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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

No Avatar
61.

Jo    

Oh how I loved that laugh and oh how will have and will miss Phyllis Diller, she was soooo funny. I am seeing my generation of comedians and stars disappear on a daily basis and so far I do not think there are many who can replace them.
Rest in peace Phyllis, you may be gone, but never forgotten.

705 days ago
62.

Dawn    

A woman who taught us that real beauty is on the inside.....and what a beauty she was!!!!! Rip Ms. Diller...Thanks for the laughs!

705 days ago
63.

Lindy    

One of the best!

RIP

705 days ago
64.

jeff    

Phyllis Diller is a true comedy legend. She was loved by many. McCartney, Diller, Doors with Manson, Gibson. These are big time celebrities. I can't believe I'm saying this...Good job TMZ!(it hurts to admit it) I know after typing this, they will go back to pushing their agendas down our throats tomorrow. We'll see.

705 days ago
65.

Cheryl A.    

I LOVE Phyllis Diller! Rest in Peace, lovely woman.

Condolences to your family and friends.

705 days ago
66.

Poule    

If like me you had a gran mother with great great spirit, Phyllis can remind you of her.
They die, but memory never fades.
Take good care of you old folks cause that's where we are heading to !!

705 days ago
67.

David    

Although I will mourn her loss as many will...now that I know this I have started trying Google naked pics of her from playboy you(TMZ) mentioned--I couldn't help myself. She'll still be missed.

705 days ago
68.

Rich    

This is so very sad. Being 57 it seems that all the people I grew up with have all left. I remember Ms, Diller way before she changed her look. From Sullivan to carson and the strange kind of laugh she had. Sometimes you think that some people will go on forever. I guess in there own way they do. God bless Ms, Diller. Make em laugh in Heaven.

705 days ago
69.

Abby    

I interviewed her years ago, when I was working as the entertainment editor for a newspaper in Atlantic City. She was a very cool lady and a definite pioneer for women in comedy. Yours was a life well lived, Phyllis. I know you will kill 'em in heaven!

705 days ago
70.

retard    

Our loss is heaven's gain. Pie Rodney in the face for me, if you don't mind.

705 days ago
71.

mo'nique    

Phyllis Diller was absolutely amazing, and I really loved watching her on TV over many years. One thing though: Miss Diller was a comedienne, and not a comedian, which refers to guys.

705 days ago
72.

Chuck D of Valpo    

I got to see her perform her stand up comedy show back in 1977. What blew me away was her performance on a grand piano.

705 days ago
73.

joecool    

Poor Fang. He'll be all alone now. RIP Phyllis, you were a funny lady.

705 days ago
74.

Gil    

First saw her at the Bon Soir Club in NYC in the late 1950's. She was great back then and always was. RIP.

705 days ago
75.

retard    

Sorry, Logan, I disagree

705 days ago
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