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Beloved comedienne, former talk show host and constant spitfire Joan Rivers spent her life making people laugh, cringe and under all circumstances, feel something. Today, she made everyone turn and look one more time when she quietly passed away at the age of 81.
Joan Rivers began performing stand-up comedy with some degree of regularity in the early 1960s. With success, she was able to land a job on Candid Camera and more importantly, meet and impress Johnny Carson. He began inviting her to make regular appearances on The Tonight Show and even to contribute written material. Years later, he even invited Rivers to fill in as host when he was absent.
During the late 1980s, FOX offered Joan Rivers an opportunity to host her own show. Naturally, she jumped at the chance to make history, becoming the first female comedienne ever to have her own talk show. Unfortunately, it also directly or indirectly cost her the two most important men in her life. Her husband, Edgar Rosenberg, committed suicide a few months after the program was cancelled, the failure having allegedly exacerbated his depression. And her longtime mentor Johnny Carson, furious that she didn’t discuss the move with him, abruptly cut off all contact.
Fortunately for Rivers, she was eventually able to bounce back. She founded an extremely successful daytime talk show and later landed a second career as a fashion analyst and cultural critic alongside her daughter Melissa. In that service, she pissed off more than her share of celebrities but also won over an entirely new generation with her blunt aggressiveness.
Here’s a copy of the statement her daughter Melissa officially released to the press, as per ABC News…
"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."
An overwhelming majority of celebrities are famous briefly. They hit at just the right moment, stay relevant for a short while and exit stage left. Joan Rivers somehow managed to stay prominent and popular for more than fifty years. That’s an incredible testament to her talent and sheer work ethic. No one in show business has ever outworked Joan Rivers. She deserved everything she had.
Cinema Blend’s sincerest thoughts go out to her entire family during this time of need.