TMZ.com is reporting that Pauline Phillips, the creator of the "Dear Abby" advice column, died yesterday at the age of 94.
Phillips retired in 2002 and was diagnosed with Alzheimer's disease. Her daughter, Jeanne Phillips, took over the column. We will provide more information as it becomes available.
Phillips' Wikipedia entry has already been changed to reflect the death.
The "Dear Abby" column started in the mid-1950s in The San Francisco Chronicle. Jeanne Phillips had been helping her mother with the column since she was a teenager, she told the newspaper in 2008.
When Pauline Phillips retired, Jeanne Phillips continued the column in her mother's voice, before deciding it was time to take it over in her own style. "My style and her style are different," she said. "My mother's style was softer."
When I was growing up, Dear Abby was where I got the advice I should have been getting from my parents and family. I'm convinced that I would have been a screwed-up mess had I not absorbed so much commen sense from her columns.
RIP Dear Abby, you were someone who made real difference and had a positive influence on my life.
Please God, I'm Only 94!
Ok, that was her sister but still...
I always preferred Ann Landers, myself.
[quote]Phillips' Wikipedia entry has already been changed to reflect the death
Why has it been changed? Because it's a fact.
If Jodie Foster came out, it would say so in her Wikipedia article.
Some comedienne (on SNL maybe?) used to do a really funny impression of her. Does anyone else remember?
I think that was Ann Landers,R9 as she had the speech impediment.
Yes, I think it was Jane Curtin who did Ann Landers in "The Landers Files."
Wake up and smell the coffee, Buttercup!
I actually thought she died long ago; maybe I was thinking of Ann Landers.
I too always preferred Ann to Abby. I started reading her column when I was in grade school in the 1960s and found the articles very informative for someone my age trying to learn about some of the facts of life. My parents were strict Catholics and never told me anything.
I still read the Dear Abby column now, although I have to admit I find her advice lacking sometimes. I also find myself saying "EST!" when I read some of the letters. She HAS to be making some of those things up.
Does anyone remember that 1999 Lifetime movie TAKE MY ADVICE: THE ANNE & ABBY STORY, in which the twins were portrayed by Wendy Malick? It was surprisingly good, if I recall. It focused on their close friendship as kids (they dressed alike until they were in their twenties and even married on the same day) and decades-long estrangement as they competed for readers in the respective columns.
You think what she and her sister did was easy until you see how bad some of their imitators are.
I only read Dear Libby
Stupid bitch stirred up trouble for us.
I remember the Ann Landers Sex Survey in 1985.
Conrad Bain, Dear Abby . . . who will round out the celebrity trio?
Same here r1
@ Carol Brady
Dear Abby -
What's on your iPod?
Ann Landers was the sarcastic one -- liked her best!
[quote]Conrad Bain, Dear Abby . . . who will round out the celebrity trio?
There's no such thing of course, but what they did have in common is that they were both very old.
Their mom didn't have much imagination -- Ann's real name was Esther Pauline and Abby's was Pauline Esther.
I always read both columns, and I could not tell much difference between them. Abby would tell women to divorce their husbands if they felt they would be better off without the worthless bum, while Ann would say she doesn't believe in divorce, suck it up and keep the vows you made. That was the main difference that I noticed. Then Ann's husband left her and wasn't given any choice. They both jumped on the "gay liberation" bandwagon early on, but from time to time one or the other caught fire from the "gay" movement by saying something that was not completely PC. They both lost credibility with me over the life-long estrangement between them. But I owe the two of them much of my education. The family has my deepest sympathy as they bury their loved one.
I thought Ann Landers was more reticent about gay rights than Abby was.
[quote]But I owe the two of them much of my education. The family has my deepest sympathy as they bury their loved one.
A classic Dear Abby one was as follows, responding to a letter crabbing about the gay couple next door, and ending, "What can we do to improve the quality of the neighborhood?" Abby retorted, "You could move."
Being based in San Francisco, Abby might have been a little ahead of Ann on the subject, R26.
R20, there was an early episode of THE BRADY BUNCH where everyone gets upset when they read a letter in the "Dear Libby" column about a "blended family" where one the parents is having trouble accepting his or her new spouse's children. It turns out the letter came from far away and the Bradys are a happy family after all.
I always suspected that one of the Brady's really did write that letter to Libby. Libby was paid to lie.
Libby was scissoring with Alice while Sam was playing with his pepperoni.
R24 Hence, Eppie and PoPo.
The worst is DearPrudence in Slate. Our ESTs are genius compared to that madeup crapfest.
Were they really estranged for life? I thought it was just for several years.
There were several attempts at reconciliation, but it never lasted very long, R35. Their children are carrying on a family feud in a more public manner than the twins did. When Mrs. Lederer died, Jeanne Phillips wrote a tribute to "Aunt Eppie" in the Dear Abby column. Whereupon Margo Howard lambasted Jeanne for trying to use her mother's name and reputation to improve readership of her column.
Yeah, the estrangement wasn't for life at all. They were friendly rivals more than unfriendly. Always going on cruises together with their husbands. Jealousy reared its ugly head from time to time, but then they moved on with their fabulous lives.
I loved that their fans thought that each one of them sat around reading thousands of letters a day. They knew this because from time to time there would be pictures of them sitting in a cascade of letters and they would be reading one of them whilst dressed in furs and diamonds..hysterical.
I won't even mention the hairdo on each of them. More like hairdon't...amirite?
If anyone held stock in the manufacturer of AquaNet, I hope you dumped it before this news came out.
Agreed, R34. I wish they would have stopped using the name Prudence once the awesome Margo Howard stopped writing the column. I hate the idea of people reading the current, dreadful Prudence and mistakenly thinking Margo is still responsible for it.
Listen to PoPo's shhtory of how shhe got shhhhtarted in Shhhhan Franshhhhishhhco in nineteen fifty-shhhhhhix.
I remember Dear Abby had an ongoing discussion about which way toilet paper should hang in a bathroom (over the roll or under the roll?)
[quote]I remember the Ann Landers Sex Survey in 1985.
Oh yes. "Seriously Messed-Up and Heading for Trouble."
Dear Abby, RIP. My favorite (verified) Dear Abby letter of all time: "A couple of women moved in across the hall from me. One is a middle-aged gym teacher and the other is a social worker in her mid-twenties. These two women go everywhere together and I've never seen a man go into or leave their apartment. Do you think they could be Lebanese?" Abby's answer? "Mind your own business!" ... Here's more ...
So sorry Abby died. That just leaves the last triplet in the set alive, Amy Gentile, nee Schleppie Friedman. She had a smaller syndication but her frothy responses were more pointed than those of her sisters, who she never got along with. Even though she retired in 1962, I remember my favorite "Dear Amy," which appeared in her last column:
Dear Amy, My kitty loves cake frosting and I indulge her with it on special occasions, such as family birthday parties. She is so small you can barely see where she walks on the cakes, and her little tongue doesn't take too much of the icing. But my sister, "Ethel the Dragon" (not her real name), has humiliated me about it in front of relatives. Should I follow through on my impulse never to speak with her again? --- Indulgent Kitty Mommy
Dear Indulgent Kitty Mommy,
What kind of fucked-up frau are you? The kind that in the future will infest gay web sites with your bullshit, that's what. Why don't you just sew that cat into that gunny sack of a cunt you are dragging around, eat a Sara Lee cheesecake to weigh you down, and go jump in the East River?
Was she the sister with the speech impediment of hissing s's?
Ann Landers' daughter Margo Howard's son is Adam Howard who was briefly a very hot young actor in the mid-1980s. His main credit was appearing as the boy-toy in the film of Tama Janowitz's Slaves of New York. I think Adam has left the business.
His step-father is actor Ken Howard, hence Adam's last name.
I'm not sure if Margo and Ken are still married.
I think Margo has been married any number of times since she was married to Ken Howard.
That's "hishing eshesh," R44. And it was Eppie (Ann Landers) who did it.
Abby wasn't "a little ahead" of her sister on gay issues - she was miles ahead. Abby was always progressive on gay rights. Ann Landers didn't start to come around until the mid-1980s, and then only reluctantly.