Comedian Phyllis Diller passed away today at her Los Angeles home at the age of 95. Diller's agent Fred Wostbrock , who called her the first lady of stand up comedy, said Diller died in her sleep.
Diller broke into the comedy scene in 1955 at San Francisco's famed Purple Onion nightclub. Diller, who was 37 and a housewife at the time, won the crowd over when the owner gave her a substitute stand-up spot.
Diller found success in television, movies, Broadway, and as a recording artist. In the '60s and '70s Diller found an audience as she became a frequent guest on The Tonight Show, The Flip Wilson Show, and Laugh-In. Younger audiences discovered her from her stints on shows like Family Guy, 7th Heaven, and The Drew Carey Show. She lent her voice to the Pixar movie A Bug's Life. She also appeared in the raunchy documentary The Aristocrats.
Throughout her career, Diller was known for her outlandish and self-deprecating humor. With her jeweled cigarette holder in hand, Diller often joked about her domestic life, including her fictional husband "Fang." "Fang's idea of a seven-course dinner is a six-pack and a bologna sandwich. The last time I said let's eat out, we ate in the garage."
Diller was born in Lima, Ohio, on July 17, 1917. Diller is survived by her son, Perry; her daughters, Sally Diller and Suzanne Mills; four grandchildren; and one great-granddaughter. Posted 08.20.12 by reelz