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Comedian Joan Rivers dies at 81

Joan Rivers

NEW: 2:00 p.m. 9/4/2014

Comedian Joan Rivers died in a New York hospital Thursday afternoon, a week after suffering cardiac arrest during a medical procedure, her daughter said.

Her daughter, Melissa Rivers, issued the following statement:

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.

Cooper and I have found ourselves humbled by the outpouring of love, support, and prayers we have received from around the world. They have been heard and appreciated.

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.

Rivers, 81, had been on life support at Manhattan’s Mount Sinai hospital, where she was taken after she stopped breathing at the Yorkville Endoscopy clinic last Thursday.

The outpatient clinic is now being investigated by the New York State Department of Health, spokesman James O’Hara said.

According to New York Daily News, Joan Rivers’ longtime friend, Cindy Adams, said Rivers was recently upgraded to a larger hospital suite which was decorated by a celebrity wedding planner.  She was covered by a white faux mink blanket, while a CD of the Broadway hit Oklahoma! played in her room.

Many celebrities took to Twitter to express their grief after hearing of her death.

 

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(CNN) Joan Rivers was rushed to the hospital Thursday morning after she stopped breathing a source confirmed to CNN.

TMZ reported that the comedienne was undergoing a procedure on her vocal cords in a clinic when the incident occurred. Rivers, 81, was then rushed to a New York hospital.

In 2013, Rivers allowed cameras to record a health scare for her and her daughter’s reality show, “Joan & Melissa: Joan Knows Best?”

Rivers said on the show that doctors found a spot on an x-ray after she had a persistent cough.

“We’re just not going to be sad about this,” Rivers said during the episode. “We’re gonna do jokes and be up until we know. That’s how I deal with things. I’m not just gonna sit around the next couple of days and go crazy.”

Rivers has been open about her health issues. She was diagnosed with osteoporosis in 2002 after a fall down some stairs left her with broken bones, and she became an advocate for screenings for women.

She also admitted to not being as healthy as she could.

“I try not to be, but I’m a terrible eater,” she said. “I wish I could say I eat super-healthy, but I don’t. I love junk food — it should be its own food group — so I help my bones with supplements and medicine.”