Art Linkletter called Phyllis Diller today to wish her a “Happy Birthday.” She will be 91 tomorrow (July 17). Art will be 96. “Can you believe it,” she bellowed–“he has 18 great grandchildren–I have one!” She was in her oil painting togs when on the phone. “That’s what I do mostly–paint,” she explained. “I don’t go out that much.” (And–her painting career is very profitable!)…As for making any appearances, Phyllis admitted there was an invitation from Jay Leno (again, of course), but she admits it’s too hard to do “what you used to do every day–get up a lot of new, and great, material–and pick out a dress!” she laughed. But she will go out for a birthday dinner tomorrow –with her son and friends who wing in every year from Palm Beach to celebrate with her. “I’m happy — that’s the important thing, isn’t it?” she laughed a hearty Phyllis Diller laugh. And I wished her a happy 91st.
Art Linkletter was back at his office after lunch today and readying for a full day–as usual–on his 96th birthday, Thursday. He had been at his doctor’s office earlier. When we spoke on the phone March 17, he told me, “I had a slight stroke–but don’t worry I’ll live to 100.” He was having some difficulties speaking back then–and went into rigorous therapy. During the months following when we’d speak, I could hear his constant progress until his speech has now become perfect again. He is already being booked on his speaking tour–for February and March, 2009. This past Monday he was an honored “legend” guest at a Disneyland dinner. Sure, he’d been at the park’s opening. His schedule is booked with meetings on Solargenix, the solar-powered company in which he’s excitedly involved. On July 30, he will be honored by AIMS at a BevHills Hotel dinner. He joins their fight against “the raid on Social Security.” Among the many ventures Art is also working on is “building villages in the $200,000 class–‘green villages’,” he illustrates–“with a solar planetarium.” And there are other projects,” he laughs, “just to keep me away from Sophia Loren!”
Art Linkletter and is wife (of 73 years) Lois will celebrate with family–two of their five children have survived. Wife Lois recently suffered a broken nose and other fractures in a fall at their home, but she is now feeling better and Art happily tells me tomorrow night she will on hand to toast him on his 96th. Happy birthday.