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Phyllis Diller, dead at 95
PHYLLIS DILLER was a hoot. She died Monday at 95 after a career that spanned five decades. First and foremost a stand-up comic, Mrs. Diller was also a talented actress and pianist. From the 1950s on, she performed in shows as diverse as "Hello, Dolly!" (on Broadway) and "A Bug's Life" (as the voice of Queen), working until just a few years ago.
In the early years of her career, Mrs. Diller teamed up with Bob Hope on television and on some of his USO tours to entertain troops in Vietnam. A master of self-deprecating humor, she was known for her wild hair, her zany housewife persona, and her fictitious husband "Fang." In honor of her life, here's a sampling of her classic one-liners:
"You know you're getting old when your blood type's been discontinued."
"I love to go to the doctor. Where else would a man look at me and say, 'Take off your clothes?'"
"I never made 'Who's Who,' but I'm featured in 'What's That?'"
"I have so many liver spots, I ought to come with a side of onions."
"The only thing domestic about me is I was born in this country."
"They say housework can't kill you, but why take the chance?"
Mrs. Diller, who had six children and is survived by three of them, knew how to make people laugh. And despite her carefully maintained frumpishness, that's beautiful.