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Phyllis Diller

Dead at 95

8/20/2012 12:01 PM PDT BY TMZ STAFF
Exclusive Details

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Comedian Phyllis Diller -- who paved the way for today's female comics -- died this morning, TMZ has learned.

Sources close to Diller tell us the comedian died in her sleep at her L.A. home, surrounded by family. She was 95.

We're told Diller had recently fallen, hurting her wrist and hip -- but her rep says the injury had nothing to do with her death.

Diller suffered a heart attack in 1999 and was later fitted with a pacemaker.

Phyllis began her career all the way back in 1952 -- and rose to fame with her TV specials alongside Bob Hope in the 1960s.

0820_phyllis_diller_footerLater that decade, Phyllis starred in her own show called "The Phyllis Diller Show" ... as well as a variety show called "The Beautiful Phyllis Diller Show." She was also a regular on "Laugh In."

She also posed for Playboy -- but the pics were never published.

Diller remained spunky to the very end, famously appearing in the 2005 movie "The Aristocrats," telling an x-rated joke ... better than comics half her age.

Joan Rivers recently appeared on "Watch What Happens Live" and said, Diller "broke the way for every woman comedian.”



Last time we shot Diller was in 2011, and she was still sharp as a tack -- cracking jokes and reminiscing about her "protegee" Joan Rivers. She even named her favorite comedian of all time.

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218 COMMENTS

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151.

anne     

I saw her 53 years ago in San Francisco @ a place called the purple onion, She was smoking a cigarette using a long cigarette holder & wore long black gloves, & she was so funny. My husband & I were in S.F. for the weekend & I was 7 mos. pregnant with our lst child, thats how I remember how long ago it was,. She was just starting out, boy, did she ever become on of the best. May she rest in peace

791 days ago
152.

Big Mamma Cornbread    

Love Phyllis Diller......R.I.P. our beloved comedian...God Bless

791 days ago
153.

tommyr    

She was the BEST! RIP Ms. Diller and THANK YOU for being in my childhood.

791 days ago
154.

It's Dave    

This truly saddens me. Thanks for all the great laughs over the years, Phyllis. You shall truly be missed.

791 days ago
155.

dianne    

The undisputed best Woman Comedienne of all time. R I P

791 days ago
156.

anon    

R.I.P. Ms. Phyllis Diller
.
You were one helluva funny lady!

791 days ago
157.

Sandra    

Classy lady! RIP

791 days ago
158.

Shaler    

This is Nancy Pelosi in a few years! Imagine that

791 days ago
159.

IronBob    

She faded from view many years ago but not before she left her mark on a few generations. She was the Queen of Comedy, bar none.

791 days ago
160.

JamesT    

I allway liked her. Especially on Laugh In. All of the good ones are dparting and there dosn't seem to be any new talent of that caliber.

RIP Ms D. You entertained me and made me laugh.

791 days ago
161.

Sloane    

she was a pioneer for women comics of today-
they owe her one huge debt her groundbreaking accomplishment suffereing through discrimination, sexist attitudes etc. in order to work the clubs and perform for many of the early years
Phyllis and Moms Mabley- they are the only 2 that I can think of who broke into the men's world of comics on the road in a time when the world thought a woman's place was in the home
RIP Phyllis....you were a true gem

791 days ago
162.

Doug    

Funny lady, Bluffton, Ohio will miss ya!!

791 days ago
163.

CINEMA    

I had the pleasure of working with Diller on a film, and she was so sweet and witty.... She also invited some of the crew our movie to her home where she showcased her artwork~

791 days ago
164.

diana frame    

R.I.P YOULL BE MISSED

791 days ago
165.

dave    

have a good one, Phyllis..

791 days ago
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