What are the chances of Phyllis Thaxter and Phyllis Diller passing away within days of each other? Both in their nineties, and with their uncommon name linking them, they walked the same show business path and survived the ups and downs of a Hollywood career that many of their peers didn’t. They were stayers in a business that chews ’em up and spits ’em up out!
Despite a lengthy acting career, most obits referred to Phyllis Thaxter as “Superman’s Mother,” a reference to her role of “Ma Kent” in the original Superman film.
As for Phyllis Diller. She will be remembered as the world’s first, and funniest, female stand-up comic. Known for her crazy hair, eye-popping and wide-mouthed expressions (and her love of plastic surgery), her self-depreciating humor was timeless, spanning generations. Additionally, she was always very generous with her time and whenever I had a question, she’d personally respond with the answer, a hand drawn happy face would be scrawled next to her signature.
Phyllis Diller was one of a kind and she’ll be truly missed, but one thing’s for certain…Heaven is a much funnier place because of her entrance today 🙂
Phyllis Thaxter was 92. Phyllis Diller was 95.
Glenn Ford (Pa Kent) with Phyllis Thaxter (Ma Kent) in Superman (1978).
Phyllis Diller in her prime. She was larger than life.