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Pioneering Comedienne Phyllis Diller Has Died – She Was 95

Diller was known for her appearance — that of a slightly deranged housewife as well as for her routines about her “husband,” “Fang,” her signature cigarette holder, her trademark laugh and her many plastic surgeries.

Diller was a 38-year-old mother of five when she started her career as a stand-up comedian.  Her first gig was in 1955 at a San Francisco club called The Purple Onion, where she was a hit.  That led to a Tonight Show appearance and many TV spots over the years.  She co-starred with Bob Hope in more than a dozen TV specials, and also performed with him in Vietnam in 1966; she credited him with much of her success.

In addition, Diller appeared in a number of movies, including The Sunshine Boys, Splendor in the Grass and Boy, Did I Get a Wrong Number!, and appeared on Broadway in Hello Dolly!

Diller’s career continued throughout the decades: she appeared on The Drew Carey Show and Boston Legal, and contributed her distinctive voice to animated TV shows and movies like A Bug’s Life, Family Guy and The Adventures of Jimmy Neutron: Boy Genius.

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