Joan Rivers (8 June 1933 - 4 September 2014) was an American comedian, television personality and actress known for her brash manner, her loud, raspy voice with a heavy New York accent, as well as her numerous cosmetic surgeries.
Her daughter is Melissa Rivers, who appeared on The Celebrity Apprentice with her.
She was an internationally renowned comedienne, Emmy-winning television talk show host, Tony-nominated actress, best-selling author, playwright, screenwriter, motion picture director, columnist, lecturer, syndicated radio host, jewelry designer and cosmetic company entrepreneur, red carpet fashion laureate, businesswoman and a proud mother and grandmother.
Joan enjoyed an illustrious career spanning more than four decades in the entertainment industry and beyond, and as her recent accomplishments reveal, she's as robust and hard working as ever.
In later life Joan hosted E! Entertainment's Fashion Police which covers the red carpet styles of celebrities.
In 2011, Joan became the GoDaddy girl for GoDaddy.com. The commercial premiered during Super Bowl XLll to thousands of viewers nationwide.
Her documentary, Joan Rivers: A Piece of Work premiered in the summer of 2010 and was released on DVD. Rivers also appeared regularly in Las Vegas at the Venetian Showroom.
Joan also starred in Joan and Melissa: Joan Knows Best?, WEtv's reality series, where the famous mother/daughter duo welcomed cameras into their homes.
In 2009, she starred in NBC's hit reality series The Celebrity Apprentice along with her daughter Melissa where she emerged as the Season 2 winner.
She also celebrated the publication of two best-selling books: Men Are Stupid and They Like Big Boobs: A Woman's Guide to Beauty Through Plastic Surgery and Murder at the Academy Awards: A Red Carpet Murder Mystery, both published by Simon & Schuster.
She received a Daytime Emmy nomination for her portrayal of Bubbe in the animated children's series Arthur, gave life to the character, Dot Matrix in the animated series, Spaceballs in 2008, played an eccentric aunt in two seasons of IFC's popular mockumentary series Z Rock, and starred in The Udderbelly in London with her comedy show Unplugged and Uncensored.
Also in 2009, she was roasted and honoured in The Comedy Central Roast of Joan Rivers. The year also marked the debut of her TV Land reality show, How'd You Get So Rich?, which took a candid look at the extravagant lifestyles of fabulously rich entrepreneurs and innovators. The show ran for two seasons.
Enduring humiliation and deprivation for nearly a decade playing tawdry clubs, Borscht Belt hotels, and Greenwich Village cabarets, her career skyrocketed in 1968 when she appeared on The Tonight Show Starring Johnny Carson. Within three years she was hosting That Show with Joan Rivers, one of the first syndicated daytime shows.
She soon made television history as the first sole guest host of The Tonight Show. Her own The Late Show Starring Joan Rivers helped launch the Fox Network in 1986.
In 1989, she returned to daytime television with The Joan Rivers Show, winning an Emmy Award for Outstanding Talk Show Host and her own star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame.
In 1990, she launched the Joan Rivers Classics Collection of fashion jewelry, apparel and accessories on QVC. The collection became an instant bestseller, and Joan was honoured with an ACE Award from the Accessories Council in 1997.
A pre-eminent connoisseur of fine art, antiques, and vintage jewelry, Joan kept her finger on the pulse of all the latest trends. Joan consistently appeared on Best Dressed lists around the world. Along with her daughter Melissa, she hosted E!'s live red-carpet events from 1996-2004.
From 2004-2007, they continued their red-carpet coverage of the Emmys and other award ceremonies for the TV Guide Channel.
In April 2002, she took her Edinburgh Fringe Festival one-woman show, Broke and Alone, to London's Theatre Royal Haymarket, where she received rave reviews and the theatre's first standing ovation in fourteen years.
The show enjoyed equally enthusiastic critical and audience response at the State Theatres in Sydney and Melbourne. Subsequent performances, including two one-week runs at the Canon Theatre in Los Angeles, all garnered “hottest ticket in town” status.
Joan served as a board member on behalf of God's Love We Deliver, The American Foundation for Suicide Prevention and the National Osteoporosis Foundation. She also dedicated her time to Guide Dogs for the Blind, among others.
In 2003, Joan headlined in Las Vegas. In October of 2004, she returned to the U.K. for her first national concert tour. The Glasgow International Comedy Festival followed in March of 2005 and then she returned to England for her second major tour in two years.
In the spring of 2006, she returned to Australia for sold-out shows in Sydney, Melbourne, Adelaide, and Canberra.
In August 2007, she launched The Joan Rivers Theatre Project, a play-in-progress workshop, which she co-wrote and starred in, for a limited engagement at the Magic Theatre in San Francisco.
Six months later, the show opened to rave reviews at the Geffen Playhouse in Los Angeles as Joan Rivers: A Work in Progress by a Life in Progress, enjoying sold out performances for its six-week run.
This was followed by a sold out run in August 2008 at the Edinburgh Fringe Festival preceding a successful 3 week run at London's Leicester Square theatre.