Joan Rivers (real name Joan Alexandra Molinsky) was an American comedian, writer, producer, television host and actress.
Joan Rivers (June 8, 1933 – September 4, 2014) was best known for her stand-up comedy, and for co-hosting the E! celebrity fashion show Fashion Police from 2010 to 2014.
Rivers was born in Brooklyn, New York, where she attended Brooklyn Ethical Culture School and the Adelphi Academy. She was the daughter of Russian Jewish immigrants Beatrice and Meyer C. Molinsky. She had an elder sister, Barbara Waxler, who died on June 3, 2013 at the age of 82.
Rivers was married two times: in 1955 to James Sanger and in 1965 to Edgar Rosenberg. She gave birth to her only child, Melissa Warburg Rosenberg (now known as Melissa Rivers), on January 20, 1968.
Rivers began her career as a stand-up comedian in the early 1960s, before making her first appearances as a guest on the late-night TV program The Tonight Show originating from New York, hosted by Johnny Carson, whom she acknowledged as her mentor.
In 1968, she was asked to host The Late Show with Joan Rivers, after that Carson never spoke to her again. She was the first woman to host her own late night talk show on network television.
Later, she went on to host a successful daytime show, The Joan Rivers Show from 1989 to 1993, which won her a Daytime Emmy for Outstanding Talk Show Host.
She also authored 12 best-selling memoir and humor books and many comedy albums.
Rivers was open about her multiple cosmetic surgeries and would often joke about it. She had her nose thinned while still at college; her next procedure, an eye lift, was performed in 1965 (when she was in her thirties) as an attempt to further her career.
During Rivers’ 55-year career as a comedian, her tough-talking style of satirical humor was both praised and criticized by public. However, she accepted criticism and would never apologize for her humor.
Joan Rivers died on September 4, 2014, following serious complications and stopped breathing during a surgical procedure on her vocal cords at a clinic on the Upper East Side of Manhattan, New York. For 8 days Rivers was in a medically induced coma and on life support. She was buried on September 7, 2014 at Temple Emanu-El in Manhattan.