According to US Weekly and Yahoo! Celebrity, legendary comedienne Joan Rivers passed away at Mount Sinai Hospital in New York City on Thursday at the age of 81. She died a week after undergoing a throat procedure at an outpatient clinic in Manhattan. Rivers stopped breathing and went into cardiac arrest. She was taken by ambulance to Mount Sinai Hospital where she was put into a medically-induced coma. The comedienne wasn't breathing on her own at that point, so she was put on life support. She is survived by her daughter, 46-year old Melissa Rivers, and her grandson, Cooper. Melissa issued the following statement:
“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.”
Stand-up pioneer Joan Rivers worked until the end. She had a professional career that spanned five decades. She initially had theatrical aspirations, but began doing stints in comedy clubs. Joan's big break was a 1965 appearance on "The Tonight Show with Johnny Carson," which became the first of many. She became his permanent guest host in 1983 and coined the catchphrase, “Can we talk?” Rivers went on to host her own two talk shows, one of which was hugely successful and won her an Emmy award in 1990. Joan became the winner of Donald Trump's “Celebrity Apprentice” in 2009.
In recent years, Joan and Melissa hosted pre-award show red carpet events and starred in We TV's “Joan and Melissa: Joan Knows Best?” The comedienne and fashion icon made frequent appearances on QVC to promote her clothing and jewelry lines. She also hosted “Fashion Police” on the E! Network, along with Giuliana Rancic, Kelly Osbourne and George Kotsiopoulos. US Weekly reports that funeral services for Joan Rivers will be held on Sunday, September 7 at Temple Emanu-El in New York. Joan Rivers will be missed by many. May she rest in peace.