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. Agnes Louise Pickens

    Raising my glass in toast to you Phyllis.....................(sips her wine with tears in her eyes)

    August 20, 2012 at 3:50 pm | Report abuse |
  2. adgnyc

    Such a funny funny lady. In addition to seeing her very risque club act, I was thrilled to have seen her on Broadway in Hello Dolly. An amazing talent. RIP ... and thanks for the laughs.

    August 20, 2012 at 3:50 pm | Report abuse |
  3. MIchael D

    A true original; a hard-working woman who rose to the top and didn't have to use filth to be funny. RIP Phyllis, and thanks for the Memories.

    August 20, 2012 at 3:52 pm | Report abuse |
  4. Elliesue

    RIP Phyllis Diller. You and Fang gave me some of the greatest laughs of my life.

    August 20, 2012 at 3:53 pm | Report abuse |
  5. Jeff Cox

    Her son found her with a smile on her face ... I'm sure that's because of all the plastic surgery.

    Loved her laugh.

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

    i just thought about Phyllis this morning and the movie she made with Bob Hope...I was wondering how she was doing...and now, lunchtime, i find this....soooo sad! i LOVED Phyllis Diller, a very classy lady and comedian! Rest in Peace...

    August 20, 2012 at 3:53 pm | Report abuse |
  7. Saboth

    I only knew her from Scooby Doo, but she was great on that.

    August 20, 2012 at 3:53 pm | Report abuse |
  8. David

    What a fun lady. Her and Bob Hope really gave a lot to America.

    August 20, 2012 at 3:54 pm | Report abuse |
  9. Patti

    The original diva, and I mean that in a good way. She paved the road for lots of other talented people. RIP Ms. Dillar, you beautiful, beautiful woman!

    August 20, 2012 at 3:54 pm | Report abuse |
  10. scott

    wow my bad ,I thought she died in 1995

    August 20, 2012 at 3:55 pm | Report abuse |
  11. Tom

    Always loved ya, Phyllis! RIP... and keep the smiles going!

    August 20, 2012 at 3:55 pm | Report abuse |
  12. Keith

    Oh this is definitely sad...sad news....Phiyllis was one-of-a-kind and will be missed by multiple generations who laughed both at her and with her. My favorites were her in the Private Navy of Sgt. O'Farrell, meeting with the gang in Scooby Doo and her playing an Exorcist in an episode of Tales from the Darkside. RIP Phyllis

    August 20, 2012 at 3:55 pm | Report abuse |
  13. Damian

    Loved her............RIP !

    August 20, 2012 at 3:55 pm | Report abuse |
  14. Delores McDonald

    Was at a fabric event at the Waldorf Astoria years ago and they had Phylliss Diller as the entertainer. Since I was with
    other co-workers i was trying to act dignified. That lastest about 2 minutes. She was so funny. Will truly be missed.
    Loved her and all the other old timers.

    August 20, 2012 at 3:56 pm | Report abuse |
  15. yneemee

    Now she and Fang are together again cracking jokes and raising eyebrows – thanks Phyllis for the many, many laughs

    August 20, 2012 at 3:57 pm | Report abuse |
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