Comedy legend Phyllis Diller dies at 95
Comedic pioneer Phyllis Diller, a woman who paved the way for pretty much every female comedian that’s come since, has passed away at the age of 95. Many reports are coming in that Diller passed in her sleep in her LA home surrounded by her family earlier this morning. Her agent, Fred Wostbrock, confirmed her death.
Diller started her career in the 50′s when she was 37 and a housewife. Her husband thought she could get paid to make people laugh and after getting over her shyness by reading a self-help book she was being booked in clubs across the country entertaining crowds. Her first televised appearance was on You Bet Your Life with Groucho Marx and she was on her way to stardom after a few appearances on Jack Paar’s Tonight Show beginning in 1958.
Diller rose to fame alongside Bob Hope in the 60′s. She was a regular on Laugh In, was the star of her own variety shows, appeared at roasts, in movies, on Broadway, Hollywood Squares, played concert piano, did voiceover work on Family Guy, and told a pretty mean “Aristocrats” joke. She was known for having an outrageous look only matched by her wits and one of the most noticeable laughs around.
She suffered a heart attack in 1999 and her final stand-up show was in May 2002. This final performance was captured in a 2004 documentary, Goodnight, We Love You. Rest in peace Phyllis, we’ll miss you.