Lady Chablis, transgender 'Midnight' star, dies in Savannah

Lady Chablis, transgender 'Midnight' star, dies in Savannah

Lady Chablis starred opposite John Cusack in the film Midnight In The Garden of Good and Evil.

She died Thursday at Candler Hospital in Savannah, St. Joseph's Candler Health System spokesman Scott Larson confirmed to CNN. The cause of death is still unclear.

"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". She wasn't the book's main character, but she may have been its most memorable.

Chablis demanded she be allowed to play herself in the 1996 film adaptation directed by Clint Eastwood and, despite having no major film experience, did so - by many accounts stealing the show from more seasoned actors.

She was also the author of the memoir Hiding My Candy. She didn't think it up for me though. 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.

"I was captivated seeing an actual black trans woman in a major Hollywood motion picture killing it", said transgender actress Laverne Cox on Instagram. With this morning's news, Savannah, the South, we, will never be the same.

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This story originally appeared in Fox News and is republished here with permission. But now the world is mourning the passing of Lady Chablis.

Long before the term "transgender" was commonly used or understood, Chablis was most often described as a drag queen or a transvestite. In her autobiography, she wrote about an abusive and misunderstood youth growing up in a small town in Florida.

Lady Chablis is survived by her sister, Cynthia.

"I couldn't help the way I walked, that I had a sexy strut", she told the Guardian newspaper of Britain in 1998.

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. The post added that Chablis was Club One first performed when it opened in 1988, "paving the way for female impersonation in Savannah". "No one, however, could outshine the Grand Empress herself", Club One's Facebook post said.

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