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Tributes paid to comedy legend Joan Rivers

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The entertainment world has paid tribute to comedian Joan Rivers, who has died aged 81.

Her career in showbusiness spanned five decades.

Until last month she appeared healthy and energetic but suffered cardiac arrest during a medical procedure last week. Ms Rivers' daughter, Melissa, announced her death on Thursday night.

The grand dame of American comedy will be remembered for her caustic wit, trademark outspoken style and as an early advocate of plastic surgery. She was renowned for poking fun at herself as well as other celebrities.

One of her final interviews will be published in the JC next week.

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu was among the first to offer his condolences.

He said: “Joan Rivers brought laughter to millions around the world and was proud of her Jewish heritage and a vocal supporter of the state of Israel.

“We will miss her deeply and we send our heartfelt condolences to her family.”

Prince Charles said: “Joan Rivers was an extraordinary woman with an original and indefatigable spirit, an unstoppable sense of humour and an enormous zest for life. She will be hugely missed and utterly irreplaceable.”

Fellow comedians were quick to post their memories of Ms Rivers on Twitter.

Singer and actress Bette Midler said Ms Rivers’ death was “a sad ending to a brilliant and tragi-comic life; one of the bravest and funniest of all”.

Ellen Degeneres said: “Joan Rivers will always be a pioneer. She paved the way for a lot of comedians. I’m very sad she’s gone.”

Sex and the City actress Sarah Jessica Parker said Ms Rivers had been a “trailblazer”.

Lena Dunham wrote: “Watching Joan Rivers do standup at age 81 was incredible: athletic, jaw-dropping, terrifying, essential. It never stopped. Neither will she.”

British singer Boy George said: “Goodbye my friend Joan Rivers. You were a huge part of my professional life and you brightened up the horizon with your Chutzpah! Sad!”

Snapshot

Born
Joan Alexandra Molinsky in Brooklyn in 1933

Family
Married to Jimmy Sanger in 1957 for six months before the marriage was annulled. Married British TV producer Edgar Rosenberg in 1965, who committed suicide in 1987. Had one daughter, Melissa.

Career high
During the 1980s she was a permanent guest host on US TV’s top-rated The Tonight Show, sold out concerts at the prestigious Carnegie Hall in New York, headlined in Las Vegas, and had hit albums and bestselling books

Jewish identity
“I’m very observant. I try to light candles on Fridays. If I’m out of town I rush back for Friday night. The family comes to know: ‘We have to go to Aunt Joan’s’”

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