1. People & Relationships

Timeline and Marriages of Phyllis Diller

By

2 of 5

Phyllis Diller's First Husband -- Sherwood Anderson Diller (1939-1965)
Timeline and Marriages of Phyllis Diller

Headshot portrait of American comedian Phyllis Diller smiling while wearing a wide-rimmed hat and a fur coat, 1960s.

Photo: Hulton Archive / Getty Images
Married young, Phyllis and Sherwood's marriage was troubled by financial problems that lasted for most of their marriage.

Born:

Sherwood Anderson Diller aka "Sherry": Abt. 1914.

When Sherwood and Phyllis Met:

Phyllis met Sherwood during her senior year at Bluffton College in Bluffton, Ohio.

Wedding Date:

Phyllis and Sherry eloped to Covington, Kentucky on November 4, 1939.
Phyllis: "I then used my artistic talent to change the date on the marriage license before handing it to Mother and announcing I was pregnant."
Source: Phyllis Diller, Richard Buskin. Like a Lampshade in a Whorehouse: My Life in Comedy. 2005. pg. 49.

Divorce:

Phyllis filed for divorce in July 1965.

Occupations:

Sherwood: Inspector at Navy air station, miscellaneous jobs.
Phyllis: "Instead of getting an ordinary job like everyone else, my husband was always working on some product that he envisioned earning him trillions ... He would spend hours smoking and drinking coffee while working on these harebrained schemes ..."
Source: Phyllis Diller, Richard Buskin. Like a Lampshade in a Whorehouse: My Life in Comedy. 2005. pg. 68.
Dennis McLellan: "Over the next 10 years, Sherwood Diller held a string of jobs while Phyllis raised their five children. But with job changes and frequent unemployment, times were tough."
Source: Dennis McLellan. "Phyllis Diller, outlandish comedian, dies at 95." LATimes.com. 8/21/2012.

Other Marriages:

Sherwood had one later marriage.
Phyllis: "He and wife number-two would move to L.A., and he'd eventually wake up one morning to discover that she had taken her car, half of the money out of the bank, and left him."
Source: Phyllis Diller, Richard Buskin. Like a Lampshade in a Whorehouse: My Life in Comedy. 2005. pg. 170.

Quotes About the Marriage of Sherwood and Phyllis Diller:

Phyllis: "For instance, everybody has always assumed that Sherwood was Fang — even Sherry assumed that he was Fang, and he loved it. Oh honey, he wanted to be Fang! Years later, he'd receive a letter in St. Louis with no address listed, not even a town, just the name Fang, and he'd also have stationery with only a fang logo. He was in heaven. At last he had been endowed with the importance that he'd always wanted. Now he could go into a bar and say, 'I'm Fang, do you wanna buy me a drink?' However, in my mind Sherry was definitely not Fang, and I made that very clear. Fang was just a mythical spouse, the first character that I developed, and forever my favorite."
Source: Phyllis Diller, Richard Buskin. Like a Lampshade in a Whorehouse: My Life in Comedy. 2005. pg. 104.

Phyllis: "No one knew I was living with an agoraphobic sex tyrant who couldn't socialize and rarely held down a job. And not until the year of my retirement would I be aware that my stage act was actually a form of therapy. Boy, did I need it."
Source: Phyllis Diller, Richard Buskin. Like a Lampshade in a Whorehouse: My Life in Comedy. 2005. pg. 100.

Phyllis Diller's Marriages and Relationships
  • Sherwood Diller and Phyllis Diller
  • Warde Donovan and Phyllis Diller
  • Robert Hastings and Phyllis Diller
    1. About.com
    2. People & Relationships
    3. Marriage
    4. Influential Marriages
    5. Entertainment
    6. Phyllis Diller's First Husband -- Sherwood Anderson Diller (1939-1965)

    ©2014 About.com. All rights reserved.