LOS ANGELES (CBSLA.com) — Legendary comic Joan Rivers died Thursday at the age of 81.
"It is with great sadness that I announce the death of my mother, Joan Rivers. She passed peacefully at 1:17pm 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," daughter Melissa Rivers said in a statement through her mother's longtime publicist Jusyt Katz.
"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."
The host of E!'s "Fashion Police" stopped breathing and went into cardiac arrest just before 9:30 a.m. on Aug. 28 at an Upper East Side clinic in New York where she was having a procedure done on her vocal cords.
She was rushed to a Mount Sinai Hospital where she was placed in intensive care in a medically induced coma.
Rivers was moved out of intensive care Wednesday into a private room where she died a day later.
Reaction to her death was widespread on Twitter and other social media and came from both the entertainment and political worlds.
Former First Lady Nancy Reagan released the following statement: "Joan Rivers was not only a dear friend, but one of the kindest and funniest people I ever knew. I doubt there's anyone who hasn't laughed at her or with her until they cried. Today our tears are those of sadness. I know I join millions in saying, 'Thanks for the good times Joan, we will truly miss you.'
Rivers' career was launched in 1968 after she appeared on "The Tonight Show" with Johnny Carson. She went on to host a variety of other shows on television, including "The Joan Rivers Show", which she won a Daytime Emmy for Outstanding Talk Show Host in 1990.
TV talk show legend Larry King told KNX 1070 NEWSRADIO Rivers was a one of a kind person that we'll never see again.
"We should always feel generous to the person who made us laugh. People who make us laugh add a bounty to our lives," King said. "So, we say thank you to Joan Rivers for the gift of laughter."
From 2011-2014, she starred in a reality show on WE tv with her daughter Melissa titled "Joan & Melissa: Joan Knows Best?". Rivers, who also wrote 12 best-selling books, was the co-host of E!'s "Fashion Police" since its inception in 2010.
E! issued the following statement on her death:
"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."
Rivers lived in Malibu with her daughter and her grandson. Her funeral will be held Sunday in New York City.
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