Joan Rivers passed away today at the age of 81, after suffering complications from vocal cord surgery on Aug. 28. Famous for her snark (directed at others and at herself), she was a comedy pioneer (well-known for her “Can we talk?” catchphrase), and was the first, and still the only, woman to host her own late-night talk show (The Late Show in 1986; she was banned by Johnny Carson from The Tonight Show after going out on her own without his knowledge, following her longtime guest-hosting of Carson’s program.)
In later years, Rivers was probably more familiar to younger viewers as a fixture for gossip and fashion commentary on the E! network, co-hosting red carpets and the series Fashion Police with her wry style. She also starred in the WEtv reality series Joan & Melissa: Joan Knows Best? with daughter Melissa Rivers.
Today, E! and its parent company, NBCUniversal, offered this statement on the passing of one of their stars:
“E! and NBCUniversal send our deepest condolences to Melissa, Cooper and her entire extended family on this incredibly sad day. For decades Joan has made people laugh, shattered glass ceilings and revolutionized comedy. She was unapologetic and fiercely dedicated to entertaining all of us and has left an indelible mark on the people that worked with her and on her legions of fans. She’s been a much beloved member of the E! family for over 20 years and the world is less funny without her in it. Today our hearts are heavy knowing Joan will not be bounding through the doors.”
Joan Rivers, Fashion Police image: © 2012 E! Entertainment Television LLC. Credit: Timothy White/E!