Phyllis Diller

Phyllis Diller

Highest Rated: 92% A Bug's Life (1998)

Lowest Rated: 0% The Silence of the Hams (1994)

Birthday: Jul 17, 1917

Birthplace: Not Available

Long before Roseanne Barr's "domestic goddess," Phyllis Diller parlayed her life as a housewife into a profitable stand-up comedy career. The daughter of an insurance man, Phyllis Driver had hopes of becoming a concert pianist, and to that end attended Chicago's Sherwood Music Conservatory. Her zany behavior while attending Northwestern University and her 1939 elopement with her first husband Sherwood Diller put a temporary end to her musical career. Several years and many children later, a bored Diller went to work for the advertising department of a California department store, then got a writing job at an Oakland radio station. A knack for making people laugh at church and club functions prompted Diller (with her husband's encouragement) to set her sights on a comedy career. She studied acting and scrutinized the techniques of her favorite male comedians, finally making her nightclub debut in 1955 at San Francisco's Purple Onion, a progressive nightclub which presaged the "comedy workshops" of today. Eighty-nine additional weeks at the Purple Onion enabled Diller to hone her skills to perfection; her first comedy record album appeared in 1959, with numerous TV and stage appearances quickly following suit. Diller developed an outrageous comedy persona, complete with grotesque wigs, garish costumes and her trademarked cackling laugh. Though always a favorite with live audiences, Diller was never quite able to sustain her appeal on film: her 1966 TV series The Pruitts of Southhampton was unsuccessful, as was her only starring feature film, Did You Hear the One About the Travelling Saleslady? (1968). She fared somewhat better as a supporting actress in several Bob Hope comedy films of the late 1960s (Hope was a longtime Diller fan). In later years, Diller periodically altered her public personality, "improving" her plain but distinctive facial features with plastic surgery, concentrating more time on piano concerts and less on stand-up comedy and confining her TV appearances to Home Shopping programs and "psychic hotline" infotainment half-hours. Perhaps Phyllis Diller's "funny hausfrau" throne was eventually usurped by younger talents, but one must not forget that Diller was the one who stuck her neck out first, blazing the trail for the many Roseannes and Brett Butlers who followed.Her film work was sporadic but highlights include The Adding Machine and Did You Hear The One About the Traveling Salesman? as well as the documentaries Wisecracks and The Aristocrats, and the animated film A Bug's Life. Diller died in 2012 at the age of 95.

Highest Rated Movies



90% Carol Channing: Larger Than Life Phyllis Diller $16K 2012
60% How to Live Forever Participant $59.3K 2011
No Score Yet Unbeatable Harold Mrs. Clancy 2007
No Score Yet Casper's Scare School Actor 2006
No Score Yet Forget About It Mrs. Hertzberg 2006
89% Who Killed the Electric Car? Actor $1.4M 2006
No Score Yet Everything's Jake Actor 2006
No Score Yet Phyllis Diller: Not Just Another Pretty Face Actor 2006
79% The Aristocrats Actor $6.2M 2005
No Score Yet Moto X Kids Lou 2004
No Score Yet Goodnight, We Love You: The Life and Legend of Phyllis Diller Actor 2004
No Score Yet Dr. Hackenstein Actor 2004
No Score Yet Motocross Kids Lou 2004
No Score Yet Bitter Jester Actor 2003
No Score Yet The Last Place on Earth Mrs. Baskin 2002
No Score Yet Kiss My Act Herself 2001
No Score Yet The Nuttiest Nutcracker Sugar Plum Fairy 1999
92% A Bug's Life Queen 1998
0% The Silence of the Hams Old Secretary 1994
40% Happily Ever After Mother Nature 1993
No Score Yet Wisecracks Actor 1993
No Score Yet The Boneyard Miss Poopinplatz 1991
No Score Yet The Nutcracker Prince Mouse Queen 1990
No Score Yet Pucker up and Bark Like a Dog Actor 1989
No Score Yet Dr. Hackenstein Mrs. Trilling 1988
No Score Yet Alice Through the Looking Glass Actor 1987
No Score Yet Through the Looking Glass Actor 1987
No Score Yet Alice Through the Looking Glass Actor 1987
No Score Yet Laughing Room Only Actor 1986
No Score Yet Jonathan Winters Actor 1986
No Score Yet Pink Motel Margaret 1982
No Score Yet Hungry i Reunion Actor 1981
No Score Yet Psychotic Connections Actor 1980
No Score Yet A Pleasure Doing Business Actor 1979
72% The Sunshine Boys Herself 1975
No Score Yet The Adding Machine Mrs. Zero 1969
No Score Yet The Private Navy of Sgt. O'Farrell Nurse Nellie Krause 1968
No Score Yet Eight on the Lam Golda 1967
70% Mad Monster Party The Monster's Mate 1967
No Score Yet Boy, Did I Get a Wrong Number! Lily 1966
No Score Yet The Fat Spy Camille Salamander 1966
81% Splendor in the Grass Texas Guinan 1961
89% Maniac Mrs. Buckley 1934


No Score Yet Roseanne's Nuts
Appearing 2011
No Score Yet The Tonight Show With Jay Leno
Guest 2007
71% Family Guy
Voice 2007
No Score Yet Last Comic Standing
Judge Panelist 2006
13% Quintuplets
Aunt Sylvia 2005
75% Life with Bonnie
Phyllis Fleming 2003
No Score Yet 7th Heaven
Gabrielle 2003
No Score Yet Even Stevens
No Score Yet The Drew Carey Show
Bebe 2002
62% Arli$$
No Score Yet King of the Hill
Voice 1999
No Score Yet Animaniacs
Voice 1998
No Score Yet Diagnosis Murder
Herself 1998
No Score Yet Blossom
EMT Mrs. Peterson 1994
No Score Yet Boy Meets World
No Score Yet The Jeffersons
Phyllis Diller 1985
No Score Yet CHiPs
Wanda 1978
100% The Muppet Show
Guest 1976
No Score Yet The Flip Wilson Show
Guest 1973
No Score Yet Night Gallery
93% Batman
Scrub Woman 1966


Mouse Queen says: The spell you broke on your head falls, you shall crack nuts, prince of the dolls.

Flik says: We could find bigger bugs to help us fight!

Queen says: Why didn't I think of that? Oh, because it's suicide!