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Comedian Phyllis Diller dies ‘with a smile on her face’

Comedian Phyllis Diller dies ‘with a smile on her face’
Posted at 2:32 PM, Aug 20, 2012
and last updated 2012-08-20 16:32:02-04

By Alan Duke, CNN

LOS ANGELES (CNN) — Comedian Phyllis Diller, known for her self-deprecating humor, died “peacefully in her sleep” at her Los Angeles home Monday morning, her manager told CNN. Diller was 95.

Her son, Perry, “found her with a smile on her face,” manager Milt Suchin said.

Diller’s career as a stand-up comic skyrocketed in the 1960s, partly because of her many appearances with Bob Hope on his television specials and USO tours.

She became a pop culture icon for her disparaging jokes about her looks, her cooking and her husband “Fang.”

“She was a true pioneer,” said talent agent Fred Wostbrock. “She was the first lady of stand-up comedy. She paved the way for everybody. She paved the way for Joan Rivers, Chelsea Handler, Roseanne Barr, Ellen Degeneres, and all the women stand-up comics. She was the first and the best.”

CNN’s Jane Caffrey contributed to this report.

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