Joan Rivers, 81, quietly passes away at Mount Sinai Hospital

Joan Rivers, 81, quietly passes away at Mount Sinai Hospital

Joan Rivers
Joan Rivers, performing at London's Udderbelly, 2009. (Via Flickr, Wikipedia)

NEW YORK, September 4, 2014 – Legendary American comic, writer, actress, and TV personality Joan Rivers passed away this afternoon at New York’s Mount Sinai Hospital. She was 81.

Rivers had been quietly moved from the hospital’s ICU unit yesterday to a private room, possibly indicating she was unlikely to recover from the severe complications that resulted from throat surgery in late August at a Manhattan clinic.

Rivers arguably began her long career in earnest after performing a sensational standup routine on Johnny Carson’s “Tonight Show” in 1965. It marked the very public beginning her phenomenal run as perhaps America’s best-known female comic and TV personality.

READ ALSO: Joan-Rivers: Proud, unapologetic Hollywood Jew

Although still a standup comic at heart, Rivers was perhaps better known in recent years for co-hosting the E! TV hit, “Fashion Police,” and for appearing with her daughter, Melissa, in their snarky TV reality show, “Joan & Melissa: Joan Knows Best?”

Melissa Rivers posted the following note to the public on Joan Rivers’ web site Thursday afternoon, September 4, 2014:

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. 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.

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.

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.”

Melissa Rivers

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Terry Ponick
Biographical Note: Dateline Award-winning music and theater critic for The Connection Newspapers and the Reston-Fairfax Times, Terry was the music critic for the Washington Times print edition (1994-2010) and online Communities (2010-2014). Since 2014, he has been the Business and Entertainment Editor for Communities Digital News (CDN). A former stockbroker and a writer and editor with many interests, he served as editor under contract from the White House Office of Science and Technology Policy (OSTP) and continues to write on science and business topics. He is a graduate of Georgetown University (BA, MA) and the University of South Carolina where he was awarded a Ph.D. in English and American Literature and co-founded one of the earliest Writing Labs in the country. Twitter: @terryp17