Lady Chablis dead at 59
Legendary drag performer Lady Chablis died Sept. 8 at age 59. Club One in Savannah—where Chablis was a fixture since its 1988 opening—announced her death via a Facebook post, with the club’s co-owner and longtime friend Caleb Hall later saying the performer died of pneumonia.
Chablis—the second iconic Georgia drag performer to pass away in the last month after Diamond Lil’s passing in early August— gained the bulk of her fame by co-starring in the 1997 crime drama “Midnight in the Garden of Good and Evil,” an adaptation of the 1994 non-fiction work by John Berendt.
“In a good way, it made me famous,” she told the Savannah Morning News earlier this year. “It got me to places I never imagined I would go ...”
But she added that there was a downside to the fame as well, saying, “It took away my security and privacy and trust. Also, it put me in the limelight where I had to wear that label ‘drag queen.’ I’ve never been comfortable with that label. That sort of brought me out of the closet. I had to come to terms with that.”
Chablis released her autobiography “Hiding My Candy” in 1996 and continued to perform in the ensuing decades, often donating and contributing to many LGBT charities in the process.
“Chablis always wanted to give the audience, be it 15 or 1500, the best that she had,” read Club One’s Facebook post. “With her declining health, she regretted that her body wouldn’t allow her to give more.”
She died surrounded by friends and family at St. Joseph’s/Candler Hospital, according to WTOC.
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