Joan Rivers has died at 81. "It is with great sadness that I announce the death of my mother, Joan Rivers," Melissa Rivers said in a written statement today. "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 was born in 1933 in Brooklyn as Joan Alexandra Molinsky. The first woman to host her own late night talk show. She wrote a dozen books and co-hosted the popular E! TV show "Fashion Police,"
"When I started out, a pretty girl did not go into comedy. If you saw a pretty girl walk into a nightclub, she was automatically a singer. Comedy was all white, older men," Rivers wrote in 2012. "I didn’t even want to be a comedian. Nobody wanted to be a comedian!"
Her mentor was Johnny Carson who gave her one of her first biggest breaks when she was an up and coming comedian by having her become one of his permanent guest hosts. Her life was also very tragic as her husband killed himself in 1987 the same year she was fired from the Tonight Show. Rivers found humor in her darkest moments and was only 81 years old at the time of her death.
"What saved me," she continued, "was my dog jumped into my lap. I thought, 'No one will take care of him.' ... I had the gun in my lap, and the dog sat on the gun. I lecture on suicide because things turn around. I tell people this is a horrible, awful dark moment, but it will change and you must know it’s going to change and you push forward. I look back and think, 'Life is great, life goes on. It changes.'" according to ABC News.
Joan will be greatly missed. May she live forever in the hearts and memories of those who loved watching her comedy genius and our hearts and prayers go out to her E! Television family.