The veteran comic recalls, "I was invited to audition for a role in this film and I was absolutely thrilled. I did a cold reading for the part and I got it because I've been a Queen for so long. I'm pretty much the hot shot of the colony. My character is just adorable. She's a real winner and all of the animation is incredible. I have no idea how it's done; magic, I guess.
She adds, It's nice to be involved with something where there's a happy ending and the audience goes away happy. Disney films are marvelous because they retain their meaning through the ages and it's a great feeling to be part of that legacy."
Acclaimed as the world's only female stand-up comic of international stature, Diller is approaching her fifth decade in show business.
A late bloomer, she started her career at age 37. At the time, she was a housewife and mother of five children who also worked at radio station KSFO, San Francisco, as a publicist, writer and columnist. Urged by her husband, Sherwood Diller, she prepared a night club act and was booked into San Francisco's Purple Onion where she slithered around a piano, lampooned current celebrities, brandished a cigarette holder and made fun of high fashion and life. Her first appearance at the Purple Onion was on March 7, 1955. Though she was booked for 2 weeks, she stayed for 89. She followed this debut with a tour, polishing her act and developing the housewife and daily life routines that have made her high priestess of the ridiculous. She played the Blue Angel in New York and appeared on The Jack Paar Show. From that point on, her career skyrocketed. In a scant five years she made it to Carnegie Hall.
Diller's added numerous television, film and stage credits to her name. Her career in film began with Elia Kazan's Splendor in the Grass. She starred with Bob Hope in three films: Boy! Did I Get a Wrong Number, Eight on the Lam and The Private Navy of Sergeant O'Farrell.
On television, she has hosted The Phyllis Diller Special, An Evening with Phyllis Diller, The Beautiful Phyllis Diller Show and has appeared in shows from The Mike Douglas Show, The Carol Burnett Show, Later with Bob Costas to Hollywood Squares and CHiPs. Always a popular guest on the late night talk show circuit, she has appeared on every incarnation of The Tonight Show chatting it up with hosts from Jack Paar to Jay Leno.
She currently has a recurring role on the soap opera The Bold and the Beautiful. More recently, she appeared on 7th Heaven and before that several episodes of Blossom and Boy Meets World.
Although film and television have been important to her success, she has a special fondness for live-stage performances. She's drawn capacity crowds to virtually every major supper club, Indian casino and concert hall from Caesar's Palace in Las Vegas to the Waldorf Astoria in Manhattan. She also makes frequent appearances in Canada, England, Australia, Bermuda and Monte Carlo. The highlight of her stage career was her portrayal of Dolly Gallagher Levi in the Broadway production of Hello Dolly! Other stage credits include Nunsense, The Wizard of Oz, Everybody Loves Opal, Wonderful Town and Cinderella. In addition to her stage performances, she is a motivational speaker who lectures all over the country.
On top of all her other accomplishments, she is a musician who has appeared as a piano soloist, as Dame Illya Dillya, with over 100 symphony orchestras in the U.S. and Canada. She has also authored Phyllis Diller's Housekeeping Hints, Phyllis Diller's Marriage Manual, The Complete Mother, The Joys of Aging and How to Avoid Them.
Currently, she resides in Brentwood Park, Los Angeles. While always properly coiffed and dressed with flair, she is a fabulous cook, a gifted painter and a devoted mother and grandmother.
Phyllis Diller Facts
|Birth Name||Phyllis Ada Driver|
|Birthday||July 17, 1917|
|Birthplace||Lima, Ohio, USA|
|Date of death||August 20, 2012 (age 95)|