Today is the 65th birthday of the performer The Lady Chablis. Savanah seems to have no shortage of characters that are loved and protected. She was larger than life. The world is a better place because she was in it and still feels the loss that she has left.
NAME: The Lady Chablis
DATE OF BIRTH: March 11, 1957
PLACE OF BIRTH: Quincy, Florida, U.S.
DATE OF DEATH: September 8, 2016
PLACE OF DEATH: Savannah, Georgia, U.S.
MISS DIXIELAND 1976
MISS GAY WORLD 1976
THE GRAND EMPRESS OF SAVANNAH 1977
MISS SWEETHEART INTERNATIONAL 1989
BEST KNOWN FOR: Brenda Dale Knox, known professionally as The Lady Chablis, was an American actress, author, and drag performer. Through exposure in the novel Midnight in the Garden of Good and Evil and its 1997 film adaptation she became one of the first drag performers to be accepted by a wider audience.
Born Benjamin Edward Knox in North Florida in 1957, she had at least one sibling (a sister). Knox grew up during the 1960s and 1970s in Quincy, Florida. Legally her name was changed to “The Lady Chablis” in the 1990s.
Chablis frequently performed at her “home” nightclub of Club One in Savannah. Chablis traveled the US performing at various venues and special events, such as gay pride gatherings. She also appeared on radio shows. She was a prominent character in John Berendt’s best-selling book Midnight in the Garden of Good and Evil (1994), and played herself in the 1997 film adaptation, starring Kevin Spacey and John Cusack.
The Lady Chablis was featured in the closing segment of the Savannah episode of Bizarre Foods America on The Travel Channel. She joined host Andrew Zimmern at several Savannah restaurants including Elizabeth on 37th. In 2012, she was interviewed in Savannah, Georgia on the local television and internet talk show “MAMA Knows Best Talk Show” season 2 episode 1. On April 19, 2013 Chablis performed for the grand opening of Mama’s Cabaret in Lewiston, Maine with “MAMA” Savannah Georgia.
The Lady Chablis died from pneumonia at the age of 59 on September 8, 2016.
Lady Chablis (1996). Hiding My Candy: The Autobiography of the Grand Empress of Savannah. Pocket Books. ISBN 0-671-52095-4. OCLC 37901705.
Midnight in the Garden of Good and Evil – Chablis Deveau (as Lady Chablis) 1997
Midnight in Savannah (TV documentary) – Herself 1997
Partners (TV Movie) – Beverly 1999
Damn Good Dog (video documentary) – Herself 2004
Bizarre Foods America: Savannah – Herself 2012
Real Housewives of Atlanta – Herself 2013