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Library of Congress, N.Y. World Collection
Phyllis Diller has died at age 95 in Los Angeles.

LOS ANGELES — Phyllis Diller, the housewife turned humorist who aimed some of her sharpest barbs at herself, has died at age 95 in Los Angeles.

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Her longtime manager, Milton Suchin, says Diller died Monday morning in her sleep. She had survived a near-fatal heart attack in 1999.

Diller was a staple of nightclubs and television from the 1950s until her retirement in 2002. She was famous for her distinctive laugh and portrayed herself as a bizarre housewife with a husband named "Fang."

She would tell audiences that "I bury a lot of my ironing in the back yard."

Diller was nearly 40 when she began performing, with five children and a successful career as an advertising copywriter. At the time, women were a rarity in the world of stand-up comedy.