Catch up on shows with The Coast On Demand
Tuesday, August 21, 2012
Celebrated comedienne Phyllis Diller has died aged 95.
The woman with the dreadful hairdo and crazy laugh had been living at home in hospice care. She had a heart attack in 1999 and she recently suffered a serious fall.
Diller made her reputation as a standup comedienne who co-starred in 23 TV specials with Bob Hope and later had her own ABC show.
Diller created a character with a bizarre wardrobe, a disturbing laugh, a rubber face and a jaded view of pretty-well everything in life.
She referred to her husband as "Fang," but most of the jokes were directed at herself.
She was often earthier than some of her contemporaries and she titled her 2005 autobiography "Like a Lampshade in a Whorehouse."
Off-stage, she was an accomplished pianist who once considered a career in music rather than comedy.
She appeared for three months in "Hello Dolly" on Broadway and she voiced many animated productions, including "Scooby Doo" and "A Bug's Life," where she also sang.
Born Phyllis Driver in Lima, Ohio, she was a late starter in show biz.
She was a housewife, mother of 6 and an advertising copywriter through the 1940s and didn't start performing until she was in her late 30s.
Her first job was on radio, at KROW in Oakland and her first TV gig, was a 15-minute show called "Phyllis Diller, the Homely Friendmaker."
She started her standup career at the famed Purple Onion in 1955, and eventually recorded five comedy albums.
Phyllis Diller also became renowned for her plastic surgery, which she began at age 55 - the first of 15 procedures according to her.
Wherever she is now, she'll be making them laugh!
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