Joan Rivers, the Emmy-winning comedian and television host who enjoyed a decades-long career, has died. She was 81.
Rivers had been hospitalized since she stopped breathing and went into cardiac arrest while undergoing an outpatient procedure on her vocal chords on August 28. She was rushed to a New York City hospital, where she remained until her death Thursday.
Rivers's daughter, Melissa, released a statement about her mother's passing through her publicist Thursday afternoon:
It is with great sadness that I announce the death of my mother, Joan Rivers. 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.
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 had been working right up until her medical troubles began, co-hosting E!'s "Fashion Police" show.
The comedienne's long and storied career jumpstarted in the 1960s with frequent appearances on "The Tonight Show," on which she also acted as a guest host for Johnny Carson. Rivers burned bridges with Carson when she left "Tonight" to start her own short-lived late night talk show, and didn't reappear on the program for more than two decades, finally stopping by for new host Jimmy Fallon's first episode earlier this year.
Rivers was known for her sharp-tongued humor and take no prisoners attitude, which landed her in hot water more than once. But she also saved some barbs for herself, often joking about her appearance and her numerous plastic surgery procedures, of which she was not ashamed.
Among Rivers's long list of television credits were appearances on "The Carol Burnett Show," "Hollywood Squares," "Saturday Night Live," "Nip/Tuck" and "The Ed Sullivan Show." She won a Daytime Emmy in 1990 for Outstanding Talk/Service Show Host for her series "The Joan Rivers Show," and received numerous nominations.
A prolific author, Rivers penned a dozen books throughout her lifetime; she also recorded multiple comedy albums. She did some acting and voiceover work, most recently cameoing in 2011's "The Smurfs."
Rivers is survived by her daughter, Melissa, and a grandson, Cooper.
via: TheWrap, Variety
Photo credit: Jeff Schear via Getty Images