Legendary comedienne Joan Rivers has passed away at the age of 81 following complications from cardiac arrest after an Aug. 28 surgery. Rivers was placed on life support Sept. 2.
“It is with great sadness that I announce the death of my mother, Joan Rivers,” her daughter, Melissa Rivers, said in a written statement. “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.”
Rivers’ career has long been storied around her comedic nature that often got under people’s skin, the multiple plastic surgeries and her now memorable fashion critiques at the MTV VMAs, Emmys and E!’s Fashion Police. Her on-camera work stems as far back to 1965 when she made her debut TV appearance on The Ed Sullivan Show and soon after Johnny Carson’s Tonight Show, the latter of whom became a mentor. Rivers and Carson later had a falling out after her departure from the Tonight Show to start her own show. The two never spoke again.
In recent months, Rivers made news for her controversial comments in July about the Obamas, saying Barack was gay and his wife, Michelle, was transgender.* Love her or hate her. That was always Joan Rivers: a habitual line-stepper who never invested much in anyone else’s two cents but her own.
* – For what it’s worth, her very last Twitter joke was about The Carters. Yes, those Carters. In related news, today is Beyonce’s birthday.