Joan Alexandra Molinsky (June 8, 1933 – September 4, 2014), known as Joan Rivers, was an American actress, comedian, writer, producer, and television host noted for her often controversial comedic persona — where she was alternately self-deprecating or sharply acerbic, especially toward celebrities and politicians.
Rivers came to prominence in 1965 as a guest on The Tonight Show. Hosted by her mentor, Johnny Carson, the show established Rivers' comedic style. In 1986, with her own rival program, The Late Show with Joan Rivers, Rivers became the first woman to host a late night network television talk show.
She subsequently hosted The Joan Rivers Show (1989-1993), winning a Daytime Emmy for Outstanding Talk Show Host. As the author of 12 best-selling memoir and humor books and numerous comedy albums, Rivers was nominated in 1984 for a Grammy Award for her album What Becomes a Semi-Legend Most? and was nominated in 1994 for the Tony Award for Best Actress in a Play for her performance of the title role in Sally Marr...and her escorts. In 2015, Joan received a posthumous Grammy Award for Best Spoken Word Album for her book, Diary of a Mad Diva.
Having become widely known for her red carpet interviews, Rivers co-hosted the E! celebrity fashion show Fashion Police (2010–2014) and starred in reality series Joan & Melissa: Joan Knows Best? (2011–2014) with daughter Melissa Rivers. Rivers marketed a line of jewelry and apparel on the QVC shopping channel, and was the subject of the documentary Joan Rivers: A Piece of Work (2010).
In 1968, noted New York Times television critic Jack Gould called Rivers "quite possibly the most intuitively funny woman alive." Rivers was a member of the Reform synagogue Temple Emanu-El in New York and said she "loved Israel."
Rivers' first marriage was in 1955 to James Sanger, the son of a Bond Clothing Stores merchandise manager. The marriage lasted six months and was annulled on the basis that Sanger did not want children and had not informed Rivers before the wedding. Rivers married Edgar Rosenberg on July 15, 1965, Their only child, Melissa Warburg Rosenberg, who goes by the name Melissa Rivers, was born on January 20, 1968. Joan Rivers had one grandson, Cooper, born Edgar Cooper Endicott in 2000.
Along with his mother and grandmother, Cooper was featured in the WE tv series Joan & Melissa: Joan Knows Best? Rosenberg committed suicide in 1987, shortly after Rivers announced her intention to separate. Rivers would later describe her marriage to Rosenberg as a "total sham", complaining bitterly about his treatment of her during their 22-year marriage. In a 2012 interview with Howard Stern, Rivers said she had several extramarital affairs when married to Rosenberg, including a one-night affair with actor Robert Mitchum in the 1960s and an affair with actor Gabriel Dell.
In her book Bouncing Back (1997) Rivers described how she developed bulimia nervosa and contemplated suicide. Eventually she recovered with counseling and the support of her family. In 2002, Rivers told the Montreal Mirror that she was a Republican. On January 28, 2014, during a conversation between Rivers and Reza Farahan of the Shahs of Sunset, Melissa Rivers interjected to clarify that she and her mother were "fiscally conservative, socially liberal" Republicans.
Rivers was open about her multiple cosmetic surgeries and was a patient of plastic surgeon Steven Hoefflin, beginning in 1983. She had her nose thinned while still at college; her next procedure, an eye lift, was performed in 1965 (when she was in her thirties) as an attempt to further her career. When promoting her book, Men Are Stupid ... And They Like Big Boobs: A Woman's Guide to Beauty Through Plastic Surgery, described by The New York Times Magazine as "a detailed and mostly serious guide to eye lifts, tummy tucks and other forms of plastic surgery", she quipped: "I've had so much plastic surgery, when I die they will donate my body to Tupperware."
On August 28, 2014, Rivers experienced serious complications and stopped breathing while undergoing what was scheduled as a minor throat procedure at an outpatient clinic in Yorkville, Manhattan. Resuscitated an hour later, Rivers was transferred to the hospital and later put on life support. She died on September 4 at Mount Sinai Hospital in New York, having never awoken from a medically induced coma.
The New York City Medical Examiner's Office said she died from brain damage caused by a lack of oxygen, and the details of her surgery would be investigated by officials. Rivers was 81 years old. After nearly two months of investigations, federal officials said on November 10 that the clinic made a number of mistakes both before and during the surgery. Among those were the clinic's failure to respond to Rivers' deteriorating vital signs, including a severe drop in her blood pressure, possibly administering an incorrect anesthetic dosage, performing a surgical procedure without her consent, and other medical clinic irregularities.
On January 26, 2015, Melissa Rivers filed a malpractice lawsuit against the clinic and doctors performing surgery on her mother.
Source, modified: http://wikipedia.org
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