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It's Still Her Dream House

Inside Hot Property

In the 37 years Phyllis Diller has lived in her Brentwood home, she has filled it with what matters most: art, humor and memories.

February 03, 2002|RUTH RYON | TIMES STAFF WRITER

Diller likes to sit by a window in the loggia and read scripts, the newspaper, art books and the mail. "I love the friendly feeling of this room," she said.

Nearby is the Scarlet Scullery, her name for the kitchen, where she often makes salads and pastas or sauerkraut, mashed potatoes and pork. She is also known to make her own recipe for Glory Glory Cacciatore, and she once marketed something she labeled Philly Dilly Chili.

True to its name, the Scarlet Scullery is painted red. It wasn't red when she moved in. She first painted it that way 20 years ago.

Red is her favorite color. "I think that's because in my childhood, everything was very dull," she said. "Red represents my newfound happiness."

Much of that happiness came with buying her house in sunny Southern California, far from the cold temperatures of Ohio, where she was born and studied music before heading to Chicago. But total happiness came, she said, "quite late in life."

Last year she was the first woman to be honored on the Friars Club Wall of Fame, a reflection of her having made it as a female comic in what was then a male profession. The Friars Club of California, started by comic-actor George Burns and his friends in 1946, has more than 400 members, mostly in the entertainment industry.

While gratified by the Friars Club honor, Diller said she is proudest of her kids. Not surprisingly, her fondest memories of the house have had to do with her children. "The fun times were the outdoor times because I have these huge lawns where we flew kites and played baseball and croquet."

But she didn't move even after her children left home because, she said, "this house is perfect for me. I never want to leave. In fact, when I moved in, I said, 'I hope I go out of here feet first.'"

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