NEW YORK (CBSNewYork/AP) — Joan Rivers, the raucous, acid-tongued comedian who crashed the male-dominated realm of late-night talk shows and turned Hollywood red carpets into danger zones for badly dressed celebrities, died Thursday. She was 81.
Rivers was hospitalized last week after she went into cardiac arrest and respiratory at Yorkville Endoscopy following a minor, elective vocal cord procedure. Daughter Melissa Rivers said she died around 1:15 p.m. at Mount Sinai Hospital, surrounded by family and close friends.
Rivers was removed from the intensive care unit and taken to an executive wing of the hospital. Her own decorator was brought in to make it more comfortable, and even Rivers’ beloved dogs were allowed to be there with her, CBS 2’s Dave Carlin reported.
“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,” Melissa Rivers said. “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 New York state Health Department is investigating the circumstances surrounding Rivers’ cardiac arrest.