Born on June 8, 1933 in Brooklyn
to Russian immigrants, Joan Rivers knew from an early age that she wanted to be an actress
. She appeared in all of the plays shown during her time at Barnard College
, from which she graduated a member of Phi Beta Kappa
. While working as a buyer in a department store, she married the boss's son - but the marriage only lasted six months. After seven years of failures, she finally gained a booking on The Tonight Show
with Johnny Carson
. Four months later, she married producer Edgar Rosenberg, and in January 1968 gave birth to daughter Melissa
. Later that same year she hosted her own syndicated talk show
and appeared on The Ed Sullivan Show
. She continued as a comedian, including stints as guest host on The Tonight Show, and by 1983 had sold out performances at Carnegie Hall
. She suffered depression after her husband died in 1987, but by two years later she was bouncing back, appearing on Broadway
and hosting a syndicated daytime talk show in 1989. She would go on to win an Emmy
award and a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame
. Today, she has perfume
and skin care
products named after her, and works on occasion with QVC
. She lives in Manhattan and appears frequently on E!
Television, where her trademark line remains can we talk?!
On September 3, Melissa Rivers (daughter of Joan) issued a brief statement that Rivers had been moved from Mount Sinai Hospital's intensive care unit into a private room without any comment concerning Rivers's condition or prognosis. Joan Rivers died the next day on September 4, 2014. She was 81 years old.