Just a few months before his death, the actor questions why he wasn't invited to one of Phyllis Diller's parties for 100 of her "Best Friends". She replied with a joke about being his Ex-Wife!

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Condition: slightly creased, otherwise fine condition
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RICHARD DEACON Just a few months before his death, the actor questions why he wasn't invited to one of Phyllis Diller's parties for 100 of her "Best Friends". She replied with a joke about being his Ex-Wife! Autograph Letter Signed: "Richard Deacon", 1 page, 7x5¼. No place, no date, but circa January 1984. On card with red foil border to comedienne and actress Phyllis Diller. Begins: "Dear Phyllis". In full: "We've known each other for so many years and in so many wonderful areas that I feel I must write you as a friend for information. Last week two or three people said, 'see you at Phylis's - I gathered you were having a party, now nowhere is it written that every time a friend entertains that every friend is invited - nor does one more party mean much to me. but when I'm told that you had 100 of your best friends it makes me wonder whats (sic) wrong. Did I offend you or did Jane? We have always been honest with each other and I truly hope you will be with me now. If I have erred I welcome the opportunity to correct it. Hope this is a great year for you and yours love". Slightly creased at left corners. Paper clip impression and stain at upper margin at one word. Fine condition. Accompanied by photocopy of Diller's reply, unsigned, 1p, 8½x11. No place, 1984 January 17. Begins: "Dear Richard". In full: "I meant to have a small party. Then Howard gave me HIS list and it got all out of hand. How could you ever think you'd offended your former wife? No way! Love". Lightly creased. Paperclip impression at upper blank margin, rust stain on verso. Overall, fine condition. Deacon had appeared as Horace Vandergelder opposite Phyllis Diller as the title character in the long-running Broadway production of Hello, Dolly! during the 1969-1970 season, hence her quip about being his "former wife." He died on August 8, 1984, less than seven months after Diller wrote her reply. In 1984, Deacon appeared in one feature film, Growing Pains, and in the made-for-TV movie, The Hoboken Chicken Emergency. RICHARD DEACON (1921-1984) was a familiar character actor on stage and screen, usually cast as a curmudgeon. He is best remembered for simultaneous parts in two popular TV sitcoms, Melvin Cooley on The Dick Van Dyke Show (1961-1966) and Fred Rutherford on Leave It To Beaver (1960-1963), and he also starred as Roger Buell on The Mothers-in-Law (1968-1969). Deacon, who made his film debut in 1953, also starred in a long list of feature films and made guest appearances in numerous TV shows. He was also a gourmet cook and author. 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, 2003) and a guest shot on The Wayne Brady Show (2004). Two items.

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