Last night Gay Icon Joan Rivers died at the age of 81. At the end of August Joan suffered a cardiac arrest during an operation at her vocal chords and she was put in an artificial coma. Her daughter Melissa let the world knew already that her mother’s condition was critical the last few days, so this sad news about her death didn’t came as surprise.
“It is with great sadness that I announce the death of my mother, Joan Rivers,” Melissa Rivers said in a written statement yesterday. “She passed peacefully at 1:17pm 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. Her biggest enjoyment was making people laugh. Although that will be difficult to do right now, I know she would love to see nothing better than that people will walk around with a smile on their face again.”
Joan Alexandra Rosenberg, known by her stage name Joan Rivers, was an American actress, comedian, producer and television host. She is best known for her stand-up comedy, for co-hosting the E! celebrity fashion show Fashion Police, and for starring in the reality series Joan & Melissa: Joan Knows Best? alongside her daughter Melissa Rivers.
Joan started her career in small theaters and clubs in New York. She made her career by saying out loud what others were thinking. She stood out with her heavy voice and New Yorker accent (and her cosmetic procedures). Rivers first came to prominence in 1965 as a guest on The Tonight Show, hosted by Johnny Carson, whom she acknowledged as her mentor. The show established her particular comic style, poking fun at celebrities, but also at herself, often joking about her extensive plastic surgery. When she launched a rival program, The Late Show, Carson never spoke to her again. She went on to host The Joan Rivers Show, which won her a Daytime Emmy for Outstanding Talk Show Host. She also authored 12 best-selling memoir and humor books, and provided comic material for stage and television. Rivers got nominated for the Tony Award for Best Actress in a Play in 1994 for her performance in the title role in Sally Marr…and her escorts.
Joan Rivers was also a great advocate and supporter for the LGBT community and told everybody how she felt about them. Rivers appeared at a book signing in New York last July and officiated at the wedding of two gay fans in mid-August in New York. At the height of the AIDS epidemic, Rivers would visit gay men living with HIV and give them presents at Christmas, supporting AIDS charities including God’s Love We Deliver and also appeared in a video supporting the campaign for marriage equality in New York.
“My best birth control now is just to leave the lights on.”
“I now consider it a good day when I don’t step on my boobs.”