Phyllis Diller, a comedy legend, died in her Los Angeles home on Monday morning. She was 95 years old.
“She died peacefully in her sleep with a smile on her face,” her long time manager, Milton Suchin, said to the Associated Press.
Phyllis was a housewife and mother of six. She began working in advertising copy writing and got her start on the stand up stage at a San Francisco nightclub called the Purple Onion. The owner of the club offered her a substitution spot at the venue and she took a liking to the medium and the audience took a liking to her.
The official cause of Phyllis’s death has yet to be released. She suffered from a near-fatal heart attack in 1999. Afterwards, she was fitted with a pacemaker.
For female standup comedy acts today like Ellen DeGeneres, Roseanne Barr, and even Kathy Griffin, Phyllis served an innovator in the entertainment genre. She was known for her quick wit, her eccentric wardrobe and her cackling laugh.
Ellen tweeted to her followers about the loss, dubbing Diller as “the queen of the one-liners.”
We lost a comedy legend today. Phyllis Diller was the queen of theone-liners. She was a pioneer.— Ellen DeGeneres (@TheEllenShow) August 20, 2012
Whoopi Goldberg also added to the conversation, calling Phyllis a “true original.”
A true original has died. Phyllis DillerThere was NOOne like her, no 1looked like her sounded like her. A FUNNY FUNNY. Classy& Smart RIP— Whoopi Goldberg (@WhoopiGoldberg) August 20, 2012
Phyllis’ act often centered around a fictitious husband named Fang, who was anything but ideal. She also poked fun of her own looks many times.
She frequented shows like “The Tonight Show” and “Laugh-In” throughout the ‘60s and ‘70s, and continued to work into her later years, lending her voice to films like A Bug’s Life and television shows like “Family Guy” and “The Adventures of Jimmy Neutron.”