Phyllis Diller

Comedienne and Actress
Born Jul 17, 1917

Phyllis Diller is an American actress and comedian. She created a stage persona of a wild-haired, eccentrically dressed housewife who makes self-deprecating jokes about her age and appearance, her terrible cooking, and a husband named "Fang", while pretending to smoke from a long cigarette holder. Diller's signature is her unusual laugh.… Read More

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1917 Birth Diller was born Phyllis Ada Driver in Lima, Ohio on July 17, 1917, the only child of Perry Marcus Driver (1862 – 1948), an insurance agent, and Frances Ada (née Romshe; 1881 – 1949). … Read More


1939 21 Years Old She met Sherwood Diller at Bluffton and they married in 1939. … Read More


1952 34 Years Old After moving to Alameda, California, Diller began working in broadcasting in 1952 at KROW radio in Oakland, California. … Read More
1955 37 Years Old With the encouragement of her husband, Diller made her debut as a stand-up comedian at age 37 in the basement of the San Francisco North Beach club, The Purple Onion, on March 7, 1955. … Read More


1959 41 Years Old Starting in 1959 and throughout the 1960s, she released multiple comedy albums, including the titles "Wet Toe in a Hot Socket!," "Are You Ready for Phyllis Diller?," and "The Beautiful Phyllis Diller." … Read More
1964 46 Years Old She also appeared on the daytime game show The Match Game in 1964 and 1965, adding comedic entertainment to the show.
1965 47 Years Old Diller's second husband was actor Warde Donovan (born Warde Tatum), whom she married on October 7, 1965. … Read More
1967 49 Years Old 1 More Event
She became a semi-regular on The Hollywood Squares, starting in 1967, appearing in 28 episodes until 1980. … Read More


1968 - 1969 2 More Events
1970 52 Years Old After Diller's stint, Ethel Merman took over the role until the end of the series' run in December 1970. … Read More
1972 54 Years Old Her successful career as a voice actor continued when Diller guested as herself in "A Good Medium is Rare," a 1972 episode of The New Scooby-Doo Movies.
1975 57 Years Old Their marriage continued until she divorced Donovan in 1975. … Read More


1998 81 Years Old In 1998, Diller provided the voice of the Queen in A Bug's Life. … Read More
2002 85 Years Old Citing advanced age and a lack of "lasting energy," Diller retired from stand-up in 2002. … Read More
2004 87 Years Old The 2004 documentary Goodnight, We Love You: The Life and Legend of Phyllis Diller, directed by Gregg Barson, was shot on the night of her last performance. … Read More
2005 88 Years Old 1 More Event
Although retired from the stand-up circuit, Diller never fully left the entertainment industry. In 2005, she was featured as one of many contemporary comics in The Aristocrats. … Read More
2007 90 Years Old On July 11, 2007, USA Today reported that she had fractured her back and had to cancel an appearance on The Tonight Show, during which she had planned to celebrate her 90th birthday.
In 2011, she appeared in an episode of her friend Roseanne Barr's reality show Roseanne's Nuts.
2012 95 Years Old 1 More Event
In January 2012, she recorded a version of Charlie Chaplin's song Smile with Pink Martini's Thomas Lauderdale for the album Get Happy. … Read More
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