Private funeral set for Joan Rivers, acerbic comedy pioneer

Fri Sep 5, 2014 7:41pm EDT
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By Patricia Reaney

NEW YORK (Reuters) - Joan Rivers, the sassy, sharp-tongued comedy legend who jokingly wrote about wanting an elaborate funeral, will be laid to rest in a private service on Sunday.

The New York City Medical Examiner's Office said on Friday that after an initial examination, further tests were needed to determine the cause of Rivers' death.

The comedian passed away in a New York hospital on Thursday, a week after she stopped breathing during an outpatient procedure at a clinic and suffered cardiac arrest.

Rivers, 81, will have an invitation-only funeral at Temple Emanu-El, a landmark synagogue on New York's Fifth Avenue where she was a member of the congregation.

"We mourn with her family, friends and all those millions to whom she brought laughter and joy,” Senior Rabbi Joshua M. Davidson, who will conduct the service, said in a statement.

No details of the service were released, but in her 2012 book "I Hate Everyone ...Starting With Me," the comedy star wrote about wanting her funeral to be a big showbiz affair, complete with actress Meryl Streep crying in different accents.

"I want paparazzi and I want publicists making a scene! I want it to be Hollywood all the way."

The future of Rivers' E! cable television show "Fashion Police," which comments on the unfortunate red carpet choices of Hollywood celebrities, is uncertain.   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