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Joan Rivers dead at 81; legendary comedienne was a star of TV, film and stage

Joan Rivers
Joan Rivers
Getty Images

On Sept. 4, 2014, award-winning comedienne and talk-show host Joan Rivers died at Mount Sinai Hospital in New York City. She was 81. According to the Associated Press, Rivers "was hospitalized Aug. 28 after going into cardiac arrest in a doctor's office following a routine procedure. The New York state health department is investigating the circumstances." Rivers had been in a medically induced coma and on life support in the days after her heart attack.

Although Rivers was mostly known for her work in TV and on stage, she appeared in several movies, mostly as herself. The only movie she directed was the 1978 flop "Rabbit Test." In the most recent years before her death, Rivers was involved in several documentary movies. She was the subject of 2010's "Joan Rivers: A Piece of Work," which was released in cinemas. She also narrated and appeared in the 2013 documentary "Why We Laugh: Funny Women," which aired in the U.S. on Showtime.

According to the Internet Movie Database, Rivers was also in the documentary "Where the Sun Kisses the Ocean," which has this description on the website: "Stunning sky beautiful ocean stirring music and poetry weave together to take you on a journey that will leave you uplifted and open your heart." The movie's release date has not yet been announced.

Rivers is survived by her daughter, Melissa Rivers (who frequently worked with Joan on various projects), and Melissa's son, Cooper.

Melissa Rivers released this statement after Joan's death: "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. 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."

Here is a look back at two interviews that Joan Rivers did in 2010 to promote "Joan Rivers: A Piece of Work"

"Joan Rivers: A Piece of Work" Tribeca Film Festival Q&A

"Joan Rivers: A Piece of Work" New York City press junket