We were hoping that this would not be news that we would have to report today: After spending the past week fighting for her life, legendary comic Joan Rivers is dead. She was 81 years old.
Rivers was never someone to shy away from controversy, and also brought brought an important message with her throughout her entire career: Censorship on TV paints a terrible view of reality. She did more for the industry than most would probably want to admit, and we personally enjoyed her most these past few years listening to her reminisce. Personally, we recommend going back and listening to her Nerdist interview with Chris Hardwick. You get to hear her be naturally funny in the chat, and talk extensively about the craft.
Rivers never stopped working, and was even still flying cross-country regularly to do her show “Fashion Police,” and then comedy gigs elsewhere. There was no real sign this was even coming until the complications of the past week and a half.
In a statement, Joan’s daughter Melissa Rivers had the following to say:
“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.”
The one thing that we will leave you with right now is that while she’d often come across as tough and would really go for shock value with many of her jokes, those who knew Joan personally say that she was one of the kindest, most supportive people in the business. She helped young comics in a way few others did.
Joan will be sorely missed, and our thoughts go out to her loved ones.