Phyllis Diller Dies at 95

August 20, 2012


Comedy icon and wig-loving eccentric Phyllis Diller has reportedly died, passing away in her sleep in her L.A. home this morning. She was 95.

Diller came to prominence in the '60s, making a national name for herself and paving the way for future generations of female comics with appearances on various panel and variety shows of the time--among them, Match Game, What's My Line?, The Red Skelton Hour, and The Carol Burnett Show--eventually starring in two short-lived programs bearing her own name. Once the variety show era faded after the '70s, the comedienne largely found work as a voice actress, where she could entertain children without them getting sort of freaked out by her large hair, manic grin, and abundance of feathery things. Her distinctive voice and accompanying cackle could be heard in Captain Planet, Animaniacs, A Bug's Life, King of the Hill, The Wild Thornberrys, Jimmy Neutron, Robot Chicken, Family Guy, and more.

As TMZ, reports, Joan Rivers recently said of Diller that she "broke the way for every woman comedian." The continued success of Chelsea Handler and Whitney notwithstanding, that's a pretty impressive accomplishment.

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