Some sad news today as it has been reported that legendary comedian Joan Rivers has died at the age of 81 following complications from a recent medical procedure. Rivers was perhaps best known as a red-carpet personality who spared no one when it came to her opinions on fashion. While often strident, Rivers was widely recognized as an equal opportunity offender who could absolutely take whatever she dished out (and probable then some). She also served as a guest host under Johnny Carson on The Tonight Show and was an accomplished stand-up comic in her own right.
Her life’s journey was both chronicled and roasted in the 2010 documentary Joan Rivers: A Piece of Work. While she appeared in numerous films, often playing herself, I was first exposed to her as Dot Matrix in Mel Brooks‘ comedy classic Spaceballs. A statement from daughter Melissa Rivers follows below.
Here is Melissa Rivers’ statement:
“It is with great sadness that I announce the death of my mother, Joan Rivers. She passed peacefully at 1:17pm 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.”