In The News

Comedian Phyllis Diller passes away

Comedian Phyllis Diller passes away

THE comedian Phyllis Diller has passed away at the age of 95.

Known for her cackling laugh (see below), large hair and distinctive costumes, Ms Diller had been 37 when she began her career in comedy.

She had been working in advertising and writing scripts for radio when her then husband suggested she try stand-up comedy. Ms Diller made her debut in the famous Purple Onion club in San Francisco in 1955 and went on to perform at the establishment for 87 consecutive weeks.

In a career which spanned six decades, Ms. Diller was a popular stand-up performer as well as making appearances on TV and some movie work. One feature of her act was to talk about the antics of her fictional husband, who was known as Fang.

She appeared regularly over the years with Bob Hope and joined him in entertaining US troops on a number of occasions. 

Ms. Diller retired in 2002 (see below), three years after suffering a heart attack.

Many tributes were paid to the comedian from across the entertainment world.

Her publicist Fred Wostgrook told reporters: “Phyllis was the first lady of stand-up comedy. She paved the way for everybody.”

To view an interview in which Phyllis Diller talks about her distinctive laugh, click here.

To view an excerpt from Phyllis Diller’s final stand-up performance, click here.


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