Phyllis Diller Dead at 95

Comedienne had been in hospice care after recent fall

By Polly Davis Doig,  Newser Staff

Posted Aug 20, 2012 2:36 PM CDT

(Newser) – Iconic funnywoman Phyllis Diller has died in her Los Angeles home at the age of 95, reports TMZ. The trailblazing comedienne who rose to fame alongside Bob Hope had been in hospice care following a recent fall in which she injured her wrist and hip. “Phyllis Diller passed away peacefully in her sleep at 9:30am PT," her manager tells CNN. "Her son, Perry, found her with a smile on her face.”

“She was a true pioneer,” Diller’s agent tells Entertainment Weekly. “She was the first lady of stand up comedy. She paved the way for everybody." Diller mastered the art of self-deprecation, poking fun at her looks (“I love to go to the doctor. Where else would a man look at me and say, ‘Take off your clothes'?”) or her housekeeping prowess ("The only thing domestic about me is that I was born in this country"). But for a generation of female comics, she was it: “To a lot of us she was better than Bob Hope,” says Roseanne Barr.

Iconic comedienne Phyllis Diller has died at age 95.
Iconic comedienne Phyllis Diller has died at age 95.   (AP Photo/PBS)
Comedienne Phyllis Diller reminiscences at The Bob Hope Memorial Tribute in Los Angeles in this August 2003 file photo.
Comedienne Phyllis Diller reminiscences at "The Bob Hope Memorial Tribute" in Los Angeles in this August 2003 file photo.   (AP Photo/Michael Blake, Pool)
Phyllis Diller and Richard Lewis arrive to the ENCORE Original premiere of Method to the Madness of Jerry Lewis in Los Angeles, Dec. 7, 2011.
Phyllis Diller and Richard Lewis arrive to the ENCORE Original premiere of "Method to the Madness of Jerry Lewis" in Los Angeles, Dec. 7, 2011.   (Joe Kohen/AP Images for Starz)
This Jan.31,1966 file photo shows Phyllis Diller, left, with Robert Goulet and Anne Francis, right, at the Golden Globe Awards.
This Jan.31,1966 file photo shows Phyllis Diller, left, with Robert Goulet and Anne Francis, right, at the Golden Globe Awards.   (AP Photo/ Harold Matosian,File)
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