Comedy Icon, Fashion Critic, and Larchmont Resident Joan Rivers Dead at 81

Westchester resident and renowned comedian Joan Rivers died Thursday at Mount Sinai Hospital in New York City

Comedy icon and longtime Larchmont resident Joan Rivers has died at the age of 81 after falling into a coma while undergoing a surgical procedure late in August.

Rivers’ daughter, Melissa Rivers, reported that her mother died Thursday, six days after she underwent surgery on her vocal cords at a medical clinic in New York City. Rivers suffered both cardiac and respiratory arrest as a result surgical complications on August 28 and was transported by ambulance to Mount Sinai Hospital where she was listed in critical condition.

Melissa Rivers reported that her mother was put on life support Tuesday; on Thursday, in a tear-filled statement, confirmed that her mother had passed away.

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“My mother’s greatest joy in life was to make people laugh,” Melissa said in a statement to NBC News. “Although that is difficult to do right now, I know her final wish would be that we return to laughing soon.”

joan rivers
James Kriegsmann/Wikimedia Commons

Born on June 8, 1933, Rivers was raised in Brooklyn but moved to Larchmont at an early age, where she was to reside for the rest of her life. She was still performing locally this year, when she appeared at the Paramount Hudson Valley Theatre in Peekskill.

Boasting an extensive award-winning career as an actress, comedian, writer, producer, and television host, Rivers’ recent projects included co-hosting the E! celebrity show Fashion Police and for starring in Joan & Melissa: Joan Knows Best?a reality series with her daughter.

Rivers — always known for her brutal political incorrectness and self deprecation — joked about her own mortality just days before her death.

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“You know I’m 81 years old,” said Rivers during her last appearance on August 27 according to CNN. “I could drop dead at any moment and you would be so lucky because you will have a story to tell your friends for the rest of your life.”

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