Buyer & Cellar Playwright to Bring Phyllis Diller's Life to Screen

News   Buyer & Cellar Playwright to Bring Phyllis Diller's Life to Screen
The life of comedian Phyllis Diller is being adapted for a new film by Buyer & Cellar playwright Jonathan Tolins and Seth Bass, according to an Equity casting notice.

Jonathan Tolins
Jonathan Tolins Photo by Joseph Marzullo/WENN

A director has not been named for the project that is seeking a "star name" actress capable of playing Diller from ages 36-52. Shaun Redick, Ray Mansfield, Heidi Rotbart, Alan Gasmer will produce the film.

The film will call for the actress to perform some of Diller's stand-up material.

Set in the 1950s-60s, "Leave Em Laughing" is characterized in the following manner: "This is the true story of overcoming all odds in the pursuit of achieving your dreams. Phyllis Diller’s own story about the struggle and the pain behind the comedy and the success. It is the story of a woman who grabbed onto a dream and refused to let it go. Despite overwhelming odds, heartbreaking misfortune and lifelong personal insecurities, Phyllis Diller did what all of us dreams of doing; she refused to accept her circumstances, decided exactly what she wanted to become and then became one of the most successful comics in history. She did it her way and refused to allow negativity to enter her life."

Diller died in August 2012 at the age of 95. In addition to her work in comedy, she appeared on Broadway in Hello, Dolly! and in numerous stock and touring productions.

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