Joan Rivers Dead at 81

Truth rating: 10
Joan Rivers Dead

By Shari Weiss

Joan Rivers Dead

(Getty Images)

Joan Rivers is dead.

The 81-year-old comic icon died on Thursday, one week after she stopped breathing during an outpatient procedure.

Her daughter Melissa announced the sad news in a statement:

It is with great sadness that I announce the death of my mother, Joan Rivers. She passed peacefully at 1:17pm surrounded by family and close friends. My son and I would like to thank the doctors, nurses, and staff of Mount Sinai Hospital for the amazing care they provided my mother.

Cooper and I have found ourselves humbled by the outpouring of love, support, and prayers we have received from around the world. They have been heard and appreciated.

My mother’s greatest joy in life was to make people laugh. Although that is difficult to do right now, I know her final wish would be that we return to laughing soon.

Rivers went into cardiac arrest last week and stopped breathing during the surgery, was rushed to the hospital, and later placed in a medically induced coma.

Prior to the medical emergency, Rivers was considered to be in generally good health, despite her age, and was frequently making appearance as a stand-up performer, in addition to hosting “Fashion Police” on E!.

The one-of-a-kind personality had a decades-long career dating back to the 1950s, going on to build her legacy in the comedy world with appearances on “The Tonight Show,” “The Ed Sullivan Show,” “Hollywood Squares,” and “The Carol Burnett Show.”

She hosted her own series, “The Late Show Starring Joan Rivers,” as well as “The Joan Rivers Show,” for which she won an Emmy for Outstanding Talk Show host in 1990.

A frequent “Howard Stern” guest, Rivers, along with daughter Melissa, went on to become known for their red carpet fashion coverage, which eventually led to their E! series “Fashion Police.”

The star won “Celebrity Apprentice” in 2009, the same year she was “roasted” on Comedy Central.

In 2012, Rivers and her daughter teamed up for the reality show, “Joan & Melissa: Joan Knows Best?,” which completed its fourth season earlier this year.

She also launched an online talk show, “In Bed With Joan,” featuring celebrity guests, in March.

In addition to many books, including the recent Diary of a Mad Diva, Rivers lent her signature raspy voice to films such as “Spaceballs” and “Look Who’s Talking.”

She was also a Tony and Grammy award nominee.

An unabashed fan of plastic surgery, the steadfastly outspoken Rivers was quick with a joke, often landing in hot water for remarks deemed offensive, with controversial humor essentially becoming her trademark.

Rivers, whose first marriage was annulled, lost her husband Edgar Rosenberg to suicide in 1987, and never remarried.

She is also survived by her grandson Cooper, Melissa’s son, who appeared on their reality series.

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