Comedian Joan Rivers has died. The news came from Rivers’ daughter, Melissa just before 3pmET.
Rivers, who was 81, stopped breathing while undergoing outpatient surgery in New York City a week ago today. She was rushed Mount Sinai Hospital and put on life support. Just yesterday, Melissa Rivers announced that her mother had been “moved out of intensive care and into a private room where she is being kept comfortable.” Melissa Rivers released this statement this afternoon:
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.
Fox News and CNN have been in near non-stop coverage since 3pmET. Several New York local stations broke in with coverage.
First Robin. Now Joan. The world just became a less funny place. RIP Joan Rivers.
— Gilbert Gottfried (@RealGilbert) September 4, 2014
Sad news. I’ll miss her presence in the world. I admired Joan Rivers tremendously. All female comedians owe her a huge debt of gratitude.
— Rita Rudner (@ritarudner) September 4, 2014
— Fascinating Pictures (@Fascinatingpics) September 4, 2014
Barbara Walters issued a statement about her friend: “No one loved life, laughter, and a good time more than Joan. We would have dinner and laugh and gossip and I always left the table smiling. She was a brassy, often outrageous, and hilarious performer who made millions laugh. In private, she was the picture of elegance and class. I will miss her.”