Legendary comedian Phyllis Diller has died at the age of 95, her manager confirmed to ABC News.
TMZ reported that Diller’s health has been on the decline since a recent fall, in which she injured her wrist and hip. The website said she had been living in hospice care at her home.
Diller began her career in 1952, rising to fame with her TV specials alongside Bob Hope in the 1960s. Later, she starred in her own show, “The Phyllis Diller Show,” as well as the variety show “The Beautiful Phyllis Diller Show.” She was also a regular on “Laugh In.”
Known for her loud cackle and long cigarette holder, Diller created the stage persona of a wild-haired, crazily dressed housewife who cracks jokes about her age and appearance, bad cooking and husband named “Fang.”
The Queen of Comedy, she was considered a pioneer for other women comedians, namely Joan Rivers, who recently said that Diller “broke the way for every woman comedian.”
The comedian was still working well into her twilight years, making a guest appearance on ABC’s “Boston Legal” and providing the voice for Peter’s mother in the animated series “Family Guy.” In the 2005 movie “The Aristocrats” she told an X-rated joke.
In 2007, Diller had to cancel an appearance on the “Tonight Show” celebrating her 90th birthday after she fractured her back, but her manager Milt Suchin said she was still doing phone interviews.
“She’s a phoenix, she rises. She’s gone through a lot worse,” Suchin told USA Today.
In 1999, Diller suffered a heart attack and was later fitted with a pacemaker.