TV/comedy legend Joan Rivers has died at the age of 81. Her daughter Melissa Rivers confirmed the news Thursday (Sept. 4).
Rivers was undergoing surgery to her vocal cords in New York City last Thursday (Aug. 28), when she suddenly stopped breathing. She’s since been in critical condition at Mount Sinai Hospital, where she was being kept alive by machines.
Her daughter Melissa finally took her mother off life support, so she could pass away.
“My mother’s greatest joy in life was to make people laugh,” Melissa said in a statement. “Although that is difficult to do right now, I know her final wish would be that we return to laughing soon.”
A funeral is scheduled for Sunday.
Rivers is credited with opening doors for countless female comediennes after her. Although her career began in the late 1950s, she broke out in the mid-1960s after a number of appearances on The Tonight Show with Johnny Carson.
In recent years, Rivers regularly covered celebrity fashion on the E! network.