Comedian Phyllis Diller, whose wild hair, trademark laugh and mix of bawdy and self-deprecating humor made her a variety show and nightclub favorite, died today in Los Angeles at age 95.
Diller died at 9:30 a.m. at her home, according to her longtime manager Milt Suchin.
"The world has lost a true trailblazer, a gracious and classy woman who blazed the way for all other female comics," Suchin told City News Service. "She was a very special, special lady, very supportive of young comics."
While the story is not directly linked to Diamond Bar, Diller had millions of fans around the world. But she lived right here among her Los Angeles County family, in the nicer area of town of course.
Diamond Bar Patch wanted to share the story and an opportunity to anyone who was a fan of hers to say goodbye or share a memory about seeing her perform or seeing one of her films.
I will remember her laugh. To me she was at her best during her stand-up comedy sets.
According to City News service a cause of death was not immediately released. The website TMZ.com reported that Diller had been sick in recent months after hurting her wrist and hip in a fall.
Diller suffered a near-fatal heart attack in 1999. She told "Entertainment Tonight" at the time that she had considered suicide.
"Yes, I would have (committed suicide)," she said. "But see, when you want to and you can't move, there isn't anything you can do about it. There isn't anything around here that I could use for suicide.
"I'm terribly glad that I didn't do it because I will be working again ... I'll be around to watch my grandchildren. I love to work, you see. I got new jokes."
Born Phyllis Ada Driver, the comic didn't start her show biz career until the age of 37.
At the time, she was a working housewife and a mother of five, employed as a publicist, newspaper writer and columnist at a San Francisco radio station.
Urged by her husband, Sherwood Diller, she prepared a nightclub act and was booked into San Francisco's Purple Onion.
She slithered around the piano, lampooned current celebrities, brandished a cigarette holder and made fun of high fashion. Originally booked for two weeks, Diller's act received such rave reviews that it was extended for almost two years.
Combining wild costumes, untamed hair and a raucous laugh with self- deprecating monologues, she won national acclaim with her mid-1960s television routines featuring "Fang," her imaginary husband.
In addition to television, film and stage work, Diller made five records, wrote four best-selling books and has performed on piano with more than 100 symphony orchestras.
Although she largely retired about 10 years ago, Diller would still show up in bit parts, including lending her distinctive voice to the animated Fox comedy "Family Guy."
There was no immediate word on funeral arrangements.
- Compiled from City News Service.