Less than one month after the death of Robin Williams, another comedy legend has passed on. Joan Rivers died on Thursday afternoon following several days spent in a medically induced coma. The comedian was 81 years old.
Rivers reportedly suffered complications on August 28 while undergoing surgery on her vocal cords. She was then put into a coma following a heart attack. Doctors had reportedly attempted to wake Rivers from her coma this week, though her condition remained serious. Rivers’ daughter Melissa Rivers revealed that her mother was moved out of intensive care on Wednesday and was “being kept comfortable” in a private room.
Rivers’ death was announced by Melissa in a heartfelt Facebook post. According to Melissa, Joan passed away while surrounded by her family and close friends.
Rivers began her career as a stand-up comedian in New York during the 1960s and soon gained a reputation for her twisted sense of humor. She first appeared on The Tonight Show in 1965 and became a regular guest on the show. She has appeared in dozens of TV shows and movies, and won the Daytime Emmy Award for Outstanding Talk Show Host in 1990 for her work on The Joan Rivers Show.
In her later years she became well-known for her appearances on E! network’s coverage of award show red carpet events, during which she often sharply criticized celebrities’ fashion choices.
Similar to Robin Williams’ death, fans of Joan Rivers (many of them celebrities themselves) have poured out their hearts on social media:
So funny and irrepressible. Rest in peace, Joan Rivers.
— bob saget (@bobsaget) September 4, 2014
My friend Joan Rivers has passed away once again to quote Billy Crystal… There are no words. Bon Voyage Joan
— Whoopi Goldberg (@WhoopiGoldberg) September 4, 2014
Joan Rivers has died. What a sad ending to a brilliant and tragi-comic life; one of the bravest, and funniest of all.
— Bette Midler (@BetteMidler) September 4, 2014
I won't cry for Joan Rivers. She'd hate that. Instead, I'll laugh over one of the many brilliant things she said in her life.
— Uncle Kage (@Unclekage) September 5, 2014
Joan Rivers will always be a pioneer. She paved the way for a lot of comedians. I’m very sad she’s gone. pic.twitter.com/i1uE9fyHMh
— Ellen DeGeneres (@TheEllenShow) September 4, 2014
Joan Rivers always did it her way and has generations of fans mourning her passing to prove it. Another comedy great lost. #RIPJoanRivers
— Rove McManus (@Rove) September 5, 2014
— Kathy Griffin (@kathygriffin) September 4, 2014
Joan Rivers just went off on everyone in heaven everyone for wearing white after Labor Day! #gonnamisshercomedy
— Larry The Cable Guy (@GitRDoneLarry) September 5, 2014
— John Stamos (@JohnStamos) September 4, 2014
RIP Joan Rivers. Being publicly told that my dress is hideous will never feel quite as awesome. You will be truly missed.
— Anna Kendrick (@AnnaKendrick47) September 4, 2014
RIP the mighty Joan Rivers. Funny & fearless. Truly one of a kind.
— Ricky Gervais (@rickygervais) September 4, 2014