Joan Rivers, the acerbic US stand-up comic and television presenter, died on Thursday, a week after being rushed to a New York hospital, her family announced. She was 81.
“It is with great sadness that I announce the death of my mother, Joan Rivers. She passed peacefully at 1:17 pm surrounded by family and close friends,” daughter Melissa Rivers said in a statement.
The Brooklyn-born Rivers had been at Mount Sinai Hospital since she reportedly stopped breathing during a medical procedure on her vocal cords at a private clinic on August 28.
Her daughter Melissa and grandson Cooper flew immediately from Los Angeles and kept a vigil at her bedside ever since.
They thanked hospital staff for the “amazing care” they provided the Emmy award-winning comedian and TV host.
“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,” Melissa Rivers said.
“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.”