Joan Rivers: 1933-2014 September 7, 2014


The world just got a little less funny.

Joan Rivers has died at 81.

“It is with great sadness that I announce the death of my mother, Joan Rivers,” Melissa Rivers said in a written statement Thursday.

“She passed peacefully at 1:17 p.m. 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.”

Melissa Rivers added that she and her son, Cooper, “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.”

Born in Brooklyn in 1933, Rivers first came to prominence with her appearances filling in for host Jack Paar on “The Tonight Show.” This kicked off a lifetime of talk show appearances, and her own hosting gigs, including “The Late Show Starring Joan Rivers” and “The Joan Rivers Show.”

In 1994, Rivers began co-hosting E!’s live coverage of red carpet events with her daughter Melissa, which became a mainstay of the award show experience and appointment viewing in its own right. By 2010, Rivers was hosting “Fashion Police” for the channel, a show whose future is left in doubt after today’s events.