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 jokes about 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 (June 13, 1862 – August 12, 1948), an insurance agent, and Frances Ada (née Romshe; January 12, 1881 – January 26, 1949). … Read More


1952 34 Years Old Diller began her career working at KROW radio in Oakland, California in 1952. … Read More
1955 37 Years Old 1 More Event
Diller first appeared as a stand-up at The Purple Onion in San Francisco on March 7, 1955, and remained there for 87 straight weeks.
1956 38 Years Old She appeared on Del Courtney's Showcase on KPIX-TV on November 3, 1956. … Read More


1961 43 Years Old After moving to Webster Groves, Missouri, near St. Louis, in 1961, Diller honed her act in St. Louis clubs, such as Gaslight Square's Crystal Palace. … 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. … Read More
1965 47 Years Old …  Diller's second husband was actor Warde Donovan (born Warde Tatum), whom she married on October 7, 1965. … Read More
1966 48 Years Old Although all of these films were critically panned, Boy, Did I Get a Wrong Number! did well at the box office and Diller accompanied Hope to Vietnam in 1966 with his USO troupe during the height of the Vietnam War.


1969 51 Years Old Beginning December 26, 1969, she had a 3-month run in Hello, Dolly! (opposite Richard Deacon), as the second to last in a succession of replacements for Carol Channing in the title role, which included Ginger Rogers, Martha Raye, Betty Grable, and Pearl Bailey.
1970 52 Years Old After Diller's stint, Ethel Merman took over the role until the end of the series' run in December 1970.
1975 57 Years Old Their marriage continued until she divorced Donovan in 1975. … Read More


1993 - 2000 4 More Events
2001 84 Years Old 1 More Event
Diller was a member of the Society of Singers, which supports singers in need. In June 2001, at Scott Sherman's request, she appeared at Kansas City and Philadelphia Pride events.
In her 2005 autobiography, she wrote that she had undergone "fifteen different procedures". … Read More
2006 89 Years Old In 2006, Mayor of San Francisco Gavin Newsom proclaimed February 5, 2006, "Phyllis Diller Day in San Francisco", which she accepted by phone. … 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.
2011 94 Years Old On January 4, 2011, Diller made one of her final public appearances on Anderson Cooper 360° as part of a panel of comedians.
In January 2012, she recorded a version of Charlie Chaplin's song Smile with Pink Martini's Thomas Lauderdale for the album Get Happy.
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