Phyllis Diller 's iconic laugh will be heard no more. The legendary humourist has died at the age of 95, at her home in Los Angeles. Her longtime manager Milton Suchin said that she died with a "smile on her face," Associated Press reports today (August 21, 2012). Diller was reportedly found by her son, Perry Diller. The cause of death has not currently been confirmed.
Diller was considered to be something of a pioneer for female comics, as she was one of the first female comics to work alone and without a man. The only male in her act was her fictional husband, 'Fang,' though he was neither seen nor heard by her audiences. A number of contemporary comics have paid tribute to Diller. Ellen Degeneres wrote on her Twitter account "Phyllis Diller was the queen of the one-liners. She was a pioneer." Joan Rivers also posted a tribute, saying "I'm beyond saddened by the death of Phyllis Diller. We were friends. The only tragedy is that Phyllis Diller was the last from an era that insisted a woman had to look funny in order to be funny." In 1961 Time magazine described Diller as the "only successful female among the New Wave comedians and one of the few women funny and tough enough to belt out a 'standup' act of one-line gags."
Diller had been performing since the 1950s; notable for her wild looks and even wilder cackle. She was forced to retire in 2002, confessing that her age was making it hard for her to spend time on the road. Three years later, she published her autobiography, entitled 'Like a Lampshade in a Whorehouse.'