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 today. “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.” …
Joan Rivers, who co-hosted the popular E! TV show “Fashion Police,” had been hard at work recently, critiquing the outfits worn by stars at the MTV Video Music Awards and the Emmys with her usual acerbic wit. On Aug. 28, however, she was in New York City having surgery when she suffered cardiac arrest. She was rushed to the hospital, where she arrived unconscious and doctors kept her sedated. On Sept. 2, her daughter, Melissa Rivers, revealed that she had been placed on life support. …
In 1989, she launched a daytime talk show, “The Joan Rivers Show,” for which she won an Outstanding Talk Show Host Emmy. A few years later, she and Melissa began doing awards show coverage for E!, the same network that launched “Fashion Police” in 2010. In 2011, Rivers and her daughter landed their own reality TV show for WE tv, “Joan & Melissa: Joan Knows Best?” which documented the most intimate moments of their lives, including Rivers going in for plastic surgery. That same year, the comedian appeared on the series “Louie” alongside Louis C.K.
A no-holds-barred comic who found humor in the most unlikely subjects, retirement was never an option for Rivers, who claimed to think about death “constantly.” She told The Daily Beast that she wanted to be cremated and told Melissa, “Sell anything and everything you don’t want. Don’t feel beholden to my possessions.”
Rivers, the author of 12 books, also thought about what legacy she wanted to leave her only grandson, Cooper, which she told Grandparents.com was that “success comes through work.” Hers really mattered to her.