Nothing taboo for Joan Rivers, queen of acid put-downs

Thu Sep 4, 2014 8:15pm EDT
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By Bill Trott

(Reuters) - Joan Rivers, who became a comedic star with an act that was a mélange of insult, insecurity, over-the-top cattiness and a nothing-is-sacred philosophy, died on Thursday at the age of 81, her daughter Melissa Rivers said.

Rivers, an outspoken advocate of the plastic surgery that gave her a preternaturally preserved appearance, died after suffering cardiac arrest during an outpatient procedure on her vocal cords on Aug. 28 at a clinic in New York that had left her on life support for several days.

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

Rivers found fame as a stand-up comedian and TV host before becoming a regular on reality television in her later years as a celebrity-bashing fashion pundit.   Continued...

Flowers and mementos are pictured on the star of comedian Joan Rivers on the Walk of Fame in Hollywood, California September 4, 2014. REUTERS/Mario Anzuoni