Savannah Herring and Claire Dougherty
After a fifty plus year career in Hollywood, Joan Rivers passed away in The New York medical clinic of Manhattan while receiving a surgery on her vocal cords at the age of 81.
Born in Brooklyn in 1933, Joan Molinsky, or Rivers, was destined for greatness. Her ability to make anybody laugh, her trademark raspy voice, and her lack of concern over other's opinions, got her to the top, and fast. She pursued her interest for performing at Barnard College but soon after graduation she abandoned this dream for a more practical career, as a buyer for a chain store.
After her divorce from her first husband, she returned to performing. She was determined to find success, starred on a small television show only to find that acting was not a good fit for her. Instead, she switched to comedy. Years of struggling as a comedian and performer in coffeehouses and comedy clubs led her to her big break. In 1965, she was booked for The Tonight Show Starring Johnny Carson and was “an instant hit.” She later claimed that Carson was, "The man who handed me my career.”
Later in the sixties she settled into her own show known as, That Show or The Joan Rivers Show, which aired on FOX network. She continued to appear on talk shows and soon enough Joan Rivers became a household name. By 1983, Rivers had two best-selling books and a Grammy Award-nominated comedy album.
This period of time was also when Rivers faced many setbacks, such as the cancellation of her show and the death of her producer and second husband of 22 years, Edgar Rosenberg, who committed suicide in 1987. Determined to rebuild her life and career, she moved back to New York and launched her own daytime talk show. She later won an Emmy Award, and a Tony for her television success. She then became the host of E! News and established herself as an entertainment critic or analyst. Rivers continued to flourish as she hosted new shows and wrote more books about her life and career.
Throughout her entire life, no matter what profession she was pursuing, whether it was acting, show hosting, or stand up comedy, she always managed to be the star with her unique and edgy comedy. Although her sense of humor isn’t always favored by all audiences, everybody can admit, she was talented. She will always be remembered has a true pioneer for women in the entertainment world. She had the determination to prove herself, and has left a lasting mark on the world.
"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