Comedian Phyllis Diller, a groundbreaking comedian who paved the way for female comics in the generations that followed, has died at the age of 95.
Diller recently hurt her wrist and hip in a fall, and her health had been on the decline ever since. She had been living in hospice care at her home.
The mother of three children, Diller passed away in Brentwood, Calif.
Diller deconstructed the role of homemaker, a role society expected to be immaculate following popular sitcoms of the times like Leave it to Beaver.
Her humor was self-deprecating. Her appearance – loud and proud clothing, eccentric makeup and crazily teased hair – went against stereotypes.
She was loud, raw and, at times, chaotic as she took on subjects like her fictional husband and child-bearing with her signature, lingering cackle.
But perhaps the most signature part of Diller’s routine was her singular, lingering cackle, which alone would announce her entrance to a room.
Diller’s fame wasn’t deeply rooted in her own ill-fated TV starring vehicles: The Pruitts of Southampton and The Beautiful Phyllis Diller Show.
Rather it was her status as a comedienne – and mainstay on entertainment game shows and talk shows – that cemented her place in Hollywood history.