So why should you know who she is? Before she retired in 2002, she had a comedy career that spanned for over 55 years. And her outrageous appearance, coupled with her ability to churn out as many 12 punchlines per minute on stage, helped pave the way for women in comedy and entertainment in general. Without her, Ellen DeGeneres almost definitely wouldn't have the success she does now. Ditto with Kathy Griffin. Same with Joan Rivers.
Phyllis was typically the butt of her own jokes and believed that "you can say the nastiest things about yourself without offending anyone." The jokes were about her quirky appearance at the beginning of her career, but then shifted towards her plastic surgery in the '70s when she became the first celebrity to admit going under the knife ("My face has been pulled up more times than Bill Clinton's pants").
Check out the reactions from celebrities who paid their love and respect to the comedy icon on Twitter and in statements.
Ellen DeGeneres: "We lost a comedy legend today. Phyllis Diller was the queen of the one-liners. She was a pioneer."
Kathy Griffin: "Phyllis Diller. Pls recognize she paved the way, single handedly 4 YEARS 4 us FEMALE comedians. I knew her to b a doll!
"We were friends - [daughter] Melissa and I had a wonderful time with her at lunch just a month ago. The only tragedy is that Phyllis Diller was the last from an era that insisted a woman had to look funny in order to be funny."
Whoopi Goldberg: "A true original has died. Phyllis Diller There was NOOne like her, no 1looked like her sounded like her. A FUNNY FUNNY. Classy& Smart RIP."
Dane Cook: "Phyllis Diller passed away - age 95. Legend. Inspiration. A funny human being that brought tons of laughs to this world. #RIP #IconComedian"
Roseanne Barr: "a revolutionary woman who inspired me always has died today -- but I know she was ready and wanted to go. Fly Free, friend. Phyllis Diller RIP"
Nina Garcia: "'Never go to bed mad. Stay up and fight.' RIP Phyllis Diller"
And check out a sample of her comedy below:
What do you think of the legacy Phyllis left in comedy?
Photos courtesy of Getty Images and NBC