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The Lady Chablis (1957 - 2016)

Getty / Ron Galella Ltd.

The Lady Chablis (1957 - 2016)

The Lady Chablis, a transgender entertainer known best for playing a drag queen comedian in the 1997 film “Midnight in the Garden of Good and Evil,” died Sept. 8, 2016, in Savannah, Georgia, according to multiple news sources.

Chablis was 59.

The movie was adapted from the book of the same name by John Berendt. He based the book on events that took place during the 1980s in Savannah.


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Chablis’ home club was Savannah’s Club One. The venue shared the news about the performer’s death in a post on Facebook:

“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,” the club wrote. “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.

“Just as The Book shined the spotlight on Savannah, so too did Chablis shine the spotlight on the gay scene, and especially on Club One. She was Club One’s very first entertainer, officiating our grand opening in 1988, and paving the way for female impersonation in Savannah. No one, however, could outshine the Grand Empress herself.”

In 2013, Chablis appeared as herself on the “Real Housewives of Atlanta.” She also penned the 1996 book “Hiding My Candy: The Autobiography of the Grand Empress of Savannah.”

The Lady Chablis was born Benjamin Edward Knox March 11, 1957, in Quincy, Florida.

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