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Timeline and Marriages of Phyllis Diller

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Phyllis Diller's Second Husband -- Warde Donovan (1965-1975)
Phyllis Diller and Warde Donovan

American comedian and actor Phyllis Diller dancing with her husband, actor Warde Donovan, at the premiere party for director Robert Wise's film 'Star!' in November 1968.

Photo: Frank Edwards / Fotos International / Getty Images
Although their marriage lasted ten years, Phyllis and Warde had numerous problems in their marriage including Phyllis' belief that Warde was bisexual.

Born:

Warde F. Tatum aka Warde Donovan: February 25, 1916 in California.

Died:

Warde died in Los Angeles, California at the age of 72 on April 16, 1988.

When Warde and Phyllis Met:

Phyllis and Warde met in the summer of 1962 during the first rehearsal of Wonderful Town in Chicago.
Phyllis: "This was the real thing, baby, with sparks and cannons going off and great physical chemistry."
Source: Phyllis Diller, Richard Buskin. Like a Lampshade in a Whorehouse: My Life in Comedy. 2005. pg. 163.

Wedding Date:

Warde and Phyllis were married on October 7, 1965.

Divorce:

Phyllis first filed for divorce three months after they married, but they reconciled a day before the divorce was to be final. She later filed for divorce again in February 1975.
Phyllis: "The marriage had lasted almost ten years, and this would be our third and final separation."
Source: Phyllis Diller, Richard Buskin. Like a Lampshade in a Whorehouse: My Life in Comedy. 2005. pg. 223.

Occupation:

Warde: Actor, singer.

Other Marriages:

Warde's first wife died in the summer of 1965. They had two children, Todd Donovan and Shane Donovan.

Quotes About the Marriage of Phyllis Diller and Warde Donovan:

Phyllis: "I foolishly thought our marriage would straighten him out. A lot of women think like that ... Forget the 'bisexual' label. He was gay ... during our courtship we'd meet at different locations around the world and have such fun together. I didn't have a clue what he got up to when I wasn't around, and I was so madly in love with the guy that I didn't want to know. If I had been smart, I wouldn't have had a thing to do with him."
Source: Phyllis Diller, Richard Buskin. Like a Lampshade in a Whorehouse: My Life in Comedy. 2005. pg. 204.

Phyllis: "Why look back? Just move forward. What a joke ... little else changed, and I'd end up kicking Warde out a couple more times due to some pretty monstrous incidents."
Source: Phyllis Diller, Richard Buskin. Like a Lampshade in a Whorehouse: My Life in Comedy. 2005. pg. 206.

Phyllis Diller's Marriages and Relationships

  • Sherwood Diller and Phyllis Diller
  • Warde Donovan and Phyllis Diller
  • Robert Hastings and Phyllis Diller
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