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The best-selling author and Black rights activist pens a letter to comedienne Phyllis Diller about a recent television special.
Autograph letter signed: "Maya", 1 page, 6¼x3¾. Piedmont Triad Area, (North Carolina), 2003 April 17. On card imprinted with her name to comedienne and actress Phyllis Diller. Begins: "Dear Phyllis". In full: "Always greetings from my heart. I recently saw you on a T.V. special, I think it was called Blind Date. As usual you were hilarious. You never disappoint. Joy! To you and sweet memories." With original metered mailing envelope, addressed to Diller in unknown hand. Angelou is likely referring to Star Dates, on which Diller appeared on January 12, 2003. That year, Diller was also seen on the TV series 7th Heaven (the episode aired just four days after this letter was written), Street Smarts, Last Comic Standing, The Bold and the Beautiful, The Real Roseanne Show, Hollywood Squares (five episodes) and Life With Bonnie, and in the TV specials Bob Hope at 100, The Gong Show: The E! True Hollywood Story and 101 Most Shocking Moments in Entertainment. Best-selling author and poet MAYA ANGELOU (1928-2014) was nominated for a Pulitzer Prize for Just Give Me a Cool Drink of Water 'fore I Die (1971). Her autobiographical books, such as I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings (1970) and The Heart of a Woman (1981), recount her struggle for identity as a Black woman in a hostile world. Angelou is only the second poet in U.S. history to write and recite an original work for a Presidential inauguration (Bill Clinton, 1993); Robert Frost was the first (John F. Kennedy, 1961). The first Black woman director in Hollywood, Angelou has written, produced, directed and starred in productions for stage, film and television. She was nominated for the 1973 Tony Award for Best Featured Actress in a Play for Look Away. In addition to her artistic pursuits, Angelou has also lent her voice and talents to Civil Rights causes. Comedienne PHYLLIS DILLER (1917-2012), known for her outrageous appearance, zany outfits, distinctive laugh and a stand-up act that featured frequent references to her fictional husband, "Fang", and zingers about her sex appeal and numerous plastic surgeries, got her big break in March 1955 (at age 37), when she debuted at San Francisco's Purple Onion club. A subsequent appearance on The Tonight Show hosted by Jack Paar launched her national career, which got a big boost after Bob Hope saw Diller in a Washington, D.C. club. A favorite of the comedian, Diller would appear in three of Hope's films and 23 of his TV specials. Diller, who recorded her first comedy record album in 1959, took her groundbreaking "funny hausfrau" act to nightclubs and television variety shows and specials and she also appeared on the big screen. Her feature film credits include Splendor in the Grass (1961), The Fat Spy (1966), Boy, Did I Get a Wrong Number! (1966), The Sunshine Boys (1975) and The Silence of the Hams (1994), and she provided the voice of the Queen in A Bug's Life (1998). By 2000, the comedienne, who had trained as a concert pianist before her marriage (1939-1965) to Sherwood Anderson Diller, had appeared as a piano soloist with 100 symphony orchestras across the U.S. Despite retiring from nightclub/stage tours in May 2002 at the age of 84, Diller continued to make films (Motorcross Kids, 2004; Forget About It, 2005) and occasionally appear on TV programs, including two episodes of 7th Heaven (2002 as well as 2003) and a guest shot on The Wayne Brady Show (2004). Minor surface creases and impressions (not evident head-on). Fine condition.

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Born: April 4, 1928 in St. Louis, Missouri
Died: May 28, 2014 in Winston-Salem, North Carolina

Film Credits
2014 I Hope You Dance: The Power and Spirit of Song (in person), 2013 Super Soul Sunday (in person), 2013 Democracy Now! (Other), 2012 Under African Skies (in person), 2012 The Journey Part 1 (in person), 2012 The BET Honors (in person), 2011 Good Morning America (in person), 2010 On the Shoulders of Giants: The Story of the Greatest Team You (in person), 2010 Michael Feinstein's American Songbook (Sound), 2010 30 for 30 (in person), 2009 Leading Women (in person), 2009 Good Hair (in person), 2008 We Have a Dream (in person), 2008 The Joy of Lex (in person), 2008 The Black Candle (in person), 2008 The Black Candle (Writer), 2008 Joe Louis: America's Hero... Betrayed (in person), 2008 Books Equal Gifts Commercial (in person), 2008 As Seen Through These Eyes (in person), 2008 African American Lives 2 (in person), 2007 Entertainment Weekly & TV Land Present: The 50 Greatest TV Icons (in person), 2006 The 2nd Annual Quill Awards (in person), 2006 NBC Nightly News with Brian Williams (Other), 2006 Madea's Family Reunion (Performer), 2006 Legends Ball (in person), 2006 Iconoclasts (in person), 2006 An Evening of Stars: Tribute to Stevie Wonder (in person), 2005 The Ballad of Greenwich Village (in person), 2005 Out of Africa: Heroes and Icons (in person), 2005 Larry King Live (in person), 2005 Heaven and Earth with Gloria Hunniford (in person), 2005 CMT: 20 Greatest Songs of Faith (in person), 2005 Celebrate! Christmas with Maya Angelou (in person), 2005 Breakfast (in person), 2004-2011 The Oprah Winfrey Show (in person), 2004-2009 Tavis Smiley (in person), 2003 Sisters in Cinema (in person), 2003 Heart Health for the Generations (in person), 2002 The Sunday Programme (in person), 2002 Roots: Celebrating 25 Years (in person), 2002 Peace Pilgrim: An American Sage Who Walked Her Talk (in person), 2002 Inside TV Land: African Americans in Television (in person), 2002 America Beyond the Color Line with Henry Louis Gates Jr. (in person), 2001 The Mystic Masseur (Sound), 2001 Phenomenal Woman (Performer), 2000 The Runaway (Performer), 2000 Happily Ever After: Fairy Tales for Every Child (Performer), 1999 Yari Yari: Black Women Writers and the Future (in person), 1999 The Unfinished Journey (in person), 1999 The Jonathan Dimbleby Interviews (in person), 1999 The Directors (in person), 1999 Moesha (in person), 1999 30th NAACP Image Awards (in person), 1998 The Living Edens (in person), 1998 Quincy Jones... The First 50 Years (in person), 1998 Great Performances (in person), 1998 Down in the Delta (Director), 1997 The Gregory Hines Show (in person), 1997 Talking with David Frost (Performer), 1997 3rd Annual Soul Train Lady of Soul Awards (in person), 1996 The Rosie O'Donnell Show (in person), 1996 How Do You Spell God (Writer), 1996 Elmo Saves Christmas (Performer), 1996 Charlie Rose (in person), 1996 American Dreamers (in person), 1996 America's Dream (Writer), 1995 Touched by an Angel (Performer), 1995 The Journey of August King (Performer), 1995 Sesame Street (Performer), 1995 Lauren Hutton and... (in person), 1995 How to Make an American Quilt (Performer), 1994 The Essence Awards (in person), 1994 The American Experience (in person), 1994 Face to Face (in person), 1994 Ebony's 15th Annual Black Achievement Awards (in person), 1994 Arthur Ashe: Citizen of the World (in person), 1994 All-Star 25th Birthday: Stars and Street Forever! (Other), 1994 A Century of Women (in person), 1993-2000 Sesame Street (in person), 1993 There Are No Children Here (Performer), 1993 The Great Depression (in person), 1993 Poetic Justice (Performer), 1993 Poetic Justice (Other), 1993 Poetic Justice (Producer), 1992 The Real Malcolm X (in person), 1992 Alistair Cooke Salute (in person), 1990-1994 The Arsenio Hall Show (in person), 1990 Ebony/Jet Showcase (in person), 1990 22nd NAACP Image Awards (in person), 1989-2001 American Masters (in person), 1987 The 8th Annual Black Achievement Awards (in person), 1983 Reading Rainbow (in person), 1982 Sister, Sister (Producer), 1982 Sister, Sister (in person), 1982 Sister, Sister (Writer), 1982 Creativity with Bill Moyers (in person), 1981 Hungry i reunion (in person), 1979 I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings (Writer), 1977 The Richard Pryor Special (Writer), 1977 The Richard Pryor Special (Performer), 1977 Roots (Performer), 1977 Dinah! (in person), 1976 Visions (Director), 1973 The 27th Annual Tony Awards (in person), 1972 Georgia, Georgia (Writer), 1972 Georgia, Georgia (Director), 1971-1972 The Tonight Show Starring Johnny Carson (in person), 1968 For Love of Ivy (Sound), 1959 Porgy and Bess (Performer), 1957 Calypso Heat Wave (in person)

Theatre Credits
Look Away - Performer (January 7, 1973 - January 7, 1973)

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