Lady Chablis and Alexis Arquette, both well-known icons in the trans community, passed away this weekend.
Chablis came to prominence following a prominent role in John Berendt’s bestselling, 1994 non-fiction novel Midnight in the Garden of Good and Evil, which focused on Savannah and its people, including a spotlight on Club One, where Chablis performed.
Much to her own insistence, Chablis would go on to star as herself in the 1997 Clint Eastwood film adaptation Midnight, which also starred John Cusack, Kevin Spacey, and Jude Law.
Chablis wrote a memoir of her own, titled Hiding My Candy. In the book, she forwarded not to have undergone gender reassignment surgery, though she publically referred to herself with female pronouns and legally changed her name to Lady Chablis.
The Associated Press reported she died from pneumonia, and had been hospitalized for the past month. She was 59.
— John Cusack (@johncusack) September 9, 2016
I had some wonderful moments with #LadyChablis in Savannah over ten years. She was a trailblazer and a great entertainer. RIP to THE Lady.
— Brad Walsh (@BradWalsh) September 8, 2016
— Janet Mock (@janetmock) September 8, 2016
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I was beyond honored to voice the icon, the legend the #LadyChablis for the recent metabook of John Berendt's best selling novel 'Midnight in the Garden of Good and Evil". The first time I discovered The Lady Chablis was in the film version of that best selling novel. I was captivated seeing an actual black trans woman in a major Hollywood motion picture killing it. I then found my way to her memoir "Hiding my Candy." I read it cover to cover in a day. She was salty and brash in her stage act and represents a generation of trans women entertainers we must never forget. Rest in Power the doll, The Lady Chablis
Alexis Arquette had various and memorable roles in films like Pulp Fiction and The Wedding Singer. She is reported to have passed away with members of the Arquette family surrounding her as David Bowie’s “Starman” was playing. A cause of death was not specified.
Arquette also starred in a documentary about her transition into becoming a woman in a 2007 film Alexis Arquette: She’s My Brother, which was popular on the film festival circuit.
In February, her brother David Arquette revealed on a Kocktails with Khloe appearance that Alexis had stopped referring to herself as transgender.
“She was like, ‘Yeah, sometimes I’ll be a man, sometimes I’ll be a woman. I like to refer to myself as gender suspicious,'” David said.
Just like with Lady Chablis, various celebrities took to Twitter to voice their condolences.
R.I.P my sister Alexis Arquette. Another bright light gone out far too soon. Love to the family and all that loved Alexis.
— Boy George (@BoyGeorge) September 11, 2016
My heart goes out to anyone who was lucky enough to know Alexis.
We will love and miss you forever.
— Courteney Cox (@CourteneyCox) September 11, 2016
Thank you all for your love and kind words about Alexis. My hero for eternity pic.twitter.com/Z18xLtYTBv
— David Arquette (@DavidArquette) September 11, 2016