Transgender performer Lady Chablis died of pneumonia at 59, on Sept. 8, 2016, in Savannah. Her sister, Cynthia Ponder, confirmed she died at Chandler Hospital. Close friend Cale Hall reported she had been in the hospital for the past month.
Chablis is known as the primary character in John Berendt’s 1994 best-seller, “Midnight in the Garden of Good and Evil.” The book is described as a modern nonfiction story about a Southern Gothic. In his book, he describes meeting Chablis as she left a doctor’s appointment to receive her latest estrogen shots. His words describe his thoughts when he first saw her:
Her big eyes sparkled. Her skin glowed. A broken incisor tooth punctuated her smile and gave her a naughty look.
Ponder states that her sister wanted to leave behind a legacy that stated: “Believe in who you are and never let the world change who you are.” Ponder went on to add, “Love yourself and respect yourself first and others will love and respect you.”
Chablis’ birth name was Benjamin Edward Knox. Chablis legally changed her name to Lady Chablis around the same time Clint Eastwood directed the movie, “Midnight.”
In 1997, Chablis starred as herself in “Midnight,” which was based on the book, “Midnight in the Garden of Good and Evil.” Later the same year, the transgender star published her autobiography titled, “Hiding My Candy.” Critics say that Chablis’ book is quirky, with true-life characters.
Written by Tracy Blake
Edited by Jeanette Smith
The Hollywood Reporter: Transgender ‘Midnight in the Garden of Good and Evil’ Star Dies at 59
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