Comedian Phyllis Diller has died, manager says
August 20th, 2012
03:26 PM ET

Comedian Phyllis Diller has died, manager says

Comedian Phyllis Diller, known for her self-deprecating humor, died "peacefully in her sleep" at her Los Angeles home Monday morning, her manager told CNN. Diller was 95.

"Her son, Perry, found her with a smile on her face," Milt Suchin said.

Diller , who paved the way for female comedians, began her legendary stand-up comedy career at the age of 37.

"We lost a comedy legend today," comedian Ellen DeGeneres tweeted. "Phyllis Diller was the queen of the one-liners. She was a pioneer."

Diller's career as a stand-up comic skyrocketed in the 1960s, partly because of her many appearances with Bob Hope on his television specials and USO tours. Diller remained good friends with Hope until his death.

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She became a pop culture icon for her disparaging jokes about her looks, her cooking and her husband "Fang."

"She was a true pioneer," said talent agent Fred Wostbrock. "She was the first lady of stand-up comedy. She paved the way for everybody. She paved the way for Joan Rivers, Chelsea Handler, Roseanne Barr, Ellen Degeneres, and all the women stand-up comics. She was the first and the best."

Comedian Whoopi Goldberg tweeted that she was said the world lost a funny, classy and smart woman like Diller.

"A true original has died," Goldberg tweeted, adding that there was nobody who looked or sounded like her.

Diller's first appearance on TV was as a contestant on Groucho Marx's show "You Bet Your Life."

Diller was also known her for hilarious roasts of major personalities. You can watch her roast Ronald Reagan here:

Obituaries 2012: The lives they've lived

EW.com: 'She was a true pioneer'

 

FULL STORY
soundoff (136 Responses)
  1. JimK2450

    paulyballgame...
    Leave it at the door. This isn't the place for that kind of thing.

    August 20, 2012 at 4:16 pm | Report abuse | Reply
  2. Mike in Mpls

    Phyllis Diller was a class act. Women like her and Lucille Ball paved the way for women other incredible talents like Betty White and Bea Arthur to work. The comedy world has lost a legend; she lived a full, rich life and may she rest in peace.

    August 20, 2012 at 4:16 pm | Report abuse | Reply
  3. SheilaKA

    One very funny, gutsy lady. Bye, Phyllis! Thanks!

    August 20, 2012 at 4:16 pm | Report abuse | Reply
  4. Norm

    Thanks for the laughs.
    RIP...

    August 20, 2012 at 4:17 pm | Report abuse | Reply
  5. shadow

    "Fart For Love
    I have never heard of this person in my life so I do not care at all!"

    No doubt people will say the same about you when you pass as well. Get some class.

    August 20, 2012 at 4:18 pm | Report abuse | Reply
  6. mizh

    Phyllis Diller, you are one-of-a-kind, will never be duplicated. I'm glad you left with a smile on your face! Rest in peace, madam.

    August 20, 2012 at 4:18 pm | Report abuse | Reply
  7. Gregory Faith

    Sleep peacefully until we meet in heaven. You will be missed by all who laughed with you.

    August 20, 2012 at 4:18 pm | Report abuse | Reply
  8. Mary

    RIP... Funny , funny lady.. Loved you..

    August 20, 2012 at 4:18 pm | Report abuse | Reply
  9. Mickey

    If you're old enough to vote, please educate yourself before going into the voting area.

    R & R do not mean Rest and Recreation! It will mean the death of just about everything needed by millions of people in the USA. R & R will mean ruin and rummage.

    Hail to the Chief! President Obama!!

    August 20, 2012 at 4:18 pm | Report abuse | Reply
  10. LB

    Even in her death, she is still funnier then you.

    August 20, 2012 at 4:19 pm | Report abuse | Reply
  11. kurtinco

    You will be missed. We can only be so luck to die peacefully, warm in our beds after nearly a century of life. You kept us laughing and that is one of the greatest gifts you can give to someone. Thank you.

    August 20, 2012 at 4:20 pm | Report abuse | Reply
  12. JT

    There is a better chance that more people who has never heard of you than her.

    August 20, 2012 at 4:20 pm | Report abuse | Reply
  13. PassingFan

    Comedian Whoopi Goldberg tweeted that she was said the world lost a funny, classy and smart woman like Diller.-

    that she was *said the world lost a funny – *Incorrect (insert) "sad"

    But a loss to the comedy community none the less. Her antics will be missed.

    August 20, 2012 at 4:20 pm | Report abuse | Reply
  14. Erik

    I saw you live in Reno in 1993 with my mother, who also died this year. Both of you ladies are and always will be great!

    August 20, 2012 at 4:20 pm | Report abuse | Reply
  15. BoundGodsFan

    RIP Phyllis! Thanks for all the laughs! I think you helped to immortalize Fang!

    August 20, 2012 at 4:20 pm | Report abuse | Reply
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