Dress worn by Phyllis Diller in The Pruitts of Southampton


This full-length bright pink silk princess-style gown with green petal trim was worn by comic Phyllis Diller in the title sequence of her television show The Pruitts of Southampton. The TV show was adapted from the novel House Party by Virginia Rowans (pen name for Edward Everett Tanner III, also known as Patrick Dennis). The show began airing in September 1966 and focused on the main character Phyllis Pruitt and her family. After Mr. Pruitt’s death the family learns they owe $10 million in back taxes. The IRS allows the family to continue to live in their mansion in Southampton, and the show follows their wacky attempts at preserving their wealthy image.

The show struggled from the start and the title was changed in January 1967 to The Phyllis Diller Show, also changing the mansion into a boarding house therefore adding to the cast. The last show aired in April 1967 because of poor ratings but also due to Phyllis Diller’s exit from the show. Diller was unhappy with how the show was being run and struggled to find her place in what was her show in name only.

Currently not on view
date made
ca 1966
place made
United States: California, Los Angeles
Physical Description
silk (overall material)
metal (overall material)
ID Number
accession number
catalog number
Credit Line
Gift of Phyllis Diller
See more items in
Culture and the Arts: Entertainment
Popular Entertainment
Phyllis Diller
Data Source
National Museum of American History


Add a comment about this object