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:

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EW.com: 'She was a true pioneer'

 

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soundoff (136 Responses)
  1. BeerBrewerDan

    And yet Abe Vigoda lives on.

    August 20, 2012 at 3:44 pm | Report abuse |
    • Bill

      And Mickey Rooney...

      August 20, 2012 at 3:50 pm | Report abuse |
    • TheMovieFan

      Will you be happy when he dies?

      August 20, 2012 at 3:50 pm | Report abuse |
    • William Shatner

      I'm not dead yet either.

      August 20, 2012 at 3:52 pm | Report abuse |
  2. Fan

    What a funny and classy lady! Lots of great comedic memories. RIP Miss Diller!

    August 20, 2012 at 3:44 pm | Report abuse |
  3. Abe

    Some of my fondest childhood memories were of her on Scooby Doo 😦 RIP.

    August 20, 2012 at 3:44 pm | Report abuse |
  4. gadzooks

    Thanks for sharing your comedy with us Phyllis, You were great, Rest in peace.

    August 20, 2012 at 3:45 pm | Report abuse |
  5. davidw

    Thanks, that typo is fixed.
    I think Phyllis Diller had one of the most memorable laughs in comedy.
    Does anyone have a favorite performance?

    August 20, 2012 at 3:46 pm | Report abuse |
    • William Shatner

      Yes, I loved when she filled in as the lead singer for the Who in their 1977 world tour. She lacked range but played a mean pinball.

      August 20, 2012 at 3:53 pm | Report abuse |
  6. Bill

    RIP Diller. Your work will be enjoyed for years to come.

    Finally though celebrity death pools can resume. Not since George Burns has 1 person ruined so many perfect scores.

    August 20, 2012 at 3:46 pm | Report abuse |
  7. Walk Among Us

    RIP. Phyllis Diller was a very funny lady.

    August 20, 2012 at 3:47 pm | Report abuse |
  8. c

    I liked this woman!

    August 20, 2012 at 3:48 pm | Report abuse |
  9. LucyRicardo

    We will miss you, Phyllis. You were truly one of the greatest - very funny and nothing obnoxious, no filthy language. You didn't have to stoop to that level to be funny. Loved your "Fang" character and your stories about your driving lessons. You made me laugh so hard. I had the pleasure of meeting you many years ago in Chicago when I was just a teenager. You were as gracious and sweet as you were funny. God bless you.

    August 20, 2012 at 3:48 pm | Report abuse |
  10. BobZemko

    She's with Fang now. Phyllis Diller had the most incredible, infectious laugh I have ever heard. Rest in peace . . . .

    August 20, 2012 at 3:48 pm | Report abuse |
  11. Anita

    Thanks for the laughs!!! Rest in peace, dear......

    August 20, 2012 at 3:48 pm | Report abuse |
  12. Leron Hill

    My good friend Luther would have said good bye also.

    August 20, 2012 at 3:48 pm | Report abuse |
  13. mb2010a

    "Fang" has been waiting for you for a long time...Thanks for the fun...

    August 20, 2012 at 3:49 pm | Report abuse |
  14. sam stone

    "My husband Fang bought me a peek-a-boo nightie. He peeked, then he booed"

    RIP Ms Diller

    August 20, 2012 at 3:49 pm | Report abuse |
  15. lazurite

    Loved when she talked about "Fang" – supposed to her her husband, I believe? Funny, funny lady! Her laugh made ME laugh. RIP, Phyllis.

    August 20, 2012 at 3:49 pm | Report abuse |
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