Trailblazing comedian Phyllis Diller dies at 95
A legend in comedy, Phyllis Diller, has died in L.A., according to reports. She was 95 years old. The cause of death has not been officially announced.
Diller was a trailblazer in standup comedy by breaking down gender barriers and paving the way for comics such as Joan Rivers and Kathy Griffin.
Several celebrities took to Twitter to express their thoughts and feelings about Diller:
I'm beyond saddened by the death of Phyllis Diller. We were friends - Melissa and I had a wonderful time with her at lunch just a month ago.— Joan Rivers (@Joan_Rivers) August 20, 2012
We lost a comedy legend today. Phyllis Diller was the queen of theone-liners. She was a pioneer.— Ellen DeGeneres (@TheEllenShow) August 20, 2012
it was an honor to know her to laugh with her to be inspired by her. without her none of ladies could have ever made i… say.ly/tsI40Rd— Sandra Bernhard (@SandraBernhard) August 20, 2012
Barbra Streisand on the passing of Phyllis Diller: I adored her. She was a wondrous spirit who was great to me. – Barbra Streisand— Barbra Streisand (@BarbraStreisand) August 20, 2012
Diller challenged the traditional image of the immaculate American housewife with her outrageous hair and outfits, trademark over-the-top laugh, frank attitude about plastic surgery, and self-deprecating humour.
Although she starred in two short-lived TV series—The Pruitts of Southampton and The Beautiful Phyllis Diller Show—she became better known for frequenting TV talk shows and game shows, including The Merv Griffin Show, Rowan & Martin's Laugh-In, The Dean Martin Show, Hollywood Squares, The Tonight Show, The Gong Show and more.
She also did voice work for numerous animated films and TV shows, including A Bug's Life, Robot Chicken, and Family Guy, and even had a role on the Canadian TV series Emily of New Moon.
Here's a tribute to Diller made by female comedians on The Rosie Show in 2011.