Joan Rivers passed away on Thursday afternoon at the age of 81, a week after suffering cardiac arrest during a medical procedure, her daughter said. Rivers had been on life support at Manhattan's Mount Sinai hospital, where she was taken after she stopped breathing during a procedure at the Yorkville Endoscopy clinic last Thursday.
"It is with great sadness that I announce the death of my mother, Joan Rivers," Melissa Rivers said in a statement. "She passed peacefully at 1:17 PM surrounded by family and close friends. 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.
"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."
Rivers was an actress, comedian, writer, producer and television host. She was often a guest host for Johnny Carson on "The Tonight Show" and was best known for her stand-up comedy, for co-hosting the E! celebrity fashion show "Fashion Police," and for starring in the reality series "Joan & Melissa: Joan Knows Best?" alongside her daughter Melissa.
We highly recommend Joan Rivers: A Piece of Work, a documentary on the life of Rivers that is currently streaming on Netflix.
E! And NBCUniversal released the following statement on Joan Rivers: "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. 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."