Comedienne Phyllis Diller dies at 95
Zany onstage character traded one-liners on the war between men and women
With her haystack hair and thrift-store wardrobe, Phyllis Diller was
perhaps America's best-loved comedienne. Known for her trademark cackle
and zingy one-liners, Diller frequently used women's limited role in
contemporary society as fodder for her humor - but was embraced by
mainstream America regardless. Diller has died at the age of 95.
In an age where many females are highly conscious of their looks, Phyllis Diller did everything she could to accentuate them - negatively. Opting for outrageous fright wigs, she deliberately shopped for stage shoes that made her legs look as skinny as possible.
Hailing from the Midwest, Diller was a housewife and mother of five children toiling in Alameda, California when she got wind of the flourishing comedy scene in nearby San Francisco. Diller was a staple of nightclubs and television from the 1950s until her retirement.
Diller's humor revolved around how she balanced housework with her career. "I bury a lot of my ironing in the back yard." A lot of her barbs were directed at her unseen husband named "Fang."
Prodded into show business by her first husband, Sherwood Diller, she gave up a successful career as an advertising and radio writer. Her husband managed her career until the couple's 25-year marriage fell apart in the 1960s. Shortly after her divorce she married entertainer Warde Donovan, but they separated within months.
Diller also appeared in movies, including "Boy, Did I Get a Wrong Number" and "Eight on the Lam" with Bob Hope. In 1968, she was also the host of a short-lived variety series, "The Beautiful Phyllis Diller Show."
But standup comedy was her first love, and when she broke into the business in 1956 it was a field she had largely to herself because female comics weren't widely accepted then.
In an age where many females are highly conscious of their looks, Diller did everything she could to accentuate them - negatively. Opting for outrageous fright wigs, she deliberately shopped for stage shoes that made her legs look as skinny as possible.
"The older I get, the funnier I get," she said in 1961. "Think what I'll save in not having my face lifted."
© 2012, Catholic Online. Distributed by NEWS CONSORTIUM.
- - -
Pope Benedict XVI's Prayer Intentions for January 2013
General Intention: The Faith of Christians. That in this Year of Faith Christians may deepen their knowledge of the mystery of Christ and witness joyfully to the gift of faith in him.
Missionary Intention: Middle Eastern Christians. That the Christian communities of the Middle East, often discriminated against, may receive from the Holy Spirit the strength of fidelity and perseverance.
Keywords: Phyllis Diller, comedienne, stand-up, housewife, death
Rate This Article
Leave a Comment
More Celebrity News
- Has Justin Bieber's 'bad boy' stance gone too far? Pot smelled on tour bus
- Comedian Jonathan Winters dies at 87
- Mouseketeer Annette Funicello dies from multiple sclerosis
- Actor who played Harry Potter's Uncle Vernon, Richard Griffiths dies
- Porno star who embraced Christianity later in life dies
- 'One Day at a Time' actress Bonnie Franklin dies
- Cowboy actor Dale Robertson dies at the age of 89
- Popular British romance novelist 'Jessica Blair' proven to be an 89-year-old man
- Conrad Bain of TV's 'Diff''rent Strokes' dies at 89
- Fr. Paul Schenck: Finding Living Faith on Catechetical Sunday
- The Movie Yellow: Incest as 'Normal' and Cassavates's Slides Into the World of Woes
- The Chicago School Teachers Strike Reveals the Need For School Choice
- The Sexual Barbarians and the Dissolution of Culture
- The Happy Priest Challenges Us to Ask: Who is Jesus to Me?
- Michael Coren on Canadian Public Schools: Teachers, leave those kids alone
- We Cannot Ignore Our Consciences: Cardinal Dolan On Religious Liberty
- In the Face of Danger, Successor of Peter Travels to Lebanon as a Messenger of Peace
- Reflections on the Dignity and Vocation of Women: Who or What?