Too sad! Fashion police Joan Rivers dies at age 81

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The comedian Joan Rivers has died, her daughter announced on Thursday.

Rivers suffered a cardiac arrest during throat surgery on her vocal cords at a clinic in New York on 28 August. She was rushed to Mount Sinai hospital in the city, and was moved from its intensive care unit into a private room on Wednesday. She never recovered consciousness.

Melissa Rivers confirmed the news in a statement: “It is with great sadness that I announce the death of my mother, Joan Rivers. She passed peacefully at 1.17pm surrounded by family and close friends.”

Rivers had been hosting an online weekly talk show called In Bed with Joan and had just filmed her special award show episode of Fashion Police before being taken ill. She was regularly performing live stand-up performances and had finished the fourth season of the reality show in which she starred with her daughter: Joan & Melissa: Joan Knows Best.
“If there is a secret to being a comedian, it’s just loving what you do,”Rivers said in 2012. “It is my drug of choice. I don’t need real drugs. I don’t need liquor. It’s the joy that I get performing. That is my rush. I get it nowhere else.”

Melissa Rivers travelled to New York from Los Angeles with her son Cooper after her mother fell ill. “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,” Melissa Rivers said in a statement.

“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.”

The Brooklyn-born comedian worked the New York comedy scene alongside Richard Pryor, Bill Cosby, George Carlin and Woody Allen. Her big break came with an appearance on The Tonight Show Starring Johnny Carson in 1965 and she has been a TV mainstay ever since.

She recently moved to California to be closer to her family, a move that like many other parts of Rivers’ life, was chronicled on Joan & Melissa.

Her caustic brand of humor frequently targeted celebrities, as well as herself. This no-holds-barred attitude would also push the line with comments that some people deemed insensitive.

Celebrities shared their condolences on Twitter shortly after Rivers’ death was announced. Fellow comedian Kathy Griffin said: “A legend, a friend, a mentor, an icon, and wildly funny. One of a kind. RIP”

“My friend Joan Rivers has passed away once again to quote Billy Crystal… There are no words. Bon Voyage Joan,” said Whoopi Goldberg.

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