Posted: Aug 20 2012
HOLLYWOOD – The entertainment world lost an icon with the death of actress/comedian Phyllis Diller. She was 95.
She died at her home in the Brentwood, a swanky neighborhood of Los Angeles, her talent agent Fred Wostbrock said. He didn’t know the cause of death. In March 1999, Diller suffered a heart attack and doctors implanted a pacemaker.
Diller laid the groundwork for future female comedians with her jokes about domestic life and her fictitious husband “Fang”.
She went from being a 37-year-old housewife to a professional jokester after her real husband lost his job.
She created a character based on her own persona – a disheveled, self-deprecating housewife – that would be used decades later by performers such as Joan Rivers, Brett Butler and Roseanne Barr.
She performed in numerous TV series, variety shows and specials in the 1960s and 1970s and alongside Hollywood mega talent Bob Hope.
Diller was known for firing off as many as 12 punch lines a minute. She wrote her own material and steered clear of obscenities.
She was the first woman honored by the Friars’ Club in Los Angeles and got a star on Hollywood’s Walk of Fame in 1975. She won numerous awards for her humanitarian work on behalf of medical and other charitable causes.
Phyllis Ada Driver was born on July 17, 1917, in Lima, Ohio.
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