Funny lady takes final bow: Joan Rivers dies at 81
By Catholic Online - (NEWS CONSORTIUM)
9/4/2014 (2 years ago)
Catholic Online (www.catholic.org)
America's preeminent female comic, word of her failing health pushed news of wars across the globe from the headlines. The funny lady has taken her final bow, as comedienne Joan Rivers has died at the age of 81.
Retirement was never an option for Joan Rivers, who claimed to think about death "constantly." She requested that she be cremated and told Melissa, "Sell anything and everything you don't want. Don't feel beholden to my possessions."
LOS ANGELES, CA (Catholic Online) - "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."
"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."
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It was remarkable that Rivers remained such a vital force late in life. At 81, she 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.
Rivers suffered cardiac arrest late last month. Rushed to the hospital, she arrived unconscious and doctors kept her sedated. Her daughter revealed this week that Rivers had been placed on life support.
Rivers changed her name from "Joan Molinsky" when she entered show business. Her first role was opposite Barbra Streisand on an off-Broadway play she before appeared on "Candid Camera." In 1965, the future talk show host made her first appearance on "The Ed Sullivan Show." and Johnny Carson's "Tonight Show."
"When I started out, a pretty girl did not go into comedy. If you saw a pretty girl walk into a nightclub, she was automatically a singer. Comedy was all white, older men," Rivers wrote in 2012. "I didn't even want to be a comedian. Nobody wanted to be a comedian!"
Rivers eventually became his permanent guest host in 1983. However, in 1986, she left to host her own competing show on Fox, "The Late Show Starring Joan Rivers." A notorious flop, the show only lasted a year. It also cost her friendship with Carson: After she accepted the job, the two never spoke again.
The year was an especially bad one for her. Rivers' second husband, Edgar Rosenberg, the father of her only child, her daughter, Melissa, committed suicide the same year she was fired from the show.
Rivers bounced back big time in 1989 when 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.
Retirement was never an option for Rivers, who claimed to think about death "constantly." She requested that she 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.
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