'First lady of comedy' Phyllis Diller dies aged 95

Tuesday August 21, 2012

US comedian Phyllis Diller, known for her distinctive laugh, large hair and outlandish outfits, has died at the age of 95.

The star's former manager said that she passed away in LA on Monday, "peacefully in her sleep with a smile on her face."

Urged on by her first husband, Sherwood Diller, Phyllis made her comedy debut at San Francisco's Purple Onion in 1955, aged 37.

Phyllis, self-described as "one of those life-of-the-party types" performed at the club for 87 consecutive weeks.

Support from fellow female comedians has poured in for the star.

Ellen DeGeneres tweeted: "We lost a comedy legend today, Phyllis Diller was the queen of the one-liners. She was a pioneer."

Joan Rivers has also said she was "beyond saddened by the death of Phyllis Diller," whom she described as a friend.

Ohio-born Phyllis's former publicist, Fred Wostbrock, added: "She was the first lady of stand-up comedy, she paved the way for everybody."

Photo: © Getty

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