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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
106.

jacksonorleans    

RIP Ms Diller. You made me laugh all my life...now go to fang in the sky....

692 days ago
107.

Linda    

RIP Phyllis.

692 days ago
108.

WiddoMouse    

She was also a pianist, and a pretty good one at that. I think I even heard that she played harpsicord...which makes her more than qualified to play the harp in heaven. RIP sweet lady.

692 days ago
109.

Spencer B in MD    

Phyllis had a good, long productive life!
Anyone else remember Phyllis in the movie "Mad Monster Party"? I loved that movie when I was a kid...
Thanks for all of the laughs, Phyllis! R.I.P.

692 days ago
110.

Angel    

I remember her saying that her make up kid consists of a blowtorch and sandpaper.

692 days ago
111.

Spencer B in MD    

Phyllis had a good, long productive life!
Anyone else remember Phyllis in the movie "Mad Monster Party"? I loved that movie when I was a kid...
Thanks for all of the laughs, Phyllis! R.I.P.

692 days ago
112.

DaveT    

Phyllis was funny, made me laugh out loud, sad that she's gone, but she lived her life, stayed optimistic and kept her healthy sense of humor, it's a bit easier to accept when they've lived fully and kept their head up to the end.

692 days ago
113.

wibbys1    

Sad, she was always one of my favorites. Even tho she was 30 yrs older--I had a crush on her. Lol

692 days ago
114.

tucker    

She was a trail blazer for women in comedy - A legend. Rest in peace.

692 days ago
115.

charles    

R.I.P. Phyllis

692 days ago
116.

dd    

Loved Her!

692 days ago
117.

mercury1127    

See you in the after life is we can get any ticket's to your show's! Love Ya' Phyllis Diller :)

692 days ago
118.

mark    

Her mentors were of Vaudeville. She fought the good fight, and made it to TV, and was a fixture for many a great year. She was of the generation that needed to fulfill the requirement to be allowed on television: TALENT. RIP my dear. Thanks for those great memories growing up.

692 days ago
119.

Lila    

Classy comedian, I wish all comedians will follow her great humor and sensitivity for others. And I know she made the heaven richer with her grand entrance.
RIP my dear lady.

692 days ago
120.

Sarafina    

Still have her "Wet Toe in a Hot Socket" LP!! I will always remember her voice (sounded exactly like my Aunt Ruby), her cackly laugh, colorful wardrobe and her memorable appearance on "Love, American Style"...R.I.P. Miss Diller!

692 days ago
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