Arts & Entertainment

Joan Rivers dies at 81

By: Allison Wisyanski ~Staff Writer~

Joan Rivers (tvguide dot com)

Known for her overt vulgarity, Joan Rivers broke new ground for women in comedy.

Joan Rivers died unexpectedly at the age of 81 at Mount Sinai Hospital in New York City, N.Y., a shock to the entertainment industry, her family and her international fan base. The cause of death has been linked to heart disease . She was taken to an outpatient surgery clinic after going into cardiac arrest and losing consciousness during a surgery procedure on her vocal cords. The State Health Department is studying the cause of her death. Rivers was one of the most recognized stand-up comics.

Her career moved from television to international fame. Rivers’s outgoing yet brutally honest personality set her apart from others, and she never failed to say what everyone else was thinking. Rivers served as a role model to other female comedians. She led a busy lifestyle, balancing excessive cosmetic surgeries with her time on television. She began her career in the early 1960s, performing in comedy clubs and working as a writer and performer on “Candid Camera.” She made a few appearances on “The Tonight Show,” but left NBC when the pay wasn’t enough.

Rivers started a show entitled “The Late Show Starring Joan Rivers,” but it was not a hit. Her career plummeted and Fox producers replaced her on the show. In the early 1990s, she jump started a daily talk show called “The Joan Rivers Show,” which lasted a total of five seasons. Directly after, Rivers became an icon on the E! Network. She hosted red carpet events and judged the celebrity fashion choices with help from her daughter, Melissa Rivers. Rivers is best known for her harsh criticism of others and, although she caused mayhem at points, she truly reinvented the red carpet. Rivers

appeared on a few television shows such as Celebrity Apprentice” and “Nip/Tuck.” She also starred on the reality show “Joan Rivers: A Piece of Work,” which discussed her stresses of aging and remaining culturally relevant. Rivers remained driven and dedicated to her career until her death. She has left a mark on the industry and will indeed be missed by many.