘Midnight In The Garden of Good and Evil,’ passed this morning surrounded by friends and family. In his best-selling novel, known in Savannah as ‘The Book,’ John Berendt wrote that when he first met The Lady Chablis, ‘she had both hands on her hips and a sassy half-smile on her face,’ a pose that would grace many stages … Chablis always wanted to give the audience, be it 15 or 1500, the best that she had. With her declining health, she regretted that her body wouldn’t allow her to give more.”

Related

RuPaul Kelly Ripa Logo TV

Logo Renews ‘RuPaul’s Drag Race’ for Season 9, Greenlights Reality Series from Kelly Ripa

Berendt wrote Chablis into his best-selling novel — a tale of Southern murder and intrigue — which was adapted for the big screen by Clint Eastwood.

After learning of her passing, the author paid tribute to his muse, saying she was the “Midnight” character he was 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 wrote. “When it was announced that Clint Eastwood would direct a movie of the book, Chablis was only half-joking when she said, ‘If I’m not cast as myself in that movie, there won’t be a movie!'”

In 1996, Chablis released her autobiography, “Hiding My Candy.” She was also featured on “The Real Housewives of Atlanta,” where she “read” the cast and called out their flaws.

Chablis was born Benjamin Edward Knox. According to Club One, she is survived by her sister, Cynthia.

Hollywood Stars and Icons Lost in 2016

Filed Under:

Want to read more articles like this one? SUBSCRIBE TO VARIETY TODAY.
Post A Comment 6

Leave a Reply

6 Comments

Comments are moderated. They may be edited for clarity and reprinting in whole or in part in Variety publications.

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

  1. Carmela says:

    From the first time I saw Ms. Chablis, in that movie, I personally thought she was just as important as the other stars. Very talented. We were blessed to see her shine. You will be missed.

  2. joemac1114 says:

    RIP

  3. Cass says:

    RIP Legend.

  4. Ashsoka23 says:

    RIP :(

    So sad to hear. I love her in that movie and he pretty much stole the movie from the rest of the cast.

  5. A wonderful performer and a Great Lady. RIP Lady Chablis, you will be missed.

  6. Tony says:

    RIP… She really stole the show in the film adaptation! Very funny performance!

More Film News from Variety

Loading