27 September 2010

Like a Lampshade in a Whorehouse by Phyllis Diller

Pyllis Diller's autobiography is a straightforward look at her life. She pulls no punches and tells it the way she feels about it. She begins at the very beginning. Her parents were older when her mother was told she had an abdominal tumor that needed to be removed. Her mother was 35 years old and her father was 55 years old. When the doctor opened her mother for surgery he found that she was pregnant and went to Mr. Diller to determine how to proceed. His reply was "leave it in." And that was her beginning.

Phyllis had two failed marriages. I felt her straigtforwardness seemed somewhat balanced until she labeled both her first and second husbands as being mentally ill. And, yet, perhaps they were. It just seems a bit unlikely. Her second husband, however, ended up being gay, so she really doesn't seem to have been the best at finding a husband. She refers to her third husband as the love of her life.

She had 6 children by her first husband though I am not certain she mentionedthe third child in her book; he only lived for two weeks, born a "blue baby". Her second child, a daughter, suffers from schizophrenia.

Diller relates that she first had plastic surgery at the age of 55. She was outspoken about it and didn't hide it from anyone. She woudl receive offers from surgeons who would operate on her for free because they felt that the image she presented about the benefits of plastic surgery would be beneficial to them. Playboy approached her to do a photo shoot. They wanted to do a contrast piece, contrasting a very thin subject with one they thought was a bit plumper. (She has always hidden her figure in the clothing she chose to wear for her standp-up performances.) They found her to be really gorgeous and that the shoot didn't suit its intended purpose and so Playboy never published the photo in their magazine. I found the photo to be stunning; "stunning" as in beautiful, not as in "shocking":


She is an accomplished pianist and even did a tour but gave it up when she came to the conclusion that she would never really be good enough. She is also a painter and sells her artwork. http://www.artcelebs.com/diller_pg2.htm


  1. I had no idea!
    Maybe she'll make a come back like Betty White.

  2. Nota, I recall watching so many shows that my parents loved when I was little. There were so many variety shows back in the day. I also enjoy reading memoirs very much; love a good true story. And so I have read books written by or about the following:
    Mary Tyler Moore, Bob Hope (did you know he was British?), George Burns (I always thought he just seemed so very nice), Bob Newhart, Jim Lovell. From nearer our generation: Jameson Parker and Billy Crystal.

    I want to see if I can find something with a bit of her comedy on Netflix now.


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