Photo of Phyllis Diller Phyllis Diller

With her garish garb, electric-shock hair and distinctive cackle, comedian Phyllis Diller kept the world laughing for more than 50 years. Born July 17, 1917, in Lima, Ohio, Diller got a late start in stand-up comedy, making her professional debut at San Francisco's Purple Onion nightclub at the age of 38.

Mining her housewife role for material, Diller gradually developed the brassy stage persona that led to stardom, which began with gigs on "The Jack Paar Tonight Show." She went on to become a ubiquitous presence on television with appearances on shows such as "The Hollywood Squares," "Laugh-In" and countless talk programs and variety specials. Along the way, she blazed a trail for the likes of Joan Rivers, Roseanne and other funny ladies.

Diller's film work was periodic but includes Boy, Did I Get a Wrong Number (1966) and the voice of the queen in the animated hit A Bug's Life (1998). She passed away Aug. 20, 2012.

Phyllis Diller in A Bug's Life

A Bug's Life

1998 G

On behalf of "oppressed bugs everywhere," an inventive ant named Flik hires a troupe of warrior bugs to defend his bustling colony from a horde of freeloading grasshoppers led by the evil-minded Hopper.

  • Phyllis Diller in How to Live Forever How to Live Forever
  • Phyllis Diller in Who Killed the Electric Car? Who Killed the Electric Car?
  • Phyllis Diller in The Aristocrats The Aristocrats
  • Phyllis Diller in John Wayne's Tribute to America John Wayne's Tribute to America
  • Phyllis Diller in The Nutcracker Prince The Nutcracker Prince
  • Phyllis Diller in The Last Place on Earth The Last Place on Earth
  • Phyllis Diller in Phyllis Diller:  Pretty Face Phyllis Diller: Pretty Face
  • Phyllis Diller in Rifftrax: Maniac Rifftrax: Maniac
  • Phyllis Diller in Merv Griffin: 40 Interesting People Merv Griffin: 40 Interesting People
  • Phyllis Diller in Boy, Did I Get a Wrong Number! Boy, Did I Get a Wrong Number!
  • Phyllis Diller in George Burns: The TV Specials George Burns: The TV Specials
  • Phyllis Diller in On Location with Phyllis Diller On Location with Phyllis Diller
  • Phyllis Diller in Psychotic Connections Psychotic Connections
  • Phyllis Diller in Alice Through the Looking Glass Alice Through the Looking Glass
  • Phyllis Diller in Happily Ever After Happily Ever After
  • Phyllis Diller in Everything's Jake Everything's Jake
  • Phyllis Diller in Goodnight, We Love You Goodnight, We Love You
  • Phyllis Diller in Casper's Scare School Casper's Scare School
  • Phyllis Diller in Unbeatable Harold Unbeatable Harold