Joan Rivers
Joan Rivers Bang Showbiz

Comedian Joan Rivers dies in New York hospital at 81

AMERICAN comedian Joan Rivers has died in a New York hospital, her daughter Melissa Rivers has confirmed. She was 81.

Last week, Rivers was hospitalised after she went into cardiac arrested at a doctor's office in Manhattan following a routine procedure on her throat.

Melissa said her mother died surrounded by her family and close friends.

Rivers was famed for her acerbic routines, which she opened with her trademark line: "Can we talk?"

In her decades-long career, her acid-tongue never mellowed.

She moved from longtime targets such as Elizabeth Taylor, whom she famously ridiculed as fat, to new faces, and continued to appear in clubs and on TV into her 80s.

Joan Rivers' most controversial moments

During her lengthy career, the comedian - famous for her frank style - often came under fire for the comments she made off stage, on everything from fur to the war in Gaza.

Earlier this month, she made one of her most shocking statements when she said that Palestinians killed in the recent war with Israel deserved to be dead.

"When you declare war, you declare war. They started it. We now don't count who's dead. You're dead, you deserve to be dead. Don't you dare make me feel bad about that," she told TMZ.

And in July, a long-standing feud between Rivers and Peta re-emerged when the animal rights group arrived unannounced at a promotional event for her new book, and asked her why she chose to wear fur.


At first appeasing demonstrators, Rivers quickly hit back by saying that the furs she had worn "have gotten to go to the opera."

She then added that she agreed with the group, and has four rescue animals. "We all do what we do in our own way," she said.

Establishing her career by poking fun at celebrities - herself included - even an 81-year-old Rivers pulled no punches.

After The Hunger Games actress Jennifer Lawrence criticised Rivers' Fashion Police show last year, the 24-year-old became the octegenarian's chosen target of ridicule. Rivers said of the actress: ""My New Year's resolution is [ensuring] Jennifer Lawrence grows up and realises how lucky she is and calms down."

"I love that she's telling everyone how wrong it is to worry about retouching and body image, and meanwhile, she has been touched up more than a choir boy at the Vatican," she said in her characteristically shocking style.

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