NEW YORK (Reuters) - Acerbic comedian and fashion critic Joan Rivers is “resting comfortably” and with her family, her daughter said on Thursday, after Rivers reportedly stopped breathing during surgery on her vocal chords and was rushed to Mount Sinai Hospital in New York.
Melissa Rivers thanked “everyone for the overwhelming love and support” for her mother in a statement through the hospital late on Thursday.
No further details were given on the condition of the 81-year-old Brooklyn-born celebrity, who had gone to a New York clinic for a throat procedure on Thursday.
One of America’s best-known comedians, Rivers is considered a pioneer for women in stand-up comedy.
New York City Fire Department spokesman Jim Long said a patient reported to be in cardiac arrest had been taken from Yorkville Endoscopy to Mount Sinai by emergency workers responding to the call at 9:40 a.m..
Long declined to name the patient due to privacy concerns, but the NBC television affiliate in New York said it was Rivers and that she had stopped breathing during a procedure on her vocal chords.
Earlier in the day, Ken Baker, an entertainment journalist at E! News, which features Rivers as host of its show “Fashion Police,” said on his Twitter account that Rivers was in stable condition.
Rivers’s peers in the 1960s comedy club scene of New York’s Greenwich Village included Bill Cosby, Richard Pryor, Woody Allen and George Carlin, but she said she never felt like she was part of their clique.
In 1983, she earned one of the biggest gigs in the business when “The Tonight Show” host, the late Johnny Carson, crowned her as his regular guest host.
Her brash and self-deprecating routine found new life on the awards show circuit and in recent years she trained her biting wit and profanity-laced comment on the fashion faux pas of Hollywood’s celebrities.
In an age of political correctness, her no-holds-barred style has stood out in the crowded world of celebrity TV, as has her ability to make fun of herself, including her penchant for plastic surgery.
Aside from her role on “Fashion Police,” she has in recent years starred alongside her daughter in the WE TV reality show “Joan & Melissa: Joan Knows Best?”
Reporting by Barbara Goldberg in New York and Piya Sinha-Roy, Alex Dobuzinskis and Eric Kelsey in Los Angeles; Editing by Mary Milliken, Jonathan Oatis, Sandra Maler and Ken Wills