Comedy legend Joan Rivers remains in medically induced coma

UPDATE: Joan Rivers has died at the age of 81.

Joan Rivers has been called a groundbreaker and a legend. Now she is struggling with a life-threatening health crisis.

The legendary comedienne is in a medically induced coma at a hospital in New York, reports "Entertainment Tonight" co-host Nancy O'Dell.

The 81-year-old queen of comedy stopped breathing on Thursday while having throat procedure at a clinic on New York's Upper East Side.

She went into cardiac arrest and is being treated at Mount Sinai hospital.

"This is not a comeback business," Rivers told CBS This Morning in 2010. "And I've seen too many people try to come back. The people have moved on. You must always stay current."

Rivers appeared on Wednesday night at an event promoting her book in New York City, and was booked for a Friday night standup show in Red Bank, New Jersey, which has now been postponed.

"She's a trailblazer. She's everything that we want to bring to Red Bank and to our stage," said theater operations Vice President Izzy Sackowitz. "We were close to being sold out."

Rivers broke the glass ceiling of late night. She got her start in 1966 as a guest on the Tonight Show, and served as permanent guest host for years. Johnny Carson adored her and she flourished on the stage.

She said on Carson's show in 1986: "No man has ever put his hand up a woman's dress looking for a library card."

Rivers has continued to reinvent herself through a five-decades long career of ups and downs.

"I just want to know what you're going to say now," Will Smith said to Rivers on the red carpet. "Because last year you told me I looked like a swashbuckler."

Her sharp tongue has kept pop culture on its toes, many in Hollywood finding themselves the target of her jokes on the E! Network show "Fashion Police."

Through it all, Rivers has retained the ability to laugh at herself.

"I have been pulled so tight, I put earrings on my ass now," she said on Entertainment Tonight in 2008.

We are hearing that they are going to bring Rivers out of the medically induced coma this weekend and assess any damage.

Everyone in Hollywood is rallying around her, like Larry King, who tweeted: "Go get 'em girl."

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