Midnight in the Garden of Good and Evil star and drag legend Lady Chablis has died.
Lady Chablis, the artist who became an unlikely celebrity when she was included as a central character in John Berendt’s book, “Midnight in the Garden of Good and Evil,” died on Thursday in Savannah aged just 59.
Chablis insisted on playing herself in the 1997 “Midnight” movie directed by Clint Eastwood. That same year she published an autobiography, “Hiding My Candy.”
The death of the iconic performer was announced by Club One, where Lady Chablis has performed since the club opened nearly 30 years ago.
“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,” Club One said in a Facebook post on Thursday.
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 Savannah 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.”