Phyllis Diller, extravagantly 'out there' comedic genius, has died
Phyllis Diller, one of America's most beloved, goofy comics, died today at her Los Angeles home.
Diller, who had ties to Washtenaw County (she lived in Ypsilanti during World War II), got her show biz start in radio in the 1950s. From there, she started doing stand-up at the famous Purple Onion Comedy Club in San Francisco. In the 1960s, she and Bob Hope teamed up for two dozen TV specials. In addition to her extensive television appearances on dozens of shows, Ms. Diller worked in Hollywood. In a rare out-of-character role, Diller had a walk-on part in Spendor in the Grass (1961).
In addition to her wild platinum blonde hair and her signature guffaw, a cross between fingers scraping a pitted blackboard and a hormonally-challenged cat, Diller's running riff on her unseen, imaginary husband, Fang, entertained her audiences for decades.
In 2005, she somehow found time to pen her autobiography, Like a Lampshade in a Whorehouse: My Life in Comedy.
Ms. Diller, who had recently fallen and broken several bones, was 95.