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The Lady Chablis, Trans Icon, Has Died at 59

The star of 'Midnight in the Garden of Good and Evil' has died after a bout of pneumonia

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September 9, 2016 :: 5:01 AM

Trans legend The Lady Chablis, best known for starring in the film Midnight in the Garden of Good and Evil, died yesterday following a bout of pneumonia.

Chablis was a staple of Savannah, Georgia, nightlife for years, and her death was announced by Savannah’s Club One, where she’d performed her revue.

“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 on Facebook. “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.”

She was featured in John Berendt’s 1994 novel Midnight in the Garden of Good and Evil, in which he wrote that “she had both hands on her hips and a sassy half-smile on her face.” The book was later adapted to the big screen by Clint Eastwood, in which Chablis portrayed herself.

“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,” wrote Berendt after hearing of her death. “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!’”

She also released an autobiography, Hiding My Candy, in 1996, and more recently featured on The Real Housewives of Atlanta, where she demonstrated a proper “reading” of the cast.

Watch her in action right here:

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