Susan Flannery, John McCook, Phyllis Diller "The Bold and the Beautiful" ss
Credit: Image: Sean Smith/JPI

Phyllis Diller was the one person who could out-kooky Darlene Conley.

It wasn’t just the daytime community or even all of Hollywood that mourned when Phyllis Diller passed away of congestive heart failure on August 20, 2012 — it was all the world. That was how far-reaching the 95-year-old’s fame was. Heck, her trademark cackle alone could make it all the way from L.A. to Timbuktu!

But her demise touched fans of The Bold and the Beautiful in a special way. The comedian had never been a regular on the CBS soap — had she ever been a “regular” anything? However, she’d appeared off and on from 1996 until the year that she passed away, as Gladys Pope, a beautician initially tasked with de-prettying Taylor (so as to keep her from being recognized by her occasional “widower,” Ridge). To put it mildly, Diller put the “special” in “special guest star.”

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Over the years, Gladys became known for her shenanigans with gal pal Sally Spectra — the original one played by the late, great Darlene Conley, not version 2.0 played by the very-much-alive, great Courtney Hope. When not giving makeovers to everyone from Amber to Kimberly (remember Macy’s half sister?), the cosmetician pulled off what might have been her crowning achievement by transforming Sally into Massimo Marone as part of one of their harebrained schemes. (See below.)

Darlene Conley, Phyllis Diller "The Bold and the Beautiful" SetCBS Television City10/20/04©Aaron Montgomery/jpistudios.com310-657-9661

In Diller’s final appearance on The Bold and the Beautiful, taped just a few months before she died, viewers learned that despite Gladys’ brilliance with a makeup brush and curling wand, she’d been reduced to doing odd jobs to make ends meet. So instead of styling hair, she was trimming the Forresters’ shrubbery. Oh, and volunteering to remarry Eric and Stephanie. That’s right, before Carter was everyone’s go-to officiant, Gladys had gotten a license to “I do” the job.

You can watch a couple of scenes from Diller’s final appearance on The Bold and the Beautiful above. Then pay your respects to the stars we’ve lost in 2022 in the below photo gallery.