ET confirms that the legendary comedian Phyllis Diller has passed away at the age of 95.
Diller’s agent, Fred Wostbrock, told ET, “I was her agent for twenty years. She was a pioneer. She paved the way for everybody, Joan Rivers, Ellen DeGeneres, Roseanne Barr, Chelsea Handler. She was the first.” She passed away in her L.A home surrounded by her family members, and her longtime manager, Milton Suchin, told The Associated Press, “She died peacefully in her sleep with a smile on her face.”
DeGeneres tweeted, “We lost a comedy legend today. Phyllis Diller was the queen of the one-liners. She was a pioneer.” And Roseanne Barr tweeted of her friend, “a revolutionary woman who inspired me always has died today-but I know she was ready and wanted to go. Fly Free, friend. Phyllis Diller RIP.” She also tweeted, “last time I saw Ms. Diller she’d a stroke & when her assistant told her she could no longer drink gin, I immediately took her out 4 martinis.”
Launched to fame thanks to her hilarious and well-timed comedy and one-liners on the Groucho Marx-hosted You Bet Your Life, Diller’s self-deprecating humor, eccentric appearance and signature cackle deconstructed the role of the ’50s homemaker embodied by shows like Leave it to Beaver. Diller had her own self-titled comedy shows in the ’60s and was a regular presence on ’60s and ’70s television, from Laugh In and Batman to The Gong Show and Love American Style.
Diller’s film credits include Splendor in the Grass, The Sunshine Boys and A Bug’s Life in addition to countless comedic cameos, and among her numerous TV appearances she brought laughs to The Muppet Show, Scooby Doo, The Drew Carey Show and most recently Boston Legal, Family Guy and Robot Chicken.
Watch Phyllis comment on her first-ever television appearance on You Bet Your Life, with Groucho Marx below.
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