Phyllis Diller Overview:
Quick Phyllis Diller Facts:
- Phyllis Diller was born Phyllis Ada Driver and raised in Lima, Ohio.
- She worked as a homemaker and advertising copywriter during WWII and a radio DJ and star of her own TV series, Phyllis Diller, the Homely Friendmaker in the early '50s.
- In 1955, Diller started performing stand-up comedy at the famous Purple Onion club in San Francisco. She continued to perform comedy there for 87 straight weeks.
- She released Wet Toe in a Hot Socket, the first of her seven comedy albums, in 1959.
- In the 1960s, she moved to St. Louis, where she continued to perform comedy on the club circuit.
- Diller cemented her stardom in the '60s by appearing in 23 TV specials with Bob Hope. She also began appearing in feature films, eventually appearing in over 40 films and documentaries.
- She was a regular guest on Rowan & Martin's Laugh In throughout the 60s.
- Diller published her autobiography, Like a Lampshade in a Whorehouse, in 2005.
- She retired from comedy after suffering a heart attack in 1999 and a bad fall that required hospitalization in 2005.
- Phyllis Diller passed away on natural causes in her home in 2012. She was 95 years old.
Phyllis Diller Discography:
- Wet Toe in a Hot Socket (1959)
- Laughs (1961)
- Are You Ready for Phyllis Diller? (1962)
- The Best of Phyllis Diller (1965)
- What's Left of Phyllis Diller (1968)
- The Beautiful Phyllis Diller (1968)
- Born to Sing (1970)
Phyllis Diller on Television:
Diller was also frequently called up for voiceover work, most notably on the popular Fox sitcom Family Guy, on which she provided the voice of Thelma Griffin. She also supplied voices on Robot Chicken, The Adventures of Jimmy Neutron: Boy Genius, The Powerpuff Girls and Hey Arnold!.
Select Phyllis Diller Filmography:
- Splendor in the Grass (1961)
- Boy, Did I Get the Wrong Number! (1966)
- Mad Monster Party (1967)
- The Sunshine Boys (1975)
- Pink Motel (1982)
- The Silence of the Hams (1994)
- A Bug's Life (1998)
- The Aristocrats (2005)
- Forget About It (2006)
- I Am Comic (2010)
Additional Phyllis Diller Facts:
- A big part of her stand-up act revolved around her husband, referred to as "Fang." It was a fictional character, not based on any of her husbands, though she was married and divorced twice and in a relationship with a third man for 11 years.
- She starred in two short-lived TV series in the 1960s: The Phyllis Diller Show (formerly The Pruitts of Southhampton) from 1967-68 and The Beautiful Phyllis Diller Show in 1968.
- From the age of 55 forward, Diller underwent 15 different cosmetic surgery procedures, a fact about which she was very open and candid.
- Diller was awarded the Women in Film Lucy Award in 2000.
- June 8, 2001, was declared "Phyllis Diller Day" in the city of Philadelphia. February 5, 2006, was declared "Phyllis Diller Day" in San Francisco.
- In 2011, the National Museum of American History held an exhibit displaying Diller's old costumes and "gag file" consisting of old jokes she had written.