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phyllis diller
lifetime achievement award
hollywood walk of fame
concert pianist
Comedy Legend Phyllis Diller, Dead At 95
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Comedy Legend Phyllis Diller, Dead at 95

Born in Lima, Ohio, Phyllis Diller parlayed an appearance on the Jack Paar show as well into a major comedy career. Never one to work blue, Diller instead made her entire career out of self-deprecating humor and stories about her entirely fictional husband, Fang. Though Ms. Diller married three times in her life, she always insisted that Fang was not based on any of her real life mates. Her act also discussed her inability to cook and her messy home.

Many may not know that Ms. Diller was originally training to become a concert pianist, studying at the Sherwood Music Conservatory before transferring from the program. The rumor abounded that despite her ease in front of huge comedy groups, Phyllis Diller had stage fright and was unable to perform at the piano in front of a large group. She did continue to play the piano in private and with small groups of loved ones.

Female comediennes today, including Phyllis Diller's friends and peers owe their career to her. When you see a female stand up comic in Las Vegas today, it is because she paved the way as the first to play there. Her ability to riff on any topic and her over the top, cackling laugh made her likable and approachable. Her chemistry with her close friend, Bob Hope made her a natural for his televised specials, appearing in nearly twenty four of them during the 1960's. She also made frequent appearances on the Rowan and Martin variety show called Laugh In, often poking fun at herself in different skits and routines.

Diller was given the Women in Film Lucy Award in 2000 and won three other awards during her career, including the Golden Apple Award as the Most Cooperative Actress in 1966. She was also given the Lifetime Achievement Award in Comedy from the American Comedy Awards in 1992. She was also given her star on the Hollywood walk of fame for her work in television.

Phyllis Diller was reported to have died, peacefully in her sleep, surrounded by the people that she loved, including her children, Perry, Sally and Suzanne, from her first marriage. She was preceded in death by three other children. Son, Peter died in 1998. Her daughter Stephanie suffered a stroke and died in 2002. Another son, her third child died after only a few weeks, all spent in the hospital. There have been no announcements for final arrangements for the well loved comedienne.


Street Talk

OMG, how did I miss this? Thanks for the update Amie! I remember all these greats back when they were on top of their game. What a wonderful time to live!

Reply
  about 5 years ago

I love Phyllis Diller I think she was the original comediene. I Love Lucy is still one of my favorite shows - on repeat of course. Cheers Gayle

Reply
  about 5 years ago
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