Legendary Comedienne and Actress Phyllis Diller Has Passed Away
The world lost an extremely influential filmmaker with the shocking suicide of Tony Scott yesterday, and now today the world is also a little less funny. The Associated Press has reported that legendary comedienne and TV and film actress Phyllis Diller passed away "peacefully in her sleep with a smile on her face" this morning at age 95, according to her longtime manager. This comes 13 years after Diller suffered a near-fatal heart attack back in 1999. Diller was most prominent on comedy and variety programs of decades past, but her quick wit, peculiar look and stellar comedy also made it to the big screen occasionally as well. Read on.
As a stand-up comedian, Diller made quite name for herself at nightclubs and on TV shows, so much that she even had her own show, aptly names 'The Phyllis Diller Show" and also a variety series called "The Beautiful Phillis Diller Show." But her real fame came from appearing on classic shows like "Hollywood Squares" and "The Tonight Show" with Johnny Carson, not to mention a bunch of specials and appearances with the legendary Bob Hope. Diller became known for her wild wardrobe, signature, hearty cackle and a voice that became a staple of her later career on film and TV.
Before she became widely known for her voice work in films like A Bug's Life and guest spots on series' like "Family Guy," "Robot Chicken," "Powerpuff Girls" and many more, Diller also starred in films like Boy, Did I Get a Wrong Number and Eight on the Lam, also with Bob Hope. Diller more frequently appeared in a lot of documentaries about her career and comedy itself including Goodnight, We Love You and The Aristocrats. She definitely held her own going toe-to-toe with today's hottest comedians.
Here's one of Diller's appearances on "The Ed Sullivan Show" back in 1969:
Diller paved the way for all female comedians as she arrived on stage at a time when female stand-up acts were almost a novelty, and nearly non-existent. Some of today's biggest female names in comedy owe their career to Diller and her decades of work making with the funny. There aren't many stories of success that compare to Diller's as she went from a housewife with five kids to one of the most recognizable names and voices in comedy. She's a truly iconic talent who leaves behind in incomparable legacy. Rest in peace.