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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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219 COMMENTS

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16.

John    

RIP... To bad a lot of the younger kids get to see great talents like her.

To be afraid to watch old shows like Bob Hope's or Lucy's etc.. The old Laugh in and Dean Martin comedy hour..

711 days ago
17.

Rhonda C. Poynter    

I love, love, love me some Phyllis Diller - she wasn't vicious like Rosie O, she wasn't self-serving like Roseanne, she wasn't vicious like Joan, she - wait a minute, I see a pattern of something missing here. Phyllis Diller was just damned silly, and funny. RIP, Lovely Lady -

711 days ago
18.

Trish    

Was watching that episode of Hey Arnold with her in it recently, she's awesome forever.

711 days ago
19.

R    

Loved her laugh!

711 days ago
20.

Rich    

Sad news, so many of the better actors and comedian have passed. We certainly don't have anyone at their level anymore. Will miss you ALOT

711 days ago
21.

Criss    

Sucks, I liked her. Although 95 is a pretty good run.

711 days ago
22.

realist    

Phyllis Diller was a funny, funny woman, and the laughter she spread will live on.


Just an aside: Not only was she a comedienne, but also a talented harpsichordist.

711 days ago
23.

Cat    

Phyllis Diller was a fine lady and a wonderful comedianne. Just last week I saw her on a rerun of Rosanne Barr's recent show {Rosanne's Nuts) with Sandra Bernhart and was so pleased to see all these gals enjoying themselves and Phyllis was fabulous. What a young spirit she had and an ultimate entertainer. I got the impression that Rosanne and Sandra were in awe of her, what a pleasure it was to see Phyllis in all of her glory. I grew up watching Phyllis Diller and so enjoyed any time I saw her on tv. We have lost another legend. Hugs to you Phyllis, thanks for the memories!!!

711 days ago
24.

Paul Lynde    

R.I.P. sweetie

711 days ago
25.

Eve    

RIP Phyllis

711 days ago
26.

wanda    

Oh Phylllis, I love her!!!!!!! And her books were fabulous, too. She's a legend.

711 days ago
27.

SLemon    

A true trailblazer. She was hysterical in the many Mel Brooks movies. He knew a genius when he saw one.

711 days ago
28.

CoCo    

RIP Funny Goddess. You always were/are the best!

711 days ago
29.

gary    

I found he to be very funny. Her laugh, infectious! She was willing to do any and everything. A career spanning 6 decades, amazing! Hope she is in a better place, making God laugh (especially if God is a woman)! RIP and thank you, Ms. Diller.

711 days ago
30.

Annette    

So sad. To lose another icon this year. She was one of the best, and pioneered the way for the comics of today. She is with "Killer" now. R I P Ms. Diller

711 days ago
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