Exactly one week after being rushed to hospital during a routine medical procedure at a New York City clinic, the raspy, dynamic and ageless comedienne known as Joan Rivers died Thursday at the age of 81, her daughter confirmed.
Rivers was undergoing a routine surgery on her vocal cords at the Yorkville Endoscopy Clinic when she stopped breathing last Thursday and was later rushed to Mount Sinai Hospital where she was placed in a medically-induced coma.
“It is with great sadness that I announce the death of my mother, Joan Rivers,” said her daughter, Melissa.
“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,” she added. Fans left flowers at the steps of Rivers’ Upper East Side apartment following confirmation of her death, NY1 News reported via Twitter.
Authorities announced earlier that the clinic was now under investigation after unconfirmed reports that a fatal dose of Propofol—the same drug that killed pop star Michael Jackson—may have caused her untimely death.
Love her or hate her matter-of-fact approach, Rivers was no stranger to controversy. In July, she walked out of a CNN interview with anchor Fredricka Whitfield. Afterwards, Rivers said she felt sorry for the veteran anchor: “You are not the one to interview a person who does humor, sorry,” she said.
In August, Rivers found herself in hot water after comments she made about the war in Gaza. "I regret that I did use the word “Palestinian” when I meant to say “Hamas” and obviously, there are many good Palestinians like Israelis who want peace and Israel’s right to exist," she said in a statement.
Rivers had a long-standing, over 25 year relationship with television shopping network QVC, whose president and CEO Mike George paid tribute to the late star Thursday, saying "Joan truly loved her customers, and delighted in bringing joy and inspiration to their lives over these last many years." Her exclusive clothing line with the network netted her at least $1 billion dollars, according to a net worth database which put her personal net worth at $150 million dollars.
Her funeral is scheduled for Sunday at Temple Emanu-El in Manhattan, ABC News reported.