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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
76.

seekingthefacts    

It was not Phyllis Diller who paved the way for female comediennes. It was Moms Mabely, from Harlem who paved the way for Phyllis and today's female comics. Give credit where it is due. Revisionists history gets us nowhere but further dumbed down. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vLg1QzdAdLon.

707 days ago
77.

Big D    

Sad News!

707 days ago
78.

Sincerity    

She was the "ABSOLUTE BOMB" as a comedienne. Her costumes were simply "OUTRAGEOUS"!!! Even Lady Gaga would have adored them. She will be greatly missed. Ars Longa, Vita Brevis!!!

707 days ago
79.

Cindy    

She was AWESOME! Rest in peace.

707 days ago
80.

Joey    

She was the funniest person I've ever seen in my life. She said that she once went to a Halloween party dressed only in a white fur hat and white fur boots. She went as a Q-tip. I have laughed about that for the last 40 years! She was a true American icon and success story. Fitting that she died peacefully in her sleep.

707 days ago
81.

Steph    

She will be greatly missed. What a joyful, awesome, cooky woman! RIP and keep em laughin' up there in heaven!!

707 days ago
82.

gutsygirl    

RIP, Ms. Diller, you are now with Fang.

707 days ago
83.

Morticia Cowghoul    

I just heard on the news that her son found her in her bed and she had a SMILE on her face. I hope that is true. What a way to go...at home w/ your family w/ a dang smile on her face. We should all be so lucky.

707 days ago
84.

devilgirl    

All the good ones are dying.

She was fantastic!

707 days ago
85.

Honeys Booboo    

I have nothing bad to say about Phyllis Diller, whatsoever.

707 days ago
86.

Encouraged    

She was definitely one of a kind. Rest in peace and I hope the best on your journey.

707 days ago
87.

Ernst    

A funny and talented lady. Saw Phylis Diller on an USO tour with the great Bob Hope in SEA..R.I.P.

707 days ago
88.

ChrisJ     

A true original.........RIP Phyllis.

707 days ago
89.

Luke    

I met Phyllis on a plane back in 1972. What a delightful and friendly person she was! She is sincere and had a heart of gold. Rest in His loving arms my Dear Phylis. The world is a lesser place with you gone.

707 days ago
90.

Jodi    

"Sources close to Diller tell us the comedian died in her sleep at her L.A. home, surrounded by family. ".....if the fall had nothing to do with her death and she died a natural death why was she surrounded by her family?
She lived a long life. My condolences to her family.

707 days ago
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