Joan Rivers Dead at 81

Joan Rivers: A Piece of Work chronicled the late comedian's career.
Joan Rivers: A Piece of Work chronicled the late comedian's career.
Courtesy of IFC Films

Comedian, fashion icon, and pop culture diva Joan Rivers died this afternoon in New York, according to a statement from her family. She had been hospitalized since Thursday, August 28, following complications during throat surgery. She was 81.

See also: Joan Rivers: A Piece of Work: Getting Old Isn't for Sissies

Rivers, who famously never wanted to stop working, was known for her self-deprecation, quick wit, and acerbic tongue. Her decades-spanning career in stand-up, movies, and TV started when she made her late-night debut on The Tonight Show in 1965 and went on to appear as a regular guest alongside Johnny Carson.

Her film and TV credits included Muppets Take Manhattan, Louie, Celebrity Apprentice, which Rivers won, and Fashion Police, on which she harshly and hilariously critiqued celebrity red carpet looks. She won a Daytime Emmy Award in 1990 for her talk show, The Joan Rivers Show. Rivers also penned several books and starred in the acclaimed 2010 documentary Joan Rivers: A Piece of Work.

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