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Joan Rivers dies at 81

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Photo: Video by � Carlo Allegri / Reuters

Joan Rivers dies at 81

By Julianne Cassidy. CREATED Sep 4, 2014

Comedienne Joan Rivers has died at 81. Rivers stopped breathing during a minor elective procedure at Yorkville Endoscopy clinic one week ago on Aug. 28, and is beleived to have been on life support for at least the last several days.

Melissa Rivers, Joan's only daughter, sais in a statement released on Thursday, "She passed peacefully at 1:17 p.m. surrounded by family and close friends," CNN details.

Prior to being on life support in Manhattan's Mount Sinai Hospital, Rivers was placed in a medical coma after going into cardiac and respiratory arrest during a procedure on her throat performed elsewhere.

Melissa Rivers said in her statement, "My son [Cooper] and I would like to thank the doctors, nurses, and staff of Mount Sinai Hospital for the amazing care they provided for my mother," CNN reports. "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."

"Joan first became a household name after landing in the spotlight in 1965 during a guest appearance on 'The Tonight Show' with Johnny Carson. The duo's chemistry was so palpable that she was named the permanent guest host in 1983," E! reports. "Then in 1986, she began the rival program 'The Late Show' which sparked a highly publicized rift between the two late-night talk show hosts."

"In 1994, both Joan and Melissa hosted the E! pre-show awards for the Golden Globes which quickly became an absolute sensation," E! further details. "One year later, the two co-hosted E!'s red carpet coverage of the Academy Awards and cemented their roles as fixtures on the awards season scene. After briefly leaving the network for a stint at TV Guide [Network], Joan made her triumphant return to E! where she has been hosting 'Fashion Police' with Giuliana Rancic, Kelly Osbourne and George Kotsiopoulos since 2010."

Melissa is also Joan's co-star in their joint reality show, "Joan & Melissa: Joan Knows Best?"

In addition to her many entertainment and comedy ventures, Rivers is the author of 12 books and had her own jewelry line. 

After an official review, the New York State Department of Health is currently investigating the clinic where Rivers' throat surgery was performed.

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Julianne Cassidy

Julianne Cassidy

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A city girl gone country, Julianne Cassidy is a newly Nashville-based entertainment journalist from Philadelphia.