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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
121.

Keyser Söze    

Damn... this is going to be a really sh*tting week, isn't it?

Actual celebrities I've liked ever since I was a kid are now disappearing one by one...

A legend is gone... long live the legend.
RIP, Mrs. Diller.

702 days ago
122.

stereogirl    

I'm sincerely sad to hear this news. She lived a good, long life though. So effing funny - one of the few people capable of being both crass and classy.

702 days ago
123.

squid    

Bless your heart,and thanks for all the laughs.

702 days ago
124.

Dave    

She was a family friend and a sweet, thoughtful lady who sent out wonderful and whacky Christmas cards each year. Peace and Love......

702 days ago
125.

Just a Guy    

I can't recall anyone ever saying anything bad about Ms. Diller. She was just a funny, warm, and way over the top comedian, and she will be missed.

RIP Phyllis...

702 days ago
126.

Mikey    

Michael Jackson woulda looked like her if he lived to be 95.

702 days ago
127.

Evil BuddyP    

The world is a little less funny tonight. RIP Ms. Diller

702 days ago
128.

sookietex    

Legend Pioneer Fearlessly Funny XXXOOO Loved her since the 1960...'s The other day was enjoying her voice work as Peter's mom on Family Guy May the gods speed Phyllis Diller 3

702 days ago
129.

warzone    

Used to see this nice old lady on the #10 Santa Monica Bus going from Brentwood to Santa Monica when going from Westwood to Gold's Gym back in late 1970's. Very nice, a class act. Also an accomplished pianist with a tremendous grasp of classical musical literature. In conversation I brought up Rachmaninov, which she saif she liked, but then she challenged me to also look into Saint-sans and especially Dobermann... This had to look really vrazy to any byestnder because she was dressed like a gardener- sun hat and all, and I was in really gay looking (by today's standards)dolpin shorts and a nylon tank. But we were the occasional friends that gave people an earful if htey were interested. I called her "gorgeous" and she called me "Tarzan". Never sat really close, so everyone got to hear us. If you could heat anything over that loud-as-hell big blue bus. We may have spent an aggregate two hours talking that summer, so I can only imagine how much she affected the lives of who she worked with. I understand her son and business manager is about the only ruthless shark hollywood manager that's a genually good man instead of just a feeding machine. I hope her good genes get passed on.

702 days ago
130.

sookietex    

Legend Pioneer Fearlessly Funny XXXOOO Loved her since the 1960...'s The other day was enjoying her voice work as Peter's mom on Family Guy May the gods speed Phyllis Diller 3

702 days ago
131.

Lila    

She was a great comedian with high test. Hope all other comedians will keep the same class. The heaven has become more richer with her entrance and must have applauded for her. Great funny lady, you rest in peace with smiling face.

702 days ago
132.

NoBozo    

RIP, Funny Lady.

702 days ago
133.

William DeLashmutt    

Ms. Diller was hilarious. I grew up watching her, Bob Hope and so many greats of their time. Don Rickles to. I loved their off beat and sometimes insulting sense of humor.

I wonder what kind of gig she is going to have now?

RIP Ms. Diller and I thank you for so many laughs.

702 days ago
134.

Nostradamus    

Now that's the way to go, in your sleep at age 95.
RIP PD

702 days ago
135.

Barb2    

Phyllis gave us many laughs, more so than what we get today; RIP Phyllis.

702 days ago
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