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.

iReport: Phyllis Diller original paintings

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 'She was a true pioneer'


soundoff (136 Responses)
  1. Remembering

    Another great one gone and I don't see anyone of her caliber in the pipeline. I have missed her since she retired and have turn off the TV when some of the Diller wannabes made attempts at humor.

    August 20, 2012 at 3:58 pm | Report abuse |
  2. DDSIlks

    I always like the line she used-that she had to hang a pork chop around her neck to get the dog to play with her!

    August 20, 2012 at 3:59 pm | Report abuse |
  3. mikebo

    I would give a million bucks to have been at a Dean Martin Roast.Just like Lucy they are they are irreplaceable.Like Little Lucy,ie;Carol Burnett.

    August 20, 2012 at 4:00 pm | Report abuse |
    • puckles

      Lucy SUCKED.

      August 20, 2012 at 4:03 pm | Report abuse |
    • Gee Gog

      Hey Puckles! That's why Desi married her!

      August 20, 2012 at 4:10 pm | Report abuse |
  4. Mark L.

    My deepest, utmost heartfelt condolences go out to the entire family of Phyllis Diller. It's really sad news. All the legendary actors, performs and artists of yesteryear are dying off and all we are left with is a bunch of untalented, filty-mouthed morons in today's world of acting and the performing arts.

    August 20, 2012 at 4:00 pm | Report abuse |
    • Steve

      How is it sad that a 95-year old died quietly in her sleep with a smile on her face? Would that we all should be so fortunate.

      August 20, 2012 at 4:04 pm | Report abuse |
    • j wall

      whats so sad about a legend that died in her sleep. we should be so lucky. she was 95

      August 20, 2012 at 4:09 pm | Report abuse |
    • Portland tony

      Agree 100% with Steve. She had a long life and it was her time. RIP Ms. Diller. Ya made lots of folks smile!

      August 20, 2012 at 4:11 pm | Report abuse |
    • Valerie

      I agree with Steve! You can't be serious! She was 95 years old, for Pete's sake!

      August 20, 2012 at 4:11 pm | Report abuse |
  5. Walter

    The Archive of American Television did an interview with her years ago. Parts of it are available on youtube and from there you can link back to the site for the whole interview. I've watched many of these interviews, but Ms. Diller's was one of the most interesting ever.

    August 20, 2012 at 4:02 pm | Report abuse |
  6. Mary Sue MacGuffin

    Obvious troll is obvious.

    August 20, 2012 at 4:03 pm | Report abuse |
  7. Dale

    She wasn't funny? Wow, how could we all have it so wrong.
    Hey everyone! Adam Madigan says she wasn't funny! Let's all go home now that the person who decides these things has spoken!

    August 20, 2012 at 4:04 pm | Report abuse |
  8. goodgirldaddy

    Adam, because they base the news on what is relevant and important, not on your personal opinions.

    August 20, 2012 at 4:04 pm | Report abuse |
  9. Mary

    Seems like I have lost a family member. Rest in peace Phyllis.

    August 20, 2012 at 4:04 pm | Report abuse |
  10. Elvis

    95 Years old, God blessed her with such long life it was already starting to bother me her breathing my air...

    August 20, 2012 at 4:05 pm | Report abuse |
  11. Grumpster

    RIP were an inspiration and one of my all-time favorites.

    August 20, 2012 at 4:06 pm | Report abuse |
  12. MeanOldMan

    I can't say that I always found her funny but at times she was hilarious. Like her or not she was a trail blazer before anyone thought women could even do stand up. In her time she was original which is a trait we could use more of in entertainment now days. RIP Ms Diller.

    August 20, 2012 at 4:06 pm | Report abuse |
  13. BlackDynamite

    Honestly, no disrespect intended, I though she was gone a long time ago.

    But congrats on making it to 95.

    August 20, 2012 at 4:07 pm | Report abuse |
  14. warmongerssuck

    real news that CNN buries:

    Published on Monday, August 20, 2012 by Common Dreams

    Jewish Settler Attacks on Palestinians Named 'Terrorist Incidents' for First Time by US

    August 20, 2012 at 4:08 pm | Report abuse |
    • Just Couldn't

      Just couldn't control that impulse to post information that is completely irrelevant to Miss Diller's passing, could you?

      RIP, Phylis

      August 20, 2012 at 5:00 pm | Report abuse |
  15. Phyllis

    Do you like my fur stole? I trapped it under the sink, a har har har har.

    August 20, 2012 at 4:08 pm | Report abuse |
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