Joan Rivers has died.
The legendary comedienne passed away on Thursday in Mount Sinai hospital after her daughter Melissa took her off life support. She was earlier taken there a week ago – after she stopped breathing during a throat surgery in a private clinic.
‘It is with great sadness that I announce the death of my mother, Joan Rivers,’ Melissa said in a statement today. ‘She passed peacefully at 1:17 PM 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 for 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,’ she continued. ‘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 career began over 50 years ago, and her first big appearance was in The Tonight Show with Johnny Carson. She then famously enraged Carson by agreeing to do a competing late night show on FOX, resulting in Carson banning her from ever appearing on the show. The ban was lifted this year.
Rivers is credited to have opened the door for many other comediennes … and is famous for her often controversial jokes and her intense bashing of celebs in Fashion Police. She and her daughter Melissa teamed up in 2012 to host several red carpet coverages and reality shows for E! and other networks.
Rivers has also written several books – the latest being the controversial Diary of a Mad Diva – as well as done several talk and reality shows. She also lent her husky voice to movies such as Spaceballs and Look Who’s Talking.
Rivers is survived by her daughter Melissa and grandson Cooper. Her husband Edgar Rosenberg committed suicide in 1987 … and she never remarried.
She was 81.