By Melissa Platero, CCNN Writer
Joan Rivers, the beloved comedian who made fun of herself as often as others, passed away at age 81 on Thursday. Known for her stand-up comedy and the heavy cosmetic surgery she used to look young, Rivers was most recently the co-host of celebrity fashion show Fashion Police on E!: Entertainment Television.
Rivers first rose to popularity in 1965 as a guest on The Tonight Show Starring Johnny Carson. She was even mentored by Carson, who is one of the most famous talk show hosts of all time. However, when she later launched a rival program, The Late Show, Carson never spoke to her again!
Her work on The Joan Rivers Show in the 90s won her a Daytime Emmy for Outstanding Talk Show Host, she’s authored 12 best-selling books, and was even nominated for the Tony Award for Best Actress in a Play in 1994.
“My mother’s greatest joy in life was to make people laugh,” said her daughter Melissa in a statement following Rivers’ passing. “Although that is difficult to do right now, I know her final wish would be that we return to laughing soon.”
Despite her rough and no-holds-barred brand of humor, Rivers was secretly an optimist. She once said, “I have become my own version of an optimist. If I can’t make it through one door, I’ll go through another door – or I’ll make a door. Something terrific will come no matter how dark the present.”
Featured image courtesy of Underbelly Limited on Flickr. Image of young Joan Rivers courtesy of Rollins and Joffe on Wikipedia.