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Fans React With Sadness, Disbelief After Death Of Joan Rivers

NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) – The news of legendary comedian Joan Rivers' death has many in disbelief and Hollywood has taken to social media to honor her. She was 81.

Rivers' final performance was last Wednesday night at the theater in the West Bank Cafe on West 42nd Street, where she had a regular gig.

"She would actually thank us for having her," West Bank Café owner Steve Olsen said.

Those outside the West Bank Café Thursday were in disbelief and tried to process the news of her death.

"She seemed like she was going to live until 100. It's so sad," fan Jami Dauber said.

"She was ubiquitous. She was around all the time. One of those people New York produced," one fan said said.

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"She was always sassy," another remarked.

"She wasn't scared to say what she thought. I'll miss that," another fan told CBS 2's Andrea Grymes.

As Grymes reported, the 81-year-old was always working, whether it was entertaining fans, promoting her jewelry line or giving her hilarious opinions on the red carpet. She seemed to be everywhere, which is why many say it's so hard to imagine a world without her.

Rivers showed no signs of slowing down. Her schedule for the next few months was jam packed across the country and overseas in the United Kingdom, Grymes reported.

MORE: Joan Rivers Through The Years | Social Media Reaction

Comedian Larry Miller worked alongside Rivers many years ago and with her passing, said the show must go on.

"Any comic, never mind a great comic and a star comic, could be happy, should be happy, will be happy, to know that on the day that she passed away, that we were here doing what she would do," he said.

Miller was performing at the Gotham Comedy Club Thursday night, where the marquis was changed in Rivers' honor.

"She really stood up for comedians," comedian Steven Scott told CBS 2's Hazel Sanchez. "She really stood up to that kind of stuff and really was supportive of the art and we're grateful for that. We'll miss her but her legacy will live on always."

Her outspoken style made her an icon.

CBS 2's Vanessa Murdock was outside her home on the Upper East Side where many who knew and loved her shared their fond memories.

Mere hours after her death, fans left flowers and well wishes outside her home.

"She was a survivor, stuck true to herself, and she'll be missed. There's nobody like her," Drew Smith said.

"I could cry right now thinking about her," one fan told 1010 WINS' Kevin Rincon.

Fans React With Sadness, Disbelief After Death Of Joan Rivers

"Sad for New York, sad for Melissa, sorry to see her go," Franziska Kleb said.

When Murdock asked what they'd miss most, one fan said "Just her voice, I guess. And never know what she's going to say."

"I remember the first time I saw her, the Upstairs at the Downstairs. We walked in and she was unknown and we thought this was the funniest person we've ever heard," Pat Goldman said.

Shimon Kahloun came all the way from Queens to say goodbye and pay his respects to a woman he says was the best boss he ever had.

"She was like a momma, she was a loving individual. I think one to one the most loving individual person," Kahloun said.

Darius Frowner played piano with Rivers at The Duplex and saw a different side of her than the one she showed on stage.

"She was very nice off stage. She told me I was doing a great job. Sometimes she warned me about a little bit of a joke she wanted to do and to work with it," he said.

Fans React With Sadness, Disbelief After Death Of Joan Rivers

Dan Crowley works at the Duplex now.

"I actually had the pleasure of waiting on her at a restaurant many years ago and she was one of the nicest customers I've ever had. She was so classy, so funny, tipped very generously," Crowley said.

Rivers' absence on the red carpet at Lincoln Center for Fashion Week was felt.

"We passed the E station and said she should be here. And then we step down and one of the camera people said she just passed away. Just like, ugh. It's like a cloud," recording artist Dante Blakeley told CBS 2's Hazel Sanchez.

News of her death spread quickly at Lincoln Center where shows were underway.

"I was really obviously very deeply shocked. I think with someone like that, when they're such an icon in the industry, you think that they're just going to last forever," fan Sarah Kelly said.

"She was no sugarcoat. She as all about business. All about fashion. And tell you with the quickness if you're in or if you're out , and that's what everyone loved about her," actress Kia Tilmon said.

Tilmon said while working at a city night club, she had many run-ins with the quick-witted comedian.

Fans say Rivers' style had a staying power that simply didn't fade and her candid flare will be missed.

"She was never afraid to say what she wanted and never afraid to make herself look as young as she could," Kelly said.

"I think she leaves behind a long history of very funny and outrageous view on life and people. No holds barred," Michael Crisafulli said.

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