.

Comedian Phyllis Diller Dead at 95

Pioneering funnywoman remembered for prolific career, unmistakable laugh

Phyllis Diller
Hulton Archive/Getty Images
August 20, 2012 4:35 PM ET

Comedian Phyllis Diller has died in Los Angeles, reports the Associated Press. She was 95. The pioneering comedian, famous for her unmistakable rapid-fire laugh, was a trailblazer for female comics, appearing regularly on the nightclub and television circuit since the Fifties.

Diller, born Phyllis Driver in Lima, Ohio, took up comedy as she neared her 40th birthday, building a stand-up act around a zany housewife persona with a wacky wardrobe and a husband she called Fang. She made her network TV debut on Groucho Marx's game show You Bet Your Life, starred in the Sixties sitcom The Pruitts of Southampton and hosted a short-lived variety show in 1968 called The Beautiful Phyllis Diller Show. Diller also appeared in films like 1966's Boy, Did I Get a Wrong Number and 1967's Eight on the Lam, and she did voice work for the Pixar film A Bug's Life and the TV series Hey Arnold! and Family Guy, among others.

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