The Legendary Phyllis Diller Has Died
The legendary PHYLLIS DILLER is no more. She died yesterday morning at her home in Los Angeles. She was a mere 95 years old. There's no word on the cause of death, but Diller had suffered a near-fatal heart attack in 1999. Sources say she suffered a fall recently, and her health had been deteriorating ever since.
Diller was one of the first female superstars of stand-up comedy, getting her start in radio back in the early 1950s, and hitting the stage around the middle of that decade. By the 1960s she was appearing in movies and TV specials with BOB HOPE, starring in her own TV series and appearing on "Laugh-In".
Although she was married and divorced twice, one of the cornerstones of Diller's act was to crack jokes about her "husband" FANG. (She was also known for her trademark LAUGH, which was REAL. Check it out here.)
Sources say Phyllis had a boyfriend right up until her death.
Phyllis continued working into her '90s, with appearances over the last decade on shows like "The Drew Carey Show", "Even Stevens" and "The Bold and the Beautiful". She also did voiceover work on "Jimmy Neutron", "Family Guy" and "Robot Chicken". And in 2005, she appeared in "The Aristocrats", a documentary about a filthy joke that comedians amuse each other with in private.
Phyllis was spry right up to the end. TMZ spoke with her last year, and she was totally with it. Check out the video here.
Not surprisingly, a lot of female comedians Tweeted their tributes to Phyllis. Here are a few of them:
Joan Rivers: "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."
Ellen DeGeneres: "We lost a comedy legend today. Phyllis Diller was the queen of the one-liners. She was a pioneer."
Whoopi Goldberg: "A true original has died. Phyllis Diller. There was No One like her, no one looked like her sounded like her. A FUNNY FUNNY. Classy& Smart. RIP"
Ruth Buzzi: "Phyllis Diller, thank you for what you did for all women in comedy who followed your path. My dear friend, rest in peace; I'll miss you."