Phyllis Diller, one of America's first female stand-up comedy stars, has died at age 95.
Diller began her show-business career in the 1950s when women stand-up comics were rare. She created an indelible persona with her distinctive laugh, a cigarette holder, teased hair, outlandish costumes and a fictional husband she called "Fang."
Her first national exposure came as a contestant on a television game show hosted by legendary comedian Groucho Marx. Diller went on to a lengthy career performing in nightclubs and on television, paving the way for female comedians such as Joan Rivers and Ellen DeGeneris.
After retiring from stand-up in 2002, Diller continued to take occasional small parts in movies and TV shows, and she pursued painting as a serious hobby.