Queen of One-Liners, Phyllis Diller Dies at 95

8.20.2012

By Jerry Portwood

The legendary comedian began her career at 37 and paved the way for many other female performers

Photo by Roger Erickson

The funny lady died "peacefully in her sleep" at her Los Angeles home this morning, according to her manager. She was 95.

"Her son, Perry, found her with a smile on her face," Milt Suchin told CNN.

When Ari Karpel interviewed her for Out's March 2011 "Ladies We Love" issue, she was quite poignant in her talk about growing old.

"Aging is one nasty thing," she said, then she broke out in the cackle that made her famous.

"Aaah ha-haaaa!" she blurts, a little weakened by a persistent cough. But she continues: "You've lost so much that you sometimes forget what you've gained." And what is that? "You gain patience, you gain understanding of people, and I have never feared death. To me, it's never the big hoo-ha. It's just a dumb little thing that happens and could happen at any time."

"We lost a comedy legend today," comedian Ellen DeGeneres tweeted. "Phyllis Diller was the queen of the one-liners. She was a pioneer."

The Advocate contacted Barbra Streisand, who shared a dressing room with Diller at Manhattan's Bon Soir nightclub in 1960. "I adored her," Streisand said in a statement. "She was a wondrous spirit who was great to me."

Whoopi Goldberg tweeted: "A true original has died. Phyllis Diller There was NOOne like her, no 1looked like her sounded like her. A FUNNY FUNNY. Classy& Smart RIP"

Read the full story here.

Tags: Popnography
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