Today we say goodbye to one of the greatest and most truthful comediennes the world has ever seen – Joan Rivers. Next to her grandson, Cooper, Joan Rivers’ greatest joy was making people laugh, and that she did, brilliantly.
On August 28, 2014, Rivers experienced serious complications and stopped breathing during throat surgery and on August 30 it was reported that Rivers had been put on life support. Unceremoniously, Joan Rivers passed away on September 4, 2014, leaving behind a daughter, Melissa, grandson, Cooper, and legacy of humor the likes of which hasn’t been seen before – by a talented and groundbreaking comedienne.
Born the youngest daughter of Russians Jews, Joan Alexandra Molinsky Rosenberg, known to most of us as Joan Rivers, was born in Brooklyn, New York on June 8, 1933. In 1954 the precocious, talented, and outrageous Joan graduated Phi Beta Kappa from Barnard College. Her second marriage was to Edgar Rosenberg, who committed suicide in 1987. Their only child, Melissa Warburg Rosenberg (now known as Melissa Rivers), was born on January 20, 1968. Joan had one grandson, Melissa's son Cooper (born Edgar Cooper Endicott.) Now fourteen, Cooper was featured with his mother and grandmother in the WE tv series Joan & Melissa: Joan Knows Best?
During Ms. Rivers’ 55-year career as an actress/comedian, her often abrasive, tough-talking style of satirical humor was both praised and criticized as being truthful, yet too personal, too gossipy. Her style of humor, which often relied on making jokes about her own life and satirizing the lives of celebrities and public figures, was sometimes criticized as insensitive. She was a truth-seeker and modeled her caustic humor style after seeing Lenny Bruce perform. One of her first breaks was writing for Top Gigio on the Ed Sullivan Show. Her first major breakthrough was in 1987 when she was discovered b Jonny Carson. She subbed for Jonny until her contract ended but once she hosted her own show, her relationship with Carson also ended.
Ms. Rivers was lauded throughout her lifetime, earning the Daytime Emmy Award for outstanding talkshow, Grammy Award for the Best Comedy Album, and Tony Award for Best Actress in a Play. She was placed on the Hollywood Walk of Fame in 1990.
Can we talk? Yes, please. Rest in peace, Joan Rivers, and thanks for the laughs.
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