15:29 05 September 2014
Controversial comedian Joan Rivers has been paid tribute by the cream of the entertainment world following her death at the age of 81 a week after suffering from a heart attack during a routine procedure at a clinic.
Her daughter Melissa has confirmed the news in a statement where she said: “It is with great sadness that I announce the death of my mother, Joan Rivers.
“She passed peacefully at 1.17pm surrounded by family and close friends. My son and I would like to thank the doctors, nurses, and staff of Mount Sinai Hospital for the amazing care they provided for my mother.
“My mother's greatest joy in life was to make people laugh. Although that is difficult to do right now, I know her final wish would be that we return to laughing soon.”
Joan was rushed to Mt Sinai hospital after she stopped breathing at a clinic and had been in intensive care for a week before her death.
Hollywood is now mourning the loss of one of its brightest and most abrasive stars in comedy. Among those who paid tribute to her include Will Smith, Whoopi Goldberg, and Barbara Taylor Bradford.
The novelist Barbara Taylor Bradford said: “Joan was a great friend to have. Aside from her humour and comedic talents, she also made her friends laugh in private. Hospitable and generous to a fault, she was loyal and always there for all of us. She will be terribly missed.
“Just imagine: we won't hear those witty, sometimes caustic, but always funny one-liners ever again. Goodbye Joan Rivers. You'll always be in our hearts.”
Barry Manilow said: “I’m so sad. No music today. Joan, I’ll miss you forever.”
Samuel L Jackson tweeted: “Love Her or Hate Her, we're gonna Miss JOAN RIVERS! I always Respected her go for broke humor. One of a kind.R.I.P.”
Rihanna stated: “Please keep Joan Rivers in your prayers”
Oscar winner Whoopi Goldberg gushed: “My friend Joan Rivers has passed away once again to quote Billy Crystal... There are no words. Bon Voyage Joan”