Family of seriously ill Joan Rivers 'keeping fingers crossed': daughter

Sun Aug 31, 2014 4:31pm EDT
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By Ellen Wulfhorst

NEW YORK (Reuters) - The daughter of comedian Joan Rivers, hospitalized in serious condition after suffering cardiac arrest, said on Sunday the comedian's family members are "keeping our fingers crossed," according to a hospital statement.

Rivers, 81, has been hospitalized since Thursday, when she suffered cardiac arrest after her breathing stopped during a vocal cord procedure at a Manhattan clinic, her family and hospital officials said.

Daughter Melissa Rivers, in a statement released by Mt. Sinai Hospital, said: "Thank you for your continued love and support.

"We are keeping our fingers crossed," she said.

There was no update released as to Rivers' condition.

Rivers is considered a pioneer for women in stand-up comedy. The Brooklyn native, who graduated Phi Beta Kappa from Barnard College, played the comedy club scene in New York in the 1960s.

In 1983, she earned one of the biggest gigs in the business when then-"Tonight Show" host Johnny Carson crowned her as his regular guest host.

But her subsequent, short-lived stint hosting a competing late night talk show on Fox network in 1986 led to a rift with Carson that lasted until his death in 2005.   Continued...

Comedian Joan Rivers arrives for the premiere of the documentary "Joan Rivers - A Piece Of Work" during the 2010 Sundance Film Festival in Park City, Utah January 25, 2010.    REUTERS/Lucas Jackson