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Phyllis Diller ACTOR


Phyllis Diller was born on July 17th, 1917 in Loma, Ohio with the birth name Phyllis Ada Driver, born to Perry Marcus and Frances Ada Romshe.  Her career as an actress began quite late in life when she was thirty seven years old and working at a laundry facility where she would write and perform comedic routines for her fellow employees.

After graduating from Lima's Central High School, Diller then enrolled at the Sherwood Music Conservatory in Chicago, Illinois where she studied for three years before transferring to Buffton College in Ohio. 

Prior to working as an actress, she married young at the age of twenty two, worked various jobs such as a advertising copywriter and later a secretary at a San Francisco television station.

She began to put together a nightclub comedic act even though at this time a stand up female comedian was unheard of.  Two local television hosts, Willard Anderson and Don Sherwood felt her act was top notch and invited her to perform it on their show in 1955. 

At the age of thirty eight she broke into the entertainment industry performing live at the Purple Onion nightclub in San Francisco.  She remained performing here nightly for over a year and a half and her popularity and fan based increased so fast that soon, Diller was being seen as a guest on a variety of television talk shows.

Bob Hope took Diller under his wing and showcased her on 26 variety shows over the years and she even accompanied Bob on his USO tours to Vietnam during the war there.

By the early 60's she was adding to her resume roles on such films as, "Splendor in the Grass" (1961) starring Warren Beatty, Natalie Wood, Pat Hingle, Gary Lockwood and Sandy Dennis, "Boy, Did I Get a Wrong Number!" (1966) starring with Bob Hope, Elke Sommer and Marjorie Lord, "Eight on the Lam" (1967) co-starring Bob Hope, Jill St. John, Shirley Eaton and Jonathan Winters, "The Private Navy of Sgt. O'Farrell" (1968) starring Bob Hope, Jeffrey Hunter, Henry Wilcoxon, Dick Sargent and Gina Lollobrigida and "Did You Hear the One About the Traveling Saleslady" (1968) starring alongside Bob Denver, Joe Flynn, David Hartman and Jeanette Nolan.

In addition to film work she added such television credits to her resume as, "Rowan and Martin's Laugh-In", "The Hollywood Squares", "The Gong Show", "The Phyllis Diller Show", "The Beautiful Phyllis Diller Show", "Boston Legal", "The Red Skelton Hour" and "Seventh Heaven".

As her career progressed more substantial film roles began to be offered to her with roles on such features as, "The Adding Machine" (1969), "Pink Motel" (1982) with Slim Pickens, "The Boneyard" (1991) with Ed Nelson and Norman Fell and "The Silence of the Hams" (1994) starring Dom DeLuise, Billy Zane, Charlene Tilton, Martin Balsam, Mel Brooks, John Astin, Bubba Smith and Shelley Winters.  She has also lent her voice to such voice over projects as the animated films, "A Bug's Life" (1998) and the television series, "Robot Chicken" (2005-2006).

Along with her career as a comedian and actress she also loved painting and published her autobiography, "Like a Lampshade in a Whorehouse" (2005) and the books, "Phyllis Diller's Housekeeping Hints" and "Phyllis Diller's Marriage Manual".    

Diller married twice throughout her lifetime, first in 1939 to Sherwood Anderson and they had six children before her career finally took a toll on their marriage which came to an end in 1965.  She then married entertainer, Warde Donovan in 1965 however, this marriage lasted only nine weeks.

Phyllis Diller did not re-marry and her most recent roles were doing voice over work on the animated series, "Family Guy" as well as the voice of Pelops in the film, "Light of Olympia" and her final role was on the video short, "Family Dinner" (2009).  She passed away on August 20th 2012 at the age of ninety five at her home in Los Angeles, California. 

A few great light hearted quotes from Phyllis...

"It's a good thing that beauty is only skin deep, or I'd be rotten to the core."
"I want my children to have all the things I couldn't afford. Then I want to move in with them."
"Always be nice to your children because they are the ones who will choose your rest home."
"A bachelor is a guy who never made the same mistake once."
"My recipe for dealing with anger and frustration: set the kitchen timer for twenty minutes, cry, rant, and rave, and at the sound of the bell, simmer down and go about business as usual."
"Whatever you may look like, marry a man your own age - as your beauty fades, so will his eyesight." 

"You know you're old when your favorite drink is Metamucil" Ha, ha, ha...

Phyllis Diller is honored with a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame for her contribution to the entertainment industry.


2009         Family Dinner 
2008         Light of Olympia
2006-2007     Family Guy
2006         Casper's Scare School 
2005-2006     Robot Chicken
2006         Unbeatable Harold
2006         The Book of Daniel
2006         Forget About It
2005         Quintuplets 
1999-2004     The Bold and the Beautiful 
2004         The Powerpuff Girls 
2004         West from North Goes South
2002-2004     The Adventures of Jimmy Neutron: Boy Genius 
2004         Motocross Kids
2003         Life with Bonnie
1999-2003     7th Heaven
2002         Even Stevens
2002         The Drew Carey Show 
2002         Hip! Edgy! Quirky!
2001-2002     Titus 
2002         The Last Place on Earth
2000         Hollywood Off-Ramp
2000         Everything's Jake
1999         The Nuttiest Nutcracker
1999         Hey Arnold! 
1999         The Debtors
1999         The Wild Thornberrys
1999         King of the Hill
1998-1999     Emily of New Moon
1998         A Bug's Life
1998         Animaniacs 
1997         Peoria Babylon
1993-1994     Blossom 
1994         Boy Meets World
1994         Mrs. Piggle-Wiggle
1994         The Silence of the Hams
1993         Dream On 
1993         The Perfect Man
1992         Carol Leifer: Gaudy, Bawdy & Blue
1991         The Boneyard
1991         Captain Planet and the Planeteers
1990         The Nutcracker Prince
1990         Happily Ever After
1990         227 
1990         Pucker Up and Bark Like a Dog
1988         Doctor Hackenstein
1988         Night Heat
1987         Jonathan Winters: On the Ledge
1987         Alice Through the Looking Glass 
1985         Glitter 
1985         Tales from the Darkside 
1984         As the World Turns
1982         Pink Motel
1979-1982     The Love Boat 
1979         A Pleasure Doing Business
1978         CHiPs
1975         Uncle Croc's Block
1973         The Shape of Things
1969-1973     Love, American Style
1973         Wait Till Your Father Gets Home 
1966-1971     The Red Skelton Hour
1971         Rod Serling's Night Gallery 
1970         Swing Out, Sweet Land 
1969         The Good Guys
1969         Get Smart 
1969         The Adding Machine
1969         That's Life 
1968         Did You Hear the One About the Traveling Saleslady?
1968         The Private Navy of Sgt. O'Farrell
1966-1967     The Phyllis Diller Show 
1967         Eight on the Lam
1967         Mad Monster Party?
1966         Hollywood Star Spangled Revue
1966         Batman 
1966         Boy, Did I Get a Wrong Number!
1966         The Fat Spy
1961         Splendor in the Grass

Matinee Classics - Maniac starring Bill Woods, Horace B. Carpenter, Ted Edwards, Phyllis Diller, Thea Ramsey, Jenny Dark, Marvel Andre, Celia McCann, John P. Wade and Marian Blackton
Matinee Classics - The Fat Spy starring Phyllis Diller, Jack E. Leonard, Brian Donlevy, Johnny Tillotson, Jayne Mansfield, Lauree Berger and Jordan Christopher

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