Legendary comedienne Joan Rivers dies at 81

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Joan Rivers through the years
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Legendary comedienne Joan Rivers dies at 81
NEW YORK - DECEMBER 11: Joan Rivers performs on THE ED SULLIVAN SHOW. Image dated December 11, 1966. (Photo by CBS via Getty Images)
NEW YORK - CIRCA 1965: Comedian Joan Rivers poses for a portrait circa 1965 in New York City, New York. (Photo by Michael Ochs Archives/Getty Images)
American commedienne and entertainer Joan Rivers jumps into the air, her purse over an outstretched arm and a wig in her other hand, as she tries to hail a taxi from the side of the road, New York, New York, March 1966. (Photo by Truman Moore/The LIFE Images Collection/Getty Images)
Headshot portrait of American comedian Joan Rivers leaning her face against her fist, 1960s. (Photo by Hulton Archive/Getty Images)
Overhead view of American commedienne and entertainer Joan Rivers as she lies in a bathtub and talks on the telephone, New York, New York, March 1966. Rivers is wearing a black dress with mesh sleeves and high heels. (Photo by Truman Moore/The LIFE Images Collection/Getty Images)
Comedienne Joan Rivers talks about her upcoming Broadway play, "Fun City," in New York City, Nov. 4, 1971. Rivers will star in the play, which she co-wrote. (AP Photo)
Comedienne Joan Rivers is shown in Los Angeles, Ca., April 12, 1965. (AP Photo/Dan Grossi)
SATURDAY NIGHT LIVE -- Episode 17 -- Pictured: Joan Rivers during the 'Old Age Home' skit on April 9, 1983 -- Photo by: Alan Singer/NBC/NBCU Photo Bank
Joan Rivers makes it quite clear - she’s starting a new syndicated talk show and its name is "The Joan Rivers Show," in Los Angeles, Aug. 15, 1989 (AP Photo/Nick Ut)
THE TONIGHT SHOW STARRING JOHNNY CARSON -- Pictured: (l-r) Comedian Joan Rivers, host Johnny Carson on Ocotber 5, 1976 -- (Photo by: Ron Tom/NBC/NBCU Photo Bank via Getty Images)
Joan Rivers during Opening Night Performance of 'Marilyn' - February 20, 1985 at Area Nightclub in New York City, New York, United States. (Photo by Ron Galella/WireImage)
NEW YORK - NOVEMBER 1970: Comedienne Joan Rivers performs live in November 1970 in New York City, New York. (Photo by I.C. Rapoport/Getty Images)
LOS ANGELES - 1985: Comedian Joan Rivers poses for a portrait in 1985 in Los Angeles, California. (Photo by Harry Langdon/Getty Images)
Francesco Scavullo, Joan Rivers, and Melissa Rivers (Photo by Ron Galella/WireImage)
American comedian Joan Rivers, circa 1985. Photographed in California by Harry Langdon. (Photo by Paul Popper/Popperfoto/Getty Images)
Joan Rivers and Husband Edgar Rosenberg during 'The Bounty' Westwood Screening at Coronet Theater in Westwood, California, United States. (Photo by Ron Galella/WireImage)
LONDON -: Singer Boy George and actress Joan Rivers at the Park Lane Hotel in 1984, London. (Photo by Dave Hogan/Getty Images)
Comedienne Joan Rivers, right, waves as she shares a parade ride through Harvard Square in Cambridge, Mass., as part of the festivities connected to the naming of Rivers as “Woman of the Year" by Hasty Pudding Theatricals, the Harvard University drama group, Feb. 15, 1984. At left is John Isham, a Harvard senior from Newport, R.I. (AP Photo/Ted Gartland)
Comedian Joan Rivers and Barry Diller, chairman of Fox Inc., arrive for news conference in Los Angeles to announce that she will host a live talk show on Fox Broadcasting Co. that will compete with late night king Johnny Carson, May 6, 1986. Miss Rivers will lead the attack for Fox Broadcasting Corp’s new fourth network. (AP Photo/Jim Ruymen)
Comedienne Joan Rivers shown with ?Hulk? Hogan in 1985. (AP Photo)
THE TONIGHT SHOW STARRING JOHNNY CARSON -- Pictured: (l-r) Actress Betty White, guest host Joan Rivers on September 28, 1983 -- (Photo by: Joseph Del Valle/NBC/NBCU Photo Bank via Getty Images)
Joan Rivers (Photo by Ron Galella/WireImage)
UNITED STATES - APRIL 01: Joan Rivers 4/1/1987 (Photo by The LIFE Picture Collection/Getty Images)
NEW YORK - NOVEMBER 1970: Comedienne Joan Rivers with daughter Melissa at home in November 1970 in New York City, New York. (Photo by I.C. Rapoport/Getty Images)
New York Post columnist Joey Adams gets a birthday kiss from comedienne Joan Rivers at his 80th birthday celebration at the Helmsley Hotel in New York, Jan. 8, 1991. (AP Photo/Mark Phillips)
UNITED STATES - MARCH 09: Joan Rivers (Photo by The LIFE Picture Collection/Getty Images)
LOS ANGELES - 1987: Comedian Joan Rivers poses for a portrait in 1987 in Los Angeles, California. (Photo by Harry Langdon/Getty Images)
UNITED STATES - MARCH 09: Joan Rivers (Photo by The LIFE Picture Collection/Getty Images)
UNITED STATES - MARCH 09: Joan Rivers (Photo by The LIFE Picture Collection/Getty Images)
UNITED STATES - MARCH 09: Joan Rivers (Photo by The LIFE Picture Collection/Getty Images)
Joan Rivers (Photo by Ron Galella, Ltd./WireImage)
Joan Rivers during Birthday Party for Joan Rivers 'Sally Marr and Her Escorts' Cast Party - June 8, 1994 at Helen Hayes Theater in New York City, New York, United States. (Photo by Ron Galella, Ltd./WireImage)
Joan Rivers during Birthday Party for Joan Rivers 'Sally Marr and Her Escorts' Cast Party - June 8, 1994 at Helen Hayes Theater in New York City, New York, United States. (Photo by Ron Galella, Ltd./WireImage)
Joan Rivers (Photo by Gregg DeGuire/WireImage)
Melissa Rivers and Joan Rivers during 55th Annual Primetime Emmy Awards - Arrivals at The Shrine Auditorium in Los Angeles, California, United States. (Photo by Chris Weeks/FilmMagic)
Joan Rivers during The 55th Annual Primetime Emmy Awards - Arrivals at The Shrine Theater in Los Angeles, California, United States. (Photo by SGranitz/WireImage)
BEVERLY HILLS, CA - JANUARY 16: TV Guide Channel Host Joan Rivers arrives to the 62nd Annual Golden Globe Awards at the Beverly Hilton Hotel January 16, 2005 in Beverly Hills, California. (Photo by Carlo Allegri/Getty Images)
Comedian, talk-show host and power shopper Joan Rivers takes on a new role as she applies makeup prior to a rehearsal in New York on Thursday, April 7, 1994. Rivers is preparing for her return to Broadway in, ?Sally Marr and her escorts.? The play, directed by Lonny Price, is the true story of the burlesque comic Sally Marr who was also the mother of controversial comedian Lenny Bruce. It is scheduled to open on May 5. (AP Photo/Ed Bailey)
NEW YORK, NY - MARCH 24: Joan Rivers and Melissa Rivers seen at SiriusXM Studios in New York City on March 24, 2014. Credit: RW/MediaPunch
Television personality and entertainer Joan Rivers tours backstage with her camera crew before the Badgley Mischka Fall 2012 collection is shown during Fashion Week in New York, Tuesday, Feb. 14, 2012. (AP Photo/John Minchillo)
RIDGEWOOD, NJ - JULY 01: Joan Rivers promotes 'Diary of a Mad Diva' at Bookends Bookstore on July 1, 2014 in Ridgewood, New Jersey. (Photo by Michael N. Todaro/FilmMagic)
RIDGEWOOD, NJ - JULY 01: Joan Rivers promotes 'Diary of a Mad Diva' at Bookends Bookstore on July 1, 2014 in Ridgewood, New Jersey. (Photo by Michael N. Todaro/FilmMagic)
NEW YORK, NY - JUNE 30: Media personality/comedian Joan Rivers speaks to fans during her visit at Barnes & Noble Union Square to sign copies of her Book 'Diary Of A Mad Diva' on June 30, 2014 in New York City. (Photo by J. Countess/Getty Images)
NEW YORK, NY - MAY 15: (L-R) Melissa Rivers and Joan Rivers attend the 2014 NBCUniversal Cable Entertainment Upfronts at The Jacob K. Javits Convention Center on May 15, 2014 in New York City. (Photo by Astrid Stawiarz/Getty Images)
TV personalities Melissa, left, and Joan Rivers pose for a portrait Tuesday, Jan. 18, 2011 in New York. (AP Photo/Jeff Christensen)
Joan Rivers and Melissa Rivers during The 77th Annual Academy Awards - Arrivals at Kodak Theatre in Los Angeles, California, United States. (Photo by Chris Polk/FilmMagic)
Joan Rivers during The 57th Annual Emmy Awards - Arrivals at Shrine Auditorium in Los Angeles, California, United States. (Photo by SGranitz/WireImage)
Joan Rivers during Gala Opening of The JCPenney Experience on Broadway at One Times Square in New York, New York, United States. (Photo by Stephen Lovekin/WireImage)
Joan Rivers arrives at the QVC Red Carpet Style at the Four Seasons Hotel on Friday, Feb. 22, 2013 in Los Angeles. (Photo by Richard Shotwell/Invision/AP)
Joan Rivers Attends The 2007 British Academy Television Awards Sponsored By Pioneer At The Palladium In London. . (Photo by Antony Jones/UK Press via Getty Images)
Joan Rivers during Opening Night Party for the Off-Broadway Musical 'Altar Boyz' at Dodger Stages then Crobar in New York City, New York, United States. (Photo by Bruce Glikas/FilmMagic)
American comedic artist Joan Rivers poses for photographers as she presents "Comedy Roast with Joan Rivers" during the 25th MIPCOM (International Film and Programme Market for TV, Video, Cable and Satellite) in Cannes, southeastern France, Monday, Oct 5, 2009. (AP Photo/Lionel Cironneau)
Joan Rivers at the Central Park in New York City, New York (Photo by Jemal Countess/WireImage)
HOLLYWOOD, FL - MARCH 02: Comedian Joan Rivers performs at the Hard Rock Live at the Seminole Hard Rock Hotel and Casino on March 2, 2008 in Hollywood, Florida. (Photo by Larry Marano/Getty Images)
Comedian Joan Rivers appearing in the Superstar Theater at Resorts Atlantic City on Friday October 20, 2006 (Photo by Tom Briglia/FilmMagic)
**FILE**Joan Rivers blows kisses on arrival at the Primetime Emmy Awards on Sept. 18, 2005, at the Shrine Auditorium in Los Angeles. The 72-year-old red-carpet critic and comedian said she and assistant Matt Stewart created a profile for her on Match.com. "We were hoping to meet Mr. Right," Rivers told The Associated Press in a recent interview. "We didn't even get a wink."(AP Photo/Kevork Djansezian)
WATCH WHAT HAPPENS LIVE -- Pictured: Joan Rivers -- (Photo by: Charles Sykes/Bravo/NBCU Photo Bank via Getty Images)
FILE - In this Sunday, July 26, 2009 file photo, Joan Rivers greets the audience at the "Comedy Central Roast of Joan Rivers" in Los Angeles. Rivers, the raucous, acid-tongued comedian who crashed the male-dominated realm of late-night talk shows and turned Hollywood red carpets into danger zones for badly dressed celebrities, died Thursday, Sept. 4, 2014. She was 81. Rivers was hospitalized Aug. 28, after going into cardiac arrest at a doctor's office. (AP Photo/Dan Steinberg, File)
Myrna Patrich places flowers at a sidewalk memorial for comedian Joan Rivers at the doorstep of her apartment building, Friday, Sept. 5, 2014 in New York. Rivers died Thursday at a New York hospital following complications from surgery. She was 81. (AP Photo/Tina Fineberg)
A note and flowers are part of a sidewalk memorial for comedian Joan Rivers at the doorstep of her apartment building, Friday, Sept. 5, 2014 in New York. Rivers died Thursday at a New York hospital following complications from surgery. She was 81. (AP Photo/Tina Fineberg)
Paula Reardon places flowers at a sidewalk memorial for comedian Joan Rivers at the doorstep of her apartment building, Friday, Sept. 5, 2014 in New York. Rivers died Thursday at a New York hospital following complications from surgery. She was 81. (AP Photo/Tina Fineberg)
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Joan Rivers, the groundbreaking comic known for her quick wit and tough talk, died Thursday, her daughter, Melissa Rivers, confirmed. She was 81.

Rivers passed away in a private room at Mount Sinai Hospital in New York City. She was admitted to the hospital one week ago after she went into cardiac arrest following complications from vocal chord surgery. She was on life support until her passing.

Rivers, who has been delighting fans for the past four years with her no-nonsense commentary on celebrity fashion as the host of E!'s "Fashion Police," was a force to be reckoned with in the comedy industry and opened doors for many female comics over her 50-year career.

The Brooklyn-born entertainer, whose birth name was Joan Alexandra Molinsky, jumpstarted her illustrious career performing at comedy clubs, including The Bitter End and The Gaslight Café, in New York City before scoring a regular gig on "Candid Camera."

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Joan Rivers
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Legendary comedienne Joan Rivers dies at 81
NEW YORK - APRIL 27: Joan Rivers from the film 'Joan Rivers - A Piece of Work' attends the Tribeca Film Festival 2010 portrait studio at the FilmMaker Industry Press Center on April 27, 2010 in New York, New York. (Photo by Larry Busacca/Getty Images for Tribeca Film Festival)
NEW YORK - CIRCA 1968: Comedian Joan Rivers poses for a portrait circa 1968 in New York City, New York. (Photo by Michael Ochs Archives/Getty Images)
A newspaper, flowers and cards are part of a sidewalk memorial for comedian Joan Rivers at the doorstep of her apartment building, Friday, Sept. 5, 2014 in New York. Rivers died Thursday at a New York hospital following complications from surgery. She was 81. (AP Photo/Tina Fineberg)
Joan Rivers makes it quite clear - she'€™s starting a new syndicated talk show and its name is "The Joan Rivers Show," in Los Angeles, Aug. 15, 1989 (AP Photo/Nick Ut)
Joan Rivers interviews soccer legend Pele on her syndicated talk show ?Can We Shop? in New York on Thursday, April 21, 1994. During the taping Pele, 53, confirmed rumors that he will wed Assiria, 33, a fellow Brazilian, at the end of April. The show is scheduled to air on May 10, 1994. (AP Photo/Monika Graff)
NEW YORK, NY - SEPTEMBER 06: Tributes and flowers lay outside Joan River's Upper East Side home on September 6, 2014 in New York City. Joan Rivers passed away on September 4, 2014 after suffering respiratory and cardiac arrest during vocal cord surgery on August 28, 2014. (Photo by Rob Kim/GC Images)
370571 11: Comedienne Joan Rivers attends the 28th Annual 'FiFi' Awards, June 6, 2000 in New York City. The 'FiFi's,' the Oscars of the fragrance world, recognize the fragrance stars of the year and honors the industry's creative achievements. (Photo by George De Sota/Liaison)
LOS ANGELES - SEPTEMBER 21: Comedian Joan Rivers attends the 55th Annual Primetime Emmy Awards at the Shrine Auditorium September 21, 2003 in Los Angeles, California. (Photo by Kevin Winter/Getty Images)
A note and flowers are part of a sidewalk memorial for comedian Joan Rivers at the doorstep of her apartment building, Friday, Sept. 5, 2014 in New York. Rivers died Thursday at a New York hospital following complications from surgery. She was 81. (AP Photo/Tina Fineberg)
BEVERLY HILLS, CA - JANUARY 25: Actress Joan Rivers attends the 61st Annual Golden Globe Awards at the Beverly Hilton Hotel on January 25, 2004 in Beverly Hills, California. (Photo by Carlo Allegri/Getty Images)
A newspaper, flowers and cards are part of a sidewalk memorial for comedian Joan Rivers at the doorstep of her apartment building, Friday, Sept. 5, 2014 in New York. Rivers died Thursday at a New York hospital following complications from surgery. She was 81. (AP Photo/Tina Fineberg)
Sisters Keely Hassett, left, and Leimana Hassett from Maui, Hawaii, pay their respects next to flowers surrounding Joan Rivers' star and memorial wreath on the Hollywood Walk of Fame in Los Angeles, Thursday, Sept. 4, 2014. Rivers, the raucous, acid-tongued comedian who crashed the male-dominated realm of late-night talk shows and turned Hollywood red carpets into danger zones for badly dressed celebrities, died Thursday. She was 81. (AP Photo/Damian Dovarganes)
NEW YORK, NY - FEBRUARY 15: Joan Rivers visits 'Late Night With Jimmy Fallon' at Rockefeller Center on February 15, 2013 in New York City. (Photo by Theo Wargo/Getty Images)
Flowers surround Joan Rivers' star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame in Los Angeles Thursday, Sept. 4, 2014. Rivers, the raucous, acid-tongued comedian who crashed the male-dominated realm of late-night talk shows and turned Hollywood red carpets into danger zones for badly dressed celebrities, died Thursday. She was 81. (AP Photo/Damian Dovarganes)
NEW YORK, NY - FEBRUARY 14: Joan Rivers is seen around Lincoln Center during Fall 2012 Mercedes-Benz Fashion Week at Lincoln Center on February 14, 2012 in New York City. (Photo by Andrew H. Walker/Getty Images for Mercedes-Benz Fashion Week)
BEVERLY HILLS, CA - JANUARY 16: TV Guide Channel Hosts Melissa and Joan Rivers arrive to the 62nd Annual Golden Globe Awards at the Beverly Hilton Hotel January 16, 2005 in Beverly Hills, California. (Photo by Carlo Allegri/Getty Images)
A note and flowers are part of a sidewalk memorial for comedian Joan Rivers at the doorstep of her apartment building, Friday, Sept. 5, 2014 in New York. Rivers died Thursday at a New York hospital following complications from surgery. She was 81. (AP Photo/Tina Fineberg)
HOLLYWOOD - FEBRUARY 27: Television personalities Joan Rivers and Melissa Rivers on the red carpet at the 77th Annual Academy Awards at the Kodak Theater on February 27, 2005 in Hollywood, California. (Photo by Carlo Allegri/Getty Images)
BEVERLY HILLS, CA - JANUARY 16: Television personalities Joan and Melissa Rivers attend the HBO Golden Globe after party held at the Beverly Hilton on January 16, 2006 in Beverly Hills, California. (Photo by Vince Bucci/Getty Images)
TV personalities Melissa, left, and Joan Rivers pose for a portrait Tuesday, Jan. 18, 2011 in New York. (AP Photo/Jeff Christensen)
NEW YORK, NY - SEPTEMBER 04: Memorial for Joan Rivers on the Marquee of the Gotham Comedy Club on September 4, 2014 in New York City. Joan Rivers passed away on September 4, 2014 after suffering respiratory and cardiac arrest during vocal cord surgery on August 28, 2014. (Photo by Jamie McCarthy/Getty Images)
Tourists pause next to a memorial wreath at Joan Rivers' star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame in Los Angeles, Thursday, Sept. 4, 2014. Rivers, the raucous, acid-tongued comedian who crashed the male-dominated realm of late-night talk shows and turned Hollywood red carpets into danger zones for badly dressed celebrities, died Thursday. She was 81. (AP Photo/Damian Dovarganes)
NEW YORK, NY - FEBRUARY 16: Comedienne Joan Rivers (L) and TV personality Melissa Rivers attend the Elie Tahari Fall 2011 fashion show during Mercedes-Benz Fashion Week at The Stage at Lincoln Center on February 16, 2011 in New York City. (Photo by Stephen Lovekin/Getty Images for IMG)
HOLLYWOOD, CA - JULY 31: TV personalities Joan Rivers (L) and Melissa Rivers pose for a portrait at the DoSomething.org and VH1's 2013 Do Something Awards at Avalon on July 31, 2013 in Hollywood, California. (Photo by Christopher Polk/Getty Images for VH1)
Paula Reardon places flowers at a sidewalk memorial for comedian Joan Rivers at the doorstep of her apartment building, Friday, Sept. 5, 2014 in New York. Rivers died Thursday at a New York hospital following complications from surgery. She was 81. (AP Photo/Tina Fineberg)
NEW YORK, NY - JANUARY 31: Joan Rivers attends SiriusXM's 'Howard Stern Birthday Bash' at Hammerstein Ballroom on January 31, 2014 in New York City. (Photo by Rob Kim/Getty Images)
TV personality Joan Rivers officiates the gay wedding of William 'Jed' Ryan (L) and Joseph Aiello at the Plaza Athenee on August 15, 2014 in New York City. (Photo by Michael Loccisano/Getty Images)
LATE NIGHT WITH SETH MEYERS -- Episode 081 -- Pictured: (l-r) Comeidan Joan Rivers during an interview with host Seth Meyers on August 4, 2014 -- (Photo by: Lloyd Bishop/NBC/NBCU Photo Bank via Getty Images)
NEW YORK, NY - APRIL 22: TV personality Joan Rivers attends the New York Women In Communications 2013 Matrix Awards on April 22, 2013 in New York City. (Photo by Craig Barritt/Getty Images for New York Women In Communications)
NEW YORK, NY - FEBRUARY 14: Joan Rivers poses backstage at the Badgley Mischka Fall 2012 fashion show during Mercedes-Benz Fashion Week at The Theatre at Lincoln Center on February 14, 2012 in New York City. (Photo by Jason Kempin/Getty Images for Mercedes-Benz Fashion Week)
Joan Rivers attends a screening of the season two premiere of WE tv's "Joan & Melissa: Joan Knows Best?" in New York, Thursday, Jan. 19, 2012. (AP Photo/Charles Sykes)
NEW YORK, NY - SEPTEMBER 06: Tributes and flowers lay outside Joan River's Upper East Side home on September 6, 2014 in New York City. Joan Rivers passed away on September 4, 2014 after suffering respiratory and cardiac arrest during vocal cord surgery on August 28, 2014. (Photo by Rob Kim/GC Images)
NEW YORK, NY - JUNE 30: SiriusXM's Unmasked Special With Joan Rivers at SiriusXM on June 30, 2014 in New York City. (Photo by Robin Marchant/Getty Images for Sirius XM)
US actress Joan Rivers poses during a photocall during the 25th edition of the MIPCOM, on October 05, 2009 in Cannes, southern France. Some 12,000 TV executives trek to the French Riviera this week to eyeball new programmes up for grabs at the annual MIPCOM, signalling whether the entertainment industry is easing out of recession. With advertising revenues down worldwide, the annual four-day spending spree kicking off Today in Cannes will test the economic waters, said Mathieu Bejot, the head of TV France International, which has 800 programmes up for sale. AFP PHOTO VALERY HACHE (Photo credit should read VALERY HACHE/AFP/Getty Images)
Myrna Patrich places flowers at a sidewalk memorial for comedian Joan Rivers at the doorstep of her apartment building, Friday, Sept. 5, 2014 in New York. Rivers died Thursday at a New York hospital following complications from surgery. She was 81. (AP Photo/Tina Fineberg)
A note and flowers are part of a sidewalk memorial for comedian Joan Rivers at the doorstep of her apartment building, Friday, Sept. 5, 2014 in New York. Rivers died Thursday at a New York hospital following complications from surgery. She was 81. (AP Photo/Tina Fineberg)
NEW YORK, NY - JUNE 04: Comedian Joan Rivers attends the 2012 Made In NY Awards at Gracie Mansion on June 4, 2012 in New York City. (Photo by Stephen Lovekin/Getty Images)
NEW YORK, NY - OCTOBER 20: Joan Rivers attends the Broadway opening night of 'A Time To Kill' at The Golden Theatre on October 20, 2013 in New York City. (Photo by Neilson Barnard/Getty Images)
NEW YORK, NY - SEPTEMBER 06: Tributes and flowers lay outside Joan River's Upper East Side home on September 6, 2014 in New York City. Joan Rivers passed away on September 4, 2014 after suffering respiratory and cardiac arrest during vocal cord surgery on August 28, 2014. (Photo by Rob Kim/GC Images)
NEW YORK, NY - FEBRUARY 27: TV personality Joan Rivers attends the Tie The Knot Spring Collection launch hosted by Jesse Tyler Ferguson, Justin Mikita and Thetiebar.com at Avenue on February 27, 2013 in New York City. (Photo by Mike Coppola/Getty Images for Tie the Knot)
HOLLYWOOD, CA - FEBRUARY 26: Comedian Joan Rivers (L) and Rainbeau Mars attend Global Green USA's 11th Annual Pre-Oscar party at Avalon on February 26, 2014 in Hollywood, California. (Photo by Frederick M. Brown/Getty Images for Global Green)
NEW YORK - FEBRUARY 06: Joan Rivers attends the Bill Blass Fall 2007 fashion show during Mercedes-Benz Fashion Week at the Tent in Bryant Park February 6, 2007 in New York City. (Photo by Evan Agostini/Getty Images for IMG)
HOLLYWOOD - AUGUST 27: TV personality Joan Rivers arrives at the 4th annual TV Guide after party celebrating Emmys 2006 held at Social Hollywood on August 27, 2006 in Hollywood, California. (Photo by Frederick M. Brown/Getty Images)
NEW YORK, NY - SEPTEMBER 04: TV personality Joan Rivers attends New York City's Elie Tahari Day at Elie Tahari Pop-up Store on September 4, 2013 in New York City. (Photo by Slaven Vlasic/Getty Images)
NEW YORK, NY - APRIL 08: Media personality Joan Rivers attends the 2013 Tribeca Ball at New York Academy of Art on April 8, 2013 in New York City. (Photo by Jemal Countess/Getty Images)
LOS ANGELES, CA - JANUARY 25: TV personalities Joan Rivers (L) and Melissa Rivers attend the 56th annual GRAMMY Awards Pre-GRAMMY Gala and Salute to Industry Icons honoring Lucian Grainge at The Beverly Hilton on January 25, 2014 in Los Angeles, California. (Photo by Jason Merritt/WireImage)
HOLLYWOOD, CA - SEPTEMBER 04: Flowers placed on The Hollywood Walk of Fame Star in memory of TV personality/comedian Joan Rivers on September 4, 2014 in Hollywood, California. (Photo by Paul Archuleta/FilmMagic)
NEW YORK, NY - SEPTEMBER 05: A general view of atmosphere outside Joan Rivers' apartment on September 5, 2014 in New York City. Joan Rivers passed away on September 5, 2014 after suffering respiratory and cardiac arrest during vocal cord surgery on August 28, 2014. (Photo by Michael Stewart/Getty Images)
Joan Rivers attends the NBCUniversal Cable Entertainment 2014 Upfront at the Javits Center on Thursday, May 15, 2014, in New York. (Photo by Evan Agostini/Invision/AP)
Singer Adam Lambert, left, and comedian Joan Rivers at the "Glamorous By George" book launch hosted by Joan and Melissa Rivers on Monday, Jan. 13, 2014 in Los Angeles. (Photo by Dan Steinberg/Invision/AP)
WASHINGTON - NOVEMBER 10: Comedian Joan Rivers speaks to reporters at the awards ceremony for the 11th Annual Mark Twain Prize on November 10, 2008 in Washington, DC. This year's Mark Twain Prize for American Humor was awarded posthumously to George Carlin. (Photo by Brendan Hoffman/Getty Images)
BOSTON, MA - JULY 19: Actress Joan Rivers takes a tour of Fenway Park prior to the game between the Boston Red Sox and the Chicago White Sox on July 19, 2012 at Fenway Park in Boston, Massachusetts. (Photo by Jared Wickerham/Getty Images)
BEVERLY HILLS, CA - SEPTEMBER 19: TV personality Joan Rivers attends the 12th Annual Heller Awards at The Beverly Hilton Hotel on September 19, 2013 in Beverly Hills, California. (Photo by Vivien Killilea/WireImage)
Joan Rivers during Regis Philbin and Kelly Ripa Host the Second Annual Relly Awards on 'LIVE with Regis and Kelly' at ABC-TV Studios in Manhattan in New York City, New York, United States. (Photo by Gregory Pace/FilmMagic)
NEW YORK, NY - NOVEMBER 10: Joan Rivers attends the Broadway opening night production of 'Twelfth Night' & 'Richard III' at Belasco Theatre on November 10, 2013 in New York City. (Photo by John Lamparski/WireImage)
NEW YORK, NY - SEPTEMBER 06: Tributes and flowers lay outside Joan River's Upper East Side home on September 6, 2014 in New York City. Joan Rivers passed away on September 4, 2014 after suffering respiratory and cardiac arrest during vocal cord surgery on August 28, 2014. (Photo by Rob Kim/GC Images)
NEW YORK, NY - MAY 15: (L-R) Melissa Rivers and Joan Rivers attend the 2014 NBCUniversal Cable Entertainment Upfronts at The Jacob K. Javits Convention Center on May 15, 2014 in New York City. (Photo by Astrid Stawiarz/Getty Images)
LOS ANGELES, CA - JANUARY 25: Joan Rivers and Melissa Rivers attend the 56th annual GRAMMY Awards Pre-GRAMMY Gala and Salute to Industry Icons honoring Lucian Grainge at The Beverly Hilton on January 25, 2014 in Los Angeles, California. (Photo by Kevin Mazur/WireImage)
Joan Rivers at taping of CMT's 40 Greatest Done-Me-Wrong Songs (Photo by Theo Wargo/WireImage)
Joan Rivers performs at the Stardust Resort & Casino in Las Vegas, Nevada Saturday, June 26, 2004. Photo by Ethan Miller for Entertainment Weekly
Joan Rivers during Silver Spoon Pre-Golden Globe Hollywood Buffet - Day 2 at Private Residence in Los Angeles, California, United States. (Photo by Chris Weeks/WireImage for Silver Spoon (formerly The Cabana))
Comedienne and roastee Joan Rivers greets the audience at the "Comedy Central Roast of Joan Rivers" in Los Angeles on Sunday, July 26, 2009. (AP Photo/Dan Steinberg)
LOS ANGELES, CA - FEBRUARY 13: TV hosts Joan and Melissa Rivers at the TV Guide stage during arrivals to the 47th Annual Grammy Awards at the Staples Center February 13, 2005 in Los Angeles, California. (Photo by Getty Images/Getty Images)
Joan and Melissa Rivers pose during their visit to AOL.
NEW YORK, NY - SEPTEMBER 05: A general view of atmosphere outside Joan Rivers' apartment on September 5, 2014 in New York City. Joan Rivers passed away on September 5, 2014 after suffering respiratory and cardiac arrest during vocal cord surgery on August 28, 2014. (Photo by Michael Stewart/Getty Images)
HOLLYWOOD, CA - SEPTEMBER 04: Flowers placed on The Hollywood Walk of Fame Star in memory of TV personality/comedian Joan Rivers on September 4, 2014 in Hollywood, California. (Photo by Paul Archuleta/FilmMagic)
NEW YORK, NY - MARCH 24: Television personality Joan Rivers leaves the Sirius XM Studios on March 24, 2014 in New York City. (Photo by Ray Tamarra/GC Images)
Flowers are placed on the Hollywood Walk of Fame Star for Joan Rivers in Hollywood, California on September 4, 2014, following news of the comedian's death in New York at the age of 81. AFP PHOTO/Mark RALSTON (Photo credit should read MARK RALSTON/AFP/Getty Images)
FT.LAUDERDALE, FL - DECEMBER 12: Grand Marshall Joan Rivers at the Winterfest Boat Parade on December 12, 1991 in Ft. Lauderdale, Florida. (Photo by Manny Hernandez/GettyImages)
MIAMI, FL - SEPTEMBER 04: Joan Rivers at the Adrienne Arsht Center of the Performing Arts on September 4, 2014 in Miami, Florida. (Photo by Manny Hernandez/Getty Images)
Flowers are placed on the Hollywood Walk of Fame Star for Joan Rivers in Hollywood, California on September 4, 2014, following news of the comedian's death in New York at the age of 81. AFP PHOTO / Frederic J. BROWN (Photo credit should read FREDERIC J. BROWN/AFP/Getty Images)
LATE NIGHT WITH SETH MEYERS -- Episode 081 -- Pictured: (l-r) Comeidan Joan Rivers during an interview with host Seth Meyers on August 4, 2014 -- (Photo by: Lloyd Bishop/NBC/NBCU Photo Bank via Getty Images)
WATCH WHAT HAPPENS LIVE -- Pictured: Joan Rivers -- (Photo by: Charles Sykes/Bravo/NBCU Photo Bank via Getty Images)
NEW YORK, NY - JULY 12: TV personality Joan Rivers seen on the streets of Manhattan on July 12, 2014 in New York City. (Photo by Michael Stewart/GC Images)
LOS ANGELES, CA - JULY 10: Comedian Joan Rivers poses before signing copies of her new book 'Diary Of A Mad Diva' at Barnes & Noble bookstore at The Grove on July 10, 2014 in Los Angeles, California. (Photo by Amanda Edwards/WireImage)
LOS ANGELES, CA - JULY 10: Joan Rivers attends a book signing for her book 'Diary Of A Mad Diva' at Barnes & Noble bookstore at The Grove on July 10, 2014 in Los Angeles, California. (Photo by Joe Kohen/FilmMagic)
NEW YORK, NY - JUNE 30: Joan Rivers visits Barnes & Noble Union Square to promote her latest book, 'Diary of a Mad Diva' on June 30, 2014 in New York City. (Photo by Walter McBride/WireImage)
NEW YORK, NY - JUNE 30: (EXCLUSIVE COVERAGE) Joan Rivers promotes her new book 'Diary of a Mad Diva' on June 30, 2014 in New York City. (Photo by Rob Kim/Getty Images)
CHICAGO, IL - MAY 27: Actress, comedian, and writer Joan Rivers attends Michigan Avenue Magazine Celebrates Its Women Of Influence, May/June Issue With Joan Rivers at Neiman Marcus Chicago on May 27, 2014 in Chicago, Illinois. (Photo by Jeff Schear/Getty Images for Michigan Avenue Magazine)
WESTBURY, NY - MAY 20: Joan Rivers attends the 2014 Larger Than Life Gala at Old Westbury Hebrew Congregation on May 20, 2014 in Westbury, New York. (Photo by Shahar Azran/Getty Images)
NEW YORK, NY - MAY 15: TV Personalities Melissa Rivers and Joan Rivers from 'Fashion Police' attend the 2014 NBCUniversal Cable Entertainment Upfronts at The Jacob K. Javits Convention Center on May 15, 2014 in New York City. (Photo by Jim Spellman/WireImage)
HOLLYWOOD, CA - FEBRUARY 26: Joan Rivers attends the Global Green USA's 11th Annual Pre-Oscar Party held at Avalon on February 26, 2014 in Hollywood, California. (Photo by JB Lacroix/WireImage)
NEW YORK, NY - JANUARY 31: Robin Quivers and Joan Rivers attend 'Howard Stern's Birthday Bash' presented by SiriusXM, produced by Howard Stern Productions at Hammerstein Ballroom on January 31, 2014 in New York City. (Photo by Larry Busacca/Getty Images for SiriusXM)
NEW YORK, NY - JANUARY 31: Joan Rivers and Jeff Ross onstage at 'Howard Stern's Birthday Bash' presented by SiriusXM, produced by Howard Stern Productions at Hammerstein Ballroom on January 31, 2014 in New York City. (Photo by Theo Wargo/Getty Images for SiriusXM)
LOS ANGELES, CA - DECEMBER 15: Joan Rivers is seen arriving at LAX airport on December 15, 2013 in Los Angeles, California. (Photo by GVK/Bauer-Griffin/GC Images)
NEW YORK, NY - JUNE 24: Comedians Joan Rivers and Kathy Griffin attend The Friars Foundation Annual Applause Award Gala honoring Don Rickles at The Waldorf=Astoria on June 24, 2013 in New York City. (Photo by Stephen Lovekin/Getty Images)
NEW YORK, NY - MAY 20: TV personality Joan Rivers leaves the 'Good Day New York' taping at the Fox 5 Studios on May 20, 2013 in New York City. (Photo by Ray Tamarra/Getty Images)
Joan Rivers attends a screening of the season two premiere of WE tv's "Joan & Melissa: Joan Knows Best?" in New York, Thursday, Jan. 19, 2012. (AP Photo/Charles Sykes)
Joan Rivers looks at beads during the Krewe of Orpheus parade in the Uptown area of New Orleans Monday, Feb. 23, 2009. (AP Photo/Alex Brandon)
Joan Rivers arrives at the New York premiere of Michael Moore's movie "SiCKO", Monday, June 18, 2007 in New York. "SiCKO" is Moore's controversial new documentary about America's health-care industry. (AP Photo/Stephen Chernin)
Joan Rivers appears on the NBC television program "Today", in New York, Wednesday May 31, 2006. (AP Photo/Richard Drew)
Joan Rivers pounds nails as she helps to construct a house in New York's Rockefeller Center, Wednesday Sept.. 28, 2005. She volunteered in support of the Hurricane Katrina Project, a joint effort with with NBC, Warner Bros. Music and Habitat For Humanity to provide homes for people displaced by the recent hurricanes. (AP Photo/Richard Drew)
FILE - In this Sept. 18, 2005 file photo, comedian Joan Rivers blows kisses on arrival at the Primetime Emmy Awards in Los Angeles. Rivers, the raucous, acid-tongued comedian who crashed the male-dominated realm of late-night talk shows and turned Hollywood red carpets into danger zones for badly dressed celebrities, died Thursday, Sept. 4, 2014. She was 81. Rivers was hospitalized Aug. 28, after going into cardiac arrest at a doctor's office. (AP Photo/Kevork Djansezian, File)
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Her funny chops later earned her the praise of Johnny Carson, who asked her to appear on "The Tonight Show" in 1965.

Following her performance, Carson commented, "God, you're funny. You're going to be a star." His words proved to be correct and Rivers regularly guest-hosted Carson's show and called him her biggest mentor.

Rivers continued to appear on talk and variety shows throughout her career and launched her first talk show "The Late Show Starring Joan Rivers" on Fox in 1986 with the help of her television producer husband, Edgar Rosenberg. The show failed after one year and her husband, with whom she shared daughter, Melissa Rivers, was found dead of suicide shortly after. Rivers never remarried.

Despite her bumps in the road, Rivers was undeterred and continued to gain national acclaim.
She hosted another show, "The Joan Rivers Show," which earned her a Daytime Emmy Award in 1990.

Rivers is survived by her daughter and "Joan & Melissa: Joan Knows Best?" co-star, Melissa Rivers, and her grandson, Edgar Cooper Endicott.

Her wit, cynicism, and wisecracks will certainly be missed.

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