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HOME > Joan & Melissa: Joan Knows Best

Joan Rivers passes away at the age of 81

By Elizabeth Kwiatkowski, 09/04/2014 

Joan Rivers has died at the age of 81.

Joan's daughter Melissa Rivers, 46, took her mother off life support so she could pass comfortably in a well-decorated, private hospital suite, TMZ reported.

"It is with great sadness that I announce the death of my mother, Joan Rivers. She passed peacefully at 1:17 PM surrounded by family and close friends," Melissa said in a statement obtained by TMZ.

"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."

Melissa added, "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."

One week ago, Joan went into cardiac and respiratory arrest as a result of a "routine" throat procedure on her vocal cord. She was then rushed to Mount Sinai Hospital in New York, where she was placed in a medically-induced coma.

Joan, who starred in Joan & Melissa: Joan Knows Best and won the second season of The Celebrity Apprentice, served as a comedian for over 50 years. She reportedly began her career as a writer and fashion consultant before skyrocketing into a late-night talk show host, reality TV star and host of E!'s Fashion Police.

E! and its NBCUniversal corporate parent released a statement shortly following the news of Joan's death.

"E! and NBCUniversal send our deepest condolences to Melissa, Cooper and her entire extended family on this incredibly sad day. For decades Joan has made people laugh, shattered glass ceilings and revolutionized comedy," the statement read.

"She was unapologetic and fiercely dedicated to entertaining all of us and has left an indelible mark on the people that worked with her and on her legions of fans. She's been a much beloved member of the E! family for over 20 years and the world is less funny without her in it. Today our hearts are heavy knowing Joan will not be bounding through the doors."

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