Rivers is succeeded by her daughter, Melissa.
She told Radar in a statement, “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.”
Beginning in theatre and eventually making her way to the small screen, Rivers appeared on several variety shows including The Carol Burnett Show, Hollywood Squares and The Tonight Show. But her passion for theatre never left her regardless of her TV fame. She went on to receive a Drama Desk Award nomination and a Tony Award nomination for her role as Sally Marr in Sally Marr…And Her Escorts.
The 81-year-old became a household name for younger generations when she joined E! with her daughter, Melissa Rivers, and told controversial jokes. The mother-daughter duo began hosting the E! Entertainment Television pre-show for the Golden Globe Awards in 1994. The following year they began annually hosting E!’s Academy Awards pre-show.
Then, in 2010, Rivers would take her spot as the queen of Fashion Police, a show dedicated to the dos and don’ts of Hollywood fashion. Co-hosting alongside Giuliana Rancic, Kelly Osbourne and George Kotsiopoulos, Rivers led the half-hour program so successfully that it expanded into a one-hour program.