Joan Rivers Another Great one passes
and Rivers, a pioneering female stand-up comic and the queen of “Can We Talk?” gossip, has died. She was 81, her daughter, Melissa Rivers, said Thursday.
Rivers was undergoing surgery on her vocal cords at a clinic in New York City on Aug. 28 when she stopped breathing and had to be transported to Mount Sinai Hospital. Melissa Rivers and her 13-year-old grandson, Cooper, who lived with her in Malibu, Calif., rushed to her bedside.
Raspy-voiced and brassy, Rivers was always self-deprecating, foul-mouthed and politically incorrect. A master of reinvention, she endured in show business because of her tenacious work ethic — which she credited to her “immigrant mentality.”
Comedians typically push the envelope, but Rivers proved time and again that she didn’t even see the envelope. To her fans, she was as shocking as she was endearing.
“The way she is funny, she tells the truth according to herself,” the late film criticRoger Ebert wrote in 2010. “She hates some people. She has political opinions. Her observations are so merciless and her timing so precise that even if you like that person, you laugh. She is a sadist of comedy, unafraid to be cruel — even too cruel.”
No topic was off limits. From Elizabeth Taylor to Queen Elizabeth to even Anne Frank, Rivers loved going after public figures.