Laughter is such a precious gift to the world. In fact many describe it as medicine for the soul. Sure you may have heard that statement a million times over, but no one understood it like Joan Rivers. For fifty-five years the world was treated, and many times shocked, by the sheer joy and laughter this amazing woman brought whenever she sat down for an interview, commented on a dress, or simply entered a room. Her bravado and larger than life nature made it okay for women to be themselves instead of “Angels of The House.” It is with a heavy heart we announce comedienne, fashionista, writer, and television personality passed today at 1:17 PM EST in New York City. She was 81.
For many alive today she is the zany old woman who has had tons of plastic surgery and rips celebrities apart with bad fashion sense. Little do many of us born in the eighties onward know just how influential of a woman she was. She came to the forefront of the entertainment industry when it was not okay to be a loud, obnoxious female–let alone a comedienne. Her jokes centered around the disparities between the sexes, what it meant to be a truly disgruntled housewife, and she never shied away from issues of sex. Thanks to her larger than life attitude the way was paved for other outspoken women like Ellen DeGeneres, Rosie O’Donnell, and Roseanne Barr.
For someone who brought so much joy and laughter to the world you would never know she has endured so much tragedy. Her second husband, Edgar Rosenberg committed suicide, she battled with bulimia nervosa, and even contemplated suicide before recovering with the help of her family and friends. Joan is survived by her daughter Melissa Rivers, and grandson, Egdar Cooper Endicott. Melissa released a statement earlier today concerning her mother’s demise: “It is with great sadness that I announce the death of my mother, Joan Rivers,” Melissa said in a statement on September 4. “She passed peacefully at 1:17pm surrounded by family and close friends.” She thanked the medical staff for their care of Joan, in addition to fans for their support. There has been no news on how her show “Fashion Police” will move forward, but E! Network has temporarily suspended its programming in tribute to her.
The world has paused to remember and reflect on this amazing woman’s life. She worked harder than most men, pulled no punches, and made fans of A-List celebrities worldwide. If any comedienne has ever deserved our respect, or a moment to pause in silent reflection it is this woman. To strive despite of, and be able to laugh at yourself is an inherent skill few people ever utilize. “Never be afraid to laugh at yourself, after all, you could be missing out on the joke of the century.” Rest in peace Joan. Heaven got a new reason to laugh, but Earth just got a whole lot less funny.