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Joan Rivers leaves us at 81

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joanrivers1Sadly, “Can we talk?” must now be answered with: “No.” Joan Rivers, both beloved and disdained in her long, wonderful career in show business, is dead at 81. Rivers, born Joan Alexandra Molinsky on June 8, 1933 in New York, passed away at that city’s Mount Sinai Hospital, after being taken there last Thursday following a medical procedure during which she experienced cardiac arrest.

According to a statement released by Rivers’ daughter Melissa, Joan, in the company of her family and friends, peacefully passed away Thursday night. Services will be in New York City at Temple Emanu-El on Sunday, September 7. No further information, such as whether the funeral will be private, or its exact time, has been made available.joanrivers2

The 81-year-old veteran stand-up legend had been receiving elective throat surgery described as “minor” at Yorkville Endoscopy Clinic when her breathing halted a week ago. She apparently was subject to both respiratory and cardiac stoppages, and was quickly moved to the hospital. She remained there, on life support, for a week, before succumbing.

Her untimely demise has brought about investigations of the Yorkville Clinic by the Department of Health of New York State as well as scrutiny by the New York City medical examiner. The official police look into the cause and nature of her death will be announced as soon as it is determined, according to a statement released by the city.

joanrivers3Following the announcing of her passing, an outpouring of tributes, memories and sad and funny tales about her have spread throughout the internet, the print media, television and radio. One of the first reactions came from former first lady Nancy Reagan, who, along with her husband, President Ronald Reagan, had been close friends of Rivers since Reagan’s Hollywood days.

Larry King, CNN talk show host, and a friend of Joan Rivers for much of her career opined as to how she never accepted limits on her wit or intelligence. All topics were fair game for a joke. She will be greatly missed. As with her friend Robin Williams’ demise, the world is a lot less funny now.

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