If you read the non-fiction best seller Midnight in the Garden of Good and Evil — gay author John Berendt’s telling of the murder of a gay hustler in sleepy Savannah, Ga. — you certainly walked away being gobsmacked by the presence of The Lady Chablis, a central figure and a popular drag queen who knew all the principals. When director Clint Eastwood turned the book into a movie, he mucked up the story with stupid subplots and sluggish pacing, but he had the good sense to cast Chablis as herself in the film — when she didn’t receive an Oscar nomination, many heads were scratched.
I’ve both met and seen Chablis perform, so I was saddened to read today in Variety that she had died, at age 59. Honestly, I would have guessed older, because her sassiness was well-honed. Savannah will not seem the same without her.
Au revoir, Chablis!