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TheDailyBeast: Summer 2012's Lost Legends

Phyllis Diller

(July 17, 1917–Aug. 20, 2012)

It’s hard to settle on Phyllis Diller’s signature attribute. Her famously wild hair? Her unmistakable cackle—so often employed to laugh at her own jokes—and raspy smoker’s voice? The long cigarette she held as a prop? Yet what Diller, who died Aug. 20 at age 95, will most be remembered for is forging the way for women in comedy, hanging her hat right next to the men with her self-deprecating zingers and acerbic wit. She broke out with guest appearances on Bob Hope’s TV specials, starred in two eponymous TV shows, and was a regular on "Laugh-In." “She knew a woman’s place was not in the home,” says Roseanne Barr at The Daily Beast, “at a time when everyone on earth regurgitated that canard every minute of the day.”



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