Icon Joan Rivers has died today in New York at the age of 81, her daughter has confirmed.
The notoriously sharp-tongued comic had stopped breathing and gone into cardiac arrest at Mount Sinai Hospital in Manhattan last week while undergoing an operation on her vocal chords.
She was put on a life support system until the day before her death when she was moved out of intensive care and “kept comfortable”, but her condition deteriorated.
In a statement, her daughter Melissa Rivers 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.”
She added: “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.”
Ms Rivers was known for a long television career, during which time she broke the ‘glass ceiling’ by becoming the first female host of a late night chat show.
More recently she was host of E!’s Fashion Police, which involved her talking about the unfortunate red carpet choices of Hollywood celebrities.
Here’s one of out favourite clips of Joan on Ed Sullivan in 1967.