Joan Rivers
American actor and director
Joan Rivers
Joan Alexandra Molinsky, publicly known as Joan Rivers, is an American television personality, comedian, and actress. She is known for her brash manner; her loud, raspy voice with a heavy New York accent; and her numerous cosmetic surgeries. Rivers's comic style relies heavily on her ability to poke fun at herself and Hollywood celebrities.
Biography
Joan Rivers's personal information overview.
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News
News abour Joan Rivers from around the web
Bill Maher Lets 'Impish Brit' Milo Yiannopoulos Off Easy
Huffington Post - 3 days
The much-anticipated appearance between Bill Maher and Milo Yiannopoulos on HBO’s “Real Time” came off more like a mutual admiration society. At one point, the host even rather warmly referred to the white nationalist as an “impish, British fag.” “You are the only good [liberal], literally the only good one,” Yiannopoulos gushed Friday night to Maher. “I think you’re colossally wrong on a number of things,” said Maher, smiling. Yiannopoulos replied, “And that’s OK.” Maher did stress that he does have a problem with Yiannopoulos attacking certain people. The standard bearer of the self-described “alt-right” movement, who forged his reputation on Breitbart.com when White House chief strategist Steve Bannon was editor, is known for his vicious diatribes against minorities, immigrants, women, and the LGBTQ community, including a disturbing verbal attack on a trans woman in the audience at a talk at the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee. An appearance at the Unive ...
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Huffington Post article
Groundbreaking women in comedy
CNN - 18 days
From Joan Rivers to Wanda Sykes, these hilarious women comedians pull no punches. "The History of Comedy" airs every Thursday at 10p ET.
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CNN article
70 Glorious Tweets From Women About The 2017 Golden Globes
Huffington Post - about 1 month
Another year, another glamorous night of the Golden Globe Awards ― the annual show where we get to watch some of the most glamorous celebs in Hollywood get drunk and celebrate our favorite moments on the big and small screen ― and occasionally say something powerful and profound.  Highlights of the night for women ranged from Tracee Ellis Ross finally winning her first Golden Globe for “Black-ish,” “The Crown” winning all the awards, and Meryl Streep’s poignant, political acceptance speech for Lifetime Achievement.  But the best part of any awards show is, without a doubt, the tweets, and the ladies of Twitter were in fine form tonight. Check it out:  I like the Barb bit BUT I WOULD. — emily nussbaum (@emilynussbaum) January 9, 2017 FINALLY BARB GETS THE AIRTIME SHE DESERVES #justiceforbarb — Julia Bush (@jabush) January 9, 2017 I'm traumatized by lace clothing. It's just too representative of Christmas table clothes stained with fa ...
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Huffington Post article
Author Leslie Bennetts on New Joan Rivers Biography
Wall Street Journal - 3 months
Journalist Leslie Bennetts discusses her new book, "Last Girl Before Freeway: The Life, Losses, and Liberation of Joan Rivers," on Lunch Break with Tanya Rivero. Bennetts describes the comedienne's trailblazing career, her life and legacy of self-invention. Photo: Melissa Rivers and Sheboygan Productions LLC
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Wall Street Journal article
Donald Trump, Please Remember Your Past Interest In The Environment
Huffington Post - 3 months
In 1992, current U.S. President-elect Donald Trump appeared in a television mini-series based off the 1990 Jackie Collins romance novel “Lady Boss.” Trump, who won the U.S. presidential election early Wednesday morning, only makes a brief cameo in the series, but in a short scene, he expresses an enthusiasm for discussing the environment. In it, Joan Rivers warmly greets Trump as he comes over to her table at a restaurant. The Rivers character tells Trump ― who plays himself ― that her and her friend are “talking about the environment.” To which Trump responds, “That sounds pretty interesting to me.” This was most likely a scripted moment for Trump, but the dialogue is still startling compared to the tone Trump has repeatedly expressed regarding the environment. Over the course of his now successful campaign, Trump repeatedly talked with disdain about those who believe in climate change and even claimed the Chinese invented the idea of global warming. ...
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Huffington Post article
Comic and Playwright Lisa Lampanelli- My Play "Stuffed" Shows That We're All Really Still Working On Ourselves"
Huffington Post - 4 months
The word "metamorphosis" does not even do Lisa Lampanelli justice. From notorious roaster to playwright, Lampanelli is slowly moving to a more centered direction with her play "Stuffed" focusing on four women with varied eating issues, but still keeping her signature razor sharp wit on stage during her stand up. Lampanelli sat down to chat with me about her new play "Stuffed", her absolute adoration for Howard Stern, and how she is learning to not compare herself to anyone else at all. You have gone through a complete transformation, both personally and professionally. You appeared recently on "The Wendy Williams Show" and looked absolutely stunning! Yes, thank you! My boobs will never match hers though, I'll tell you that! (laughs). Basically, I think some of the weight helped take some of the walls down in reality, so basically I got a little more confident. I'm definitely not super confident, but I am confident that I don't have to hide behind those layers of fat and ...
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Huffington Post article
25 Famous Women On Being Alone
Huffington Post - 5 months
(Photo: Getty Images) By Julie Ma Depending on who you are, the very thought of spending time alone will send your heart racing with delight or despair. For extroverts, alone time can be an almost-withering experience. For introverts, it can be a crucial sanctuary and a chance to recharge. While the days of openly calling single women "old maids," "spinsters," or "cat ladies" are nearing extinction, the social stigma surrounding ladies who are uncoupled by choice or by chance still runs deep. Below, 25 accomplished women -- including Shonda Rhimes and Diane Keaton -- discuss what being alone and living as single, independent women means to them. Related: Does Living Alone Drive You Mad? Shonda Rhimes "I don't know if anyone has noticed, but I only ever write about one thing: being alone. The fear of being alone, the desire to not be alone, the attempts we make to find our person, to keep our person, to convince our person to not leave us alone, the joy of being with ...
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Huffington Post article
This Is What The Emmy Awards Looked Like In 2006
Huffington Post - 5 months
The 2006 Emmy Awards had everything. Conan O’Brien hosted for the second year in a row, the goddess known as Joan Rivers was still with us and Katherine Heigl had yet to leave “Grey’s Anatomy.” The red carpet was dominated by stars dressed in shimmery satin gowns and peppered with more than few married couples who have since divorced.  As we approach the 68th Emmy Awards on Sunday, we decided to venture back 10 years to see what the show was like in 2006.   Check out all of the fun below:  Hit Backspace for a regular dose of pop culture nostalgia. -- This feed and its contents are the property of The Huffington Post, and use is subject to our terms. It may be used for personal consumption, but may not be distributed on a website.
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Opinion: 'VIP syndrome' for Prince?
CNN - 9 months
A deadly ailment killed Michael Jackson and Joan Rivers -- and may have figured in the death of the rock star, Prince.
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CNN article
Kathy Griffin: "No One Has The Donald Trump Stories I Have"
Huffington Post - 9 months
As she tours the country on her ever-growing eighty stop comedy tour, Kathy Griffin is eviscerating Kardashians, Donald Trump, and everyone in between. With razor sharp wit and masterful timing, Griffin is the go-to performer to get the real deal on current events and pop culture, mostly because she knows them personally! We sat down with her as she prepared for the Wild West Comedy Festival to chat about Blac Chyna, her darling and wine swilling mother Maggie, and Mr. Trump himself. So I have managed to get some free time with you on your insane eighty stop tour! Next up; Nashville for the Wild West Comedy Festival on May 21st! How is it going to be doing Kathy Griffin in the red state of Tennessee? My show in Nashville is going to be all new material! Here's the thing; Tennessee is a red state but Nashville is a blue city. I'm gonna give em' a beat down about this "HB1840" law thing, I'm gonna hassle em! You know, it's getting crazier, and that's where I come in. One o ...
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Huffington Post article
Joan Rivers and Outpatient Surgery
NYTimes - 9 months
The Ambulatory Surgery Center Association says Ms. Rivers’s death was due to human error, not the fact that she was in an outpatient clinic.
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NYTimes article
Family of Joan Rivers reaches settlement with clinic
CNN - 9 months
The family of the late Joan Rivers has settled with the clinic at the center of a medical malpractice lawsuit following the comedian's death, attorneys for the family tell CNN.
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CNN article
Joan Rivers' daughter settles malpractice lawsuit in mother's death
Reuters.com - 9 months
NEW YORK (Reuters) - A New York City clinic has settled a malpractice lawsuit filed by the daughter of comedian Joan Rivers for an undisclosed amount over an ill-fated procedure that led to the celebrity's death, lawyers for the Rivers family said on Thursday.
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Reuters.com article
A look inside Second City's first restaurant, 1959 Kitchen & Bar
Chicago Times - 11 months
By now, most Chicagoans can name Second City alum without thinking. John Belushi, Tina Fey, Joan Rivers, Chris Farley. The list goes on. But in 1959, Second City was little more than a modest revue show a few blocks away from its current Old Town location. Back then, no one could have predicted the...
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Chicago Times article
In Defense of the Offensive
Huffington Post - 12 months
Viewers, readers, consumers, friends, family and, yes, even myself sometimes, listen up. Breathe. Sit down. Relax and try and enjoy. You're killing yourself over comedy. Your anger and stress from being offended is destroying you from the inside. I'm not a comedian. I am fortunate to be able to work with many great comedians and love viewing comedy: stand-up, sketch and even, on occasion, improv. I try and see as many shows as I can and expose myself to as many comedians as possible. With each of them comes a unique view of the world. Comedians work hard at their art form. They pine over perfect wording in little notebooks, practice their sets tirelessly in the mirror and then have the courage to get on stage or video and put themselves out there in ways most (including myself) couldn't fathom. They constantly tuning and perfecting their craft on social media. "Why are we holding their offensive jokes to a higher level of scrutiny than the issues they're bringing to light?" ...
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Huffington Post article
Timeline
Learn about memorable moments in the evolution of Joan Rivers
    LATE_ADULTHOOD
  • 2014
    Age 80
    Comedian Amy Schumer, speaking at the 2014 Glamour magazine "Woman of the Year Awards" ceremony in Carnegie Hall, paid tribute to Rivers, calling her the bravest female comedian.
    More Details Hide Details Note: Emmy nominations for Outstanding Writing – Special Class shared with Toem Perew and Hester Mundis.
    She appeared posthumously with other female comedians in the documentary MAKERS: Women in Comedy, which premiered on PBS in October 2014.
    More Details Hide Details During her 55-year career as a comedian, her tough-talking style of satirical humor was both praised and criticized as truthful, yet too personal, too gossipy, and very often abrasive. Nonetheless, with her ability to "tell it like it is," she became a pioneer of contemporary stand-up comedy. Commenting about her style, she told biographer Gerald Nachman, "Maybe I started it. We're a very gossipy culture. All we want to know now is private lives." However, her style of humor, which often relied on making jokes about her own life and satirizing the lives of celebrities and public figures, was sometimes criticized as insensitive. Her jokes about Elizabeth Taylor and Adele's weight, for instance, were often commented on, although Rivers would never apologize for her humor. Rivers, who was Jewish, was also criticized for making jokes about the Holocaust and later explained, "This is the way I remind people about the Holocaust. I do it through humor", adding, "my husband lost his entire family in the Holocaust." Her joke about the victims of the Ariel Castro kidnappings similarly came under criticism, but she again refused to apologize, stating, "I know what those girls went through. It was a little stupid joke."
    On August 28, 2014, Rivers experienced serious complications and stopped breathing while undergoing what was scheduled as a minor throat procedure at an outpatient clinic in Yorkville, Manhattan.
    More Details Hide Details Resuscitated an hour later, Rivers was transferred to the hospital and later put on life support. She died on September 4 at Mount Sinai Hospital in New York, having never awoken from a medically induced coma. The New York City Medical Examiner's Office said she died from brain damage caused by a lack of oxygen, and the details of her surgery would be investigated by officials. Rivers was 81 years old. After nearly two months of investigations, federal officials said on November 10 that the clinic made a number of mistakes both before and during the procedure. Among those were the clinic's failure to respond to Rivers' deteriorating vital signs, including a severe drop in her blood pressure, possibly administering an incorrect anesthetic dosage, performing a surgical procedure without her consent, and other medical-clinic irregularities. On September 7, after Rivers' cremation, a private memorial service took place at Temple Emanu-El in Manhattan. The service was attended by an estimated 1,500 people. The guest list included Rivers' many celebrity friends, public figures and the New York City Gay Men's Chorus singing old show tunes. Talk show host Howard Stern, delivering the eulogy, described Rivers as "brassy in public and classy in private... a troublemaker, trail blazer, pioneer for comics everywhere,... who fought the stereotypes that women can't be funny." Daughter Melissa read a comedic note to her mother as part of her eulogy.
    On March 27, 2014, Rivers returned for an interview.
    More Details Hide Details Shortly after Carson's death in 2005, Rivers said that he had never spoken to her again. In 2008, during an interview with Dr. Pamela Connolly on television's Shrink Rap, Rivers claimed she did call Carson, but he hung up on her at once and repeated the gesture when she called again.
    Rivers did not appear on the Tonight Show again until February 17, 2014, when she made a brief appearance on new host Jimmy Fallon's first episode.
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    On January 28, 2014, during a conversation between Rivers and Reza Farahan of the Shahs of Sunset, Melissa Rivers interjected to clarify that she and her mother were "fiscally conservative, socially liberal" Republicans.
    More Details Hide Details Rivers was open about her multiple cosmetic surgeries and was a patient of plastic surgeon Steven Hoefflin, beginning in 1983. She had her nose thinned while still at college; her next procedure, an eye lift, was performed in 1965 (when she was in her thirties) as an attempt to further her career. When promoting her book, Men Are Stupid... And They Like Big Boobs: A Woman's Guide to Beauty Through Plastic Surgery, described by The New York Times Magazine as "a detailed and mostly serious guide to eye lifts, tummy tucks and other forms of plastic surgery", she quipped: "I've had so much plastic surgery, when I die they will donate my body to Tupperware." As a philanthropist, Rivers supported causes including HIV/AIDS activism, and in May 1985, she appeared along with Nichols and May at a Comic Relief benefit for the new AIDS Medical Foundation in New York City, where tickets at the Shubert Theatre sold for as much as $500. She supported the Elton John AIDS Foundation and God's Love We Deliver, which delivers meals to HIV/AIDS patients in New York City. In 2008, she was commended by the City of San Diego, California for her philanthropic work regarding HIV/AIDS, where the HIV/AIDS community called her their "Joan of Arc."
  • 2012
    Age 78
    In a 2012 interview with Howard Stern, Rivers said she had several extramarital affairs when married to Rosenberg, including a one-night affair with actor Robert Mitchum in the 1960s and an affair with actor Gabriel Dell.
    More Details Hide Details In her book Bouncing Back (1997) Rivers described how she developed bulimia nervosa and contemplated suicide. Eventually she recovered with counseling and the support of her family. In 2002, Rivers told the Montreal Mirror that she was a Republican.
    On August 7, 2012, Rivers showed up in Burbank, California to protest that the warehouse club Costco would not sell her New York Times best-selling book, I Hate Everyone...
    More Details Hide Details Starting with Me. She handcuffed herself to a shopping cart and shouted through a megaphone. The police were called to the scene and she left without incident; no arrests were made. On March 5, 2013, she launched a new online talk show on YouTube, called In Bed with Joan.
  • 2011
    Age 77
    In 2011, Rivers was featured as herself in Season 2 of Louis C.K.'s self-titled show Louie, where she performed on-stage.
    More Details Hide Details Beginning September 10, 2010, Rivers co-hosted the E! show Fashion Police, along with Giuliana Rancic, Kelly Osbourne, and George Kotsiopoulos commenting on the dos and don'ts of celebrity fashion. The show started as a half-hour program but expanded to one hour on March 9, 2012.
    In 2011, Rivers appeared in a commercial for Go Daddy, which debuted during the broadcast of Super Bowl XLV.
    More Details Hide Details She made two appearances on It's Showtime at the Apollo, once as a comedian and once as a guest host. Joan and her daughter premiered the new show Joan & Melissa: Joan Knows Best? on WE tv. The series follows Joan moving to California to be closer to her family. She moves in with daughter Melissa while searching for a home of her own. WE tv then ordered a new season consisting of 10 episodes, which premiered in January 2012.
  • 2010
    Age 76
    A documentary film about Rivers, Joan Rivers: A Piece of Work, premiered at the San Francisco International Film Festival at the Castro Theatre on May 6, 2010.
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  • 2009
    Age 75
    From August 2009, Rivers began starring in the new reality TV series How'd You Get So Rich? on TV Land.
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    She was also roasted in a Comedy Central special, taped on July 26, 2009, and aired on August 9, 2009.
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    Rivers was featured on the show Z Rock as herself; she was also a special "pink-carpet" presenter for the 2009 broadcast of the Sydney Gay and Lesbian Mardi Gras parade.
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    On the season finale, which aired live on May 10, Rivers was announced the winner and hired to be the 2009 Celebrity Apprentice.
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    Rivers later returned to the show and on May 3, 2009, she became a finalist in the series.
    More Details Hide Details The other finalist was Duke.
    Rivers and daughter Melissa were contestants in 2009 on the second Celebrity Apprentice.
    More Details Hide Details Throughout the season, each celebrity raised money for a charity of his or her choice; Rivers selected God's Love We Deliver. After a falling out with poker player Annie Duke, following Melissa's on-air firing (elimination) by Donald Trump, Rivers left the green room telling Clint Black and Jesse James that she would not be in the next morning.
  • 2008
    Age 74
    On June 24, 2008, Rivers appeared on NBC-TV's show Celebrity Family Feud and competed with her daughter against Ice-T and Coco.
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    In January 2008, Rivers became one of 20 hijackers to take control of the Big Brother house in the UK for one day in spin-off TV show Big Brother: Celebrity Hijack.
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  • 2007
    Age 73
    On December 3, 2007, Rivers performed in the Royal Variety Show 2007 at the Liverpool Empire Theatre, England, with Queen Elizabeth II and Prince Philip present.
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    On August 16, 2007, Rivers began a two-week workshop of her new play, with the working title "The Joan Rivers Theatre Project", at The Magic Theatre in San Francisco.
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  • 2005
    Age 71
    Political figures giving tribute to Rivers included former first lady Nancy Reagan, who had helped Rivers after the death of her husband, Edgar Rosenberg. As a friend of Prince Charles, and one of only four Americans invited to his wedding to Camilla Parker Bowles in 2005.
    More Details Hide Details Upon hearing of her death, they said she was "utterly irreplaceable." While Israel's Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu noted that besides bringing laughter to millions of people around the world, she was "proud of her Jewish heritage." After her mother's death, Melissa Rivers said she received a letter from President Barack Obama in which he wrote, despite being a frequent target of Rivers' jokes: "not only did she make us laugh, she made us think".
    Rivers was one of only four Americans invited to the Wedding of Charles, Prince of Wales, and Camilla Parker Bowles on April 9, 2005.
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  • 2004
    Age 70
    In 2004, Rivers was part of the formal receiving party when Ronald Reagan was placed in state at the United States Capitol.
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  • 2000
    Age 66
    She was also a guest speaker at the opening of the American Operating Room Nurses' 2000 San Francisco Conference.
    More Details Hide Details Both Joan and Melissa Rivers were frequent guests on Howard Stern's radio show, and Joan Rivers often appeared as a guest on UK panel show 8 Out of 10 Cats.
  • 1994
    Age 60
    After 27 previews, "Sally Marr... and Her Escorts," a play "suggested by the life of Sally Marr" ran on Broadway for 50 performances in May and June 1994.
    More Details Hide Details Rivers was nominated for a Drama Desk Award as Outstanding Actress in a Play and a Tony Award for Best Actress in a Play for playing Sally Marr. By 2003, Rivers had left her E! red-carpet show for a three-year contract (valued at $6–8 million) to cover award shows' red carpet events for the TV Guide Channel. Rivers appeared in three episodes of the TV show Nip/Tuck during its second, third and sixth seasons, playing herself. Rivers appeared regularly on television's The Shopping Channel (in Canada) and QVC (in both the United States and the UK), promoting her own line of jewelry under the brand name "The Joan Rivers Collection".
    In 1994, influenced by the stand-up comedy of Lenny Bruce, Rivers co-wrote and starred in a play about Bruce's mother Sally Marr, who was also a stand-up comic and influenced her son's development as a comic.
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    In 1994, Rivers and daughter Melissa first hosted the E!
    More Details Hide Details Entertainment Television pre-awards show for the Golden Globe Awards, and beginning in 1995, E!'s annual Academy Awards pre-awards show as well. Beginning in 1997, Rivers hosted her own radio show on WOR in New York City. Rivers also appeared as one of the center square occupants on the 1986–89 version of The Hollywood Squares, hosted by John Davidson.
  • FIFTIES
  • 1989
    Age 55
    Rivers subsequently appeared on various TV shows, including The David Letterman Show and Pee-wee's Playhouse Christmas Special. By 1989, she tried another daytime TV talk show, The Joan Rivers Show, which ran for five years and won her a Daytime Emmy in 1990 for Outstanding Talk Show Host.
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  • 1987
    Age 53
    Rosenberg committed suicide in 1987, shortly after Rivers announced her intention to separate.
    More Details Hide Details Rivers would later describe her marriage to Rosenberg as a "total sham", complaining bitterly about his treatment of her during their 22-year marriage.
    Rivers credited Nancy Reagan with helping her after the 1987 suicide of her second husband.
    More Details Hide Details Fox attempted to continue the show with a new name (The Late Show) and rotating guest hosts.
    Three months later, on August 14, 1987, Rosenberg committed suicide in Philadelphia; Rivers blamed the tragedy on his "humiliation" by Fox.
    More Details Hide Details
    The Late Show Starring Joan Rivers turned out to be flecked by tragedy. When Rivers challenged FOX executives, who wanted to fire her husband Edgar Rosenberg as the show's producer, the network fired them both on May 15, 1987.
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  • 1986
    Age 52
    In 1986 came the move that ended Rivers' longtime friendship with Johnny Carson, who had first hired her as a Tonight Show writer.
    More Details Hide Details The soon-to-launch Fox Television Network announced that it was giving her a late night talk show, The Late Show Starring Joan Rivers, making Rivers the first woman to have her own late night talk show on a major network. The new network planned to broadcast the show 11 p.m. to 12 a.m. Eastern Time, making her a Carson competitor. Carson learned of the show from Fox and not from Rivers. In the documentary, Johnny Carson: King of Late Night, Rivers said she only called Carson to discuss the matter after learning he may have already heard about it and that he immediately hung up on her. In the same interview, she said that she later came to believe that maybe she should have asked for his blessing before taking the job. Rivers was banned from appearing on the Tonight Show, a decision respected by Carson's first two successors Jay Leno and Conan O'Brien. After the release of his 2013 biography on Johnny Carson, Carson's attorney Henry Bushkin revealed that he never received a call from Rivers' husband Edgar concerning the move to Fox, contrary to what Edgar had told Rivers.
    The decade was controversial for Rivers. She sued female impersonator Frank Marino for $5,000,000 in 1986, after discovering he was using her real stand-up material in the impersonation of her that he included in his popular Las Vegas act.
    More Details Hide Details The two comics reconciled and even appeared together on television in later years.
  • 1984
    Age 50
    In 1984, Rivers published a best-selling humor book, The Life and Hard Times of Heidi Abramowitz, a mock memoir of her brassy, loose comedy character.
    More Details Hide Details A television special based on the character, a mock tribute called Joan Rivers and Friends Salute Heidi Abramowitz, was not successful with the public.
    She was nominated in 1984 for a Grammy Award for her album What Becomes a Semi-Legend Most?; and was nominated in 1994 for the Tony Award for Best Actress in a Play for her performance of the title role in Sally Marr and Her Escorts.
    More Details Hide Details In 2015, Rivers posthumously received a Grammy Award for Best Spoken Word Album for her book, Diary of a Mad Diva. In 1968, The New York Times television critic Jack Gould called Rivers "quite possibly the most intuitively funny woman alive".
  • FORTIES
  • 1983
    Age 49
    She also hosted an episode of Saturday Night Live, on April 9, 1983.
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    Rivers spoke of her primary Tonight Show life as having been "Johnny Carson's daughter", a reference to his longtime mentoring of her and, during the 1980s, establishing her as his regular guest host by August 1983.
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    A friend of Nancy and President Ronald Reagan, Rivers attended a state dinner in 1983, and later, at the invitation of Nancy, spoke at luncheon at the 1984 Republican National Convention.
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    In February 1983, she performed at Carnegie Hall and the following year, she did stand-up on the United Kingdom's TV show An Audience With Joan Rivers.
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  • 1978
    Age 44
    In 1978, Rivers wrote and directed the film Rabbit Test, starring her friend Billy Crystal.
    More Details Hide Details During the same decade, she was the opening act for singers Helen Reddy, Robert Goulet, Mac Davis and Sergio Franchi on the Las Vegas Strip.
  • THIRTIES
  • 1973
    Age 39
    In 1973, Rivers wrote the TV movie The Girl Most Likely to, a black comedy starring Stockard Channing.
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  • 1972
    Age 38
    From 1972 to 1976, she narrated The Adventures of Letterman, an animated segment for The Electric Company.
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  • 1965
    Age 31
    Rivers married Edgar Rosenberg on July 15, 1965.
    More Details Hide Details Their only child, Melissa Warburg Rosenberg, who goes by the name Melissa Rivers, was born on January 20, 1968. Joan Rivers had one grandson, Cooper, born Edgar Cooper Endicott in 2000. Along with his mother and grandmother, Cooper was featured in the WE tv series Joan & Melissa: Joan Knows Best?
    In early 1965, at the suggestion of comedian Bill Cosby, Johnny Carson gave Rivers, whom he billed as a comedy writer, her debut appearance on his show.
    More Details Hide Details Cosby, who knew Rivers from their early stand-up days, described her as "an intelligent girl without being a weirdo... a human being, not a kook." Sitting alongside Johnny after her monologue, she displayed an intimate, conversational style which he appreciated, and she was invited back eight more times that year. Time magazine compared her humor to that of Woody Allen, by expressing "how to be neurotic about practically everything," but noting that "her style and femininity make her something special." Rivers also compared herself to Allen, stating: "He was a writer, which I basically was... and talking about things that affected our generation that nobody else talked about." The New York Times critic Charles L. Mee likewise compared her to Allen, explaining that her "style was personal, an autobiographical stream-of-consciousness." Rivers' image contrasted starkly with Carson's stage demeanor, which was one of the reasons he made her co-host according to critic Michael Pollan, who compared their style of humor:
    She also made her first appearance on The Tonight Show with new host Johnny Carson, on February 17, 1965.
    More Details Hide Details During the same decade, Rivers made other appearances on The Tonight Show as well as The Ed Sullivan Show, while hosting the first of several talk shows. She wrote material for the puppet Topo Gigio. She had a brief role in The Swimmer (1968), starring Burt Lancaster. A year later, she had a short-lived syndicated daytime talk show, That Show with Joan Rivers; Johnny Carson was her first guest. In the middle of the 1960s, she released at least two comedy albums, The Next to Last Joan Rivers Album and Rivers Presents Mr. Phyllis & Other Funny Stories. By the 1970s, Rivers was appearing on various television comedy and variety shows, including The Carol Burnett Show and a semi-regular stint on Hollywood Squares.
    By 1965, Rivers had a stint on Candid Camera as a gag writer and participant; she was "the bait" to lure people into ridiculous situations for the show.
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  • TWENTIES
  • 1955
    Age 21
    Rivers' first marriage was in 1955 to James Sanger, the son of a Bond Clothing Stores merchandise manager.
    More Details Hide Details The marriage lasted six months and was annulled on the basis that Sanger did not want children and had not informed Rivers before the wedding.
  • TEENAGE
  • 1950
    Age 16
    She attended Connecticut College between 1950 and 1952, and graduated from Barnard College in 1954 with a Bachelor of Arts degree in English literature and anthropology; she was a member of Phi Beta Kappa.
    More Details Hide Details Before entering show business, Rivers worked at various jobs such as a tour guide at Rockefeller Center, a writer/proofreader at an advertising agency and a fashion consultant at Bond Clothing Stores. During this period, agent Tony Rivers advised her to change her name, so she chose Joan Rivers as her stage name. During the late 1950s, Rivers appeared in a short-run play, Driftwood, playing a lesbian with a crush on a character played by a then-unknown Barbra Streisand. The play ran for six weeks. Rivers performed in numerous comedy clubs in the Greenwich Village area of New York City in the early 1960s, including The Bitter End and The Gaslight Cafe, before making her first appearances as a guest on the TV program The Tonight Show originating from New York, hosted at the time by Jack Paar.
  • CHILDHOOD
  • 1933
    Born
    Rivers was born Joan Alexandra Molinsky on June 8, 1933, in Brooklyn, New York, the daughter of Russian Jewish immigrants Beatrice (née Grushman; January 6, 1906 – October 1975) and Dr. Meyer C. Molinsky (December 7, 1900 – January 1985), who graduated from Long Island College of Medicine.
    More Details Hide Details Her elder sister, Barbara Waxler, died on June 3, 2013 at the age of 82. Rivers was raised in Prospect Heights and Crown Heights in Brooklyn, where she attended the progressive and now-defunct Brooklyn Ethical Culture School and Adelphi Academy of Brooklyn - a college preparatory day school. Her family later moved to Larchmont.
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