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Joan Rivers Passes Away At 81. Investigation Launched Into Clinic Where She Was Having Throat Surgery When She Stopped Breathing *UPDATE* Video Added
Even in death, Joan Rivers got what she wanted: A star-studded funeral.
On Sunday morning, a legion of notables turned out at New York's Temple Emanu-El to remember Rivers, who died Thursday at 81: Kathy Griffin, whose edgy, biting comedy career was largely made possible by Rivers; colleague and friend Kelly Osbourne; Sarah Jessica Parker and Whoopi Goldberg; Howard Stern.
Theater stars Bernadette Peters, Alan C****** and Tommy Tune were there. Record producer Clive Davis arrived, too. Fashion designers Carolina Herrera and Michael Kors were there.
Stars from TV such as Barbara Walters, Geraldo Rivera, Diane Sawyer, Kathie Lee, Hoda Kotb and Andy Cohen. And moguls Barry Diller, Donald Trump and Steve Forbes.
Inside Temple Emanu-El, the stars were treated to a performance by the New York City Gay Men's Chorus singing 'irreverent, fun songs,' an insider told MailOnline.
Hugh Jackman delivered a moving tribute, singing Peter Allen's 'Quiet Please, There's a Lady on Stage.' A touched crowd stood up and applauded, following along Jackman's lead as he sang the line, 'Put your hands together.'
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Star-studded: Sarah Jessica Parker and Whoopi Goldberg arrive at Joan Rivers' funeral Sunday morning
The comedienne's heartbroken daughter, Melissa Rivers, leaves her home en route to the funeral on Sunday
Kathie Lee Gifford (left) and Hoda Kotb, of 'Today,' arrive to pay their respects
Donald Trump's arrival caused a stir among the huge crowd gathered outside Manhattan's Temple Emanu-El
Comedian Rosie O'Donnell chats with other mourners after the funeral
Audra McDonald, of Broadway fame, left mourners in tears as she sang.
Stern gave a eulogy calling Rivers the 'best friend in the world,' a 'big sister' and the 'crazy aunt at a Bar Mitzvah,' People reported.
Rivers' only daughter Melissa was the last speaker. She read a light-hearted letter to her mother, striking 'just the right tone for this event,' an insider told MailOnline.
'It felt like a Broadway show with tons of humor, lots of tears and it ended with a standing ovation,' 'Today' co-host Hoda, who was among the attendees, told MailOnline.
'It was perfect. That's exactly how it should've been.'
Mourners exited the church to the sound of 'New York, New York' on bagpipes.
A somber Diane Sawyer leaves Rivers' funeral
Newswoman Barbara Walters leaves the funeral. Showman Hugh Jackman, who rode his bike to the funeral, delivered a moving song during the service
Rivers' daughter Melissa (center, front) and grandson leave Temple Emanu-El after the funeral
The Pipes and Drums of the Emerald Society led the funeral's exit procession playing 'New York, New York'
The service program featured quotes from the funnywoman, who wanted to 'look better dead' than she did alive during her funeral
Bagpipes lead the funeral procession on Fifth Avenue
Bagpipes played 'New York, New York' as they led the funeral procession from Temple Emanu-El
The comedian detailed in her 2012 book 'I Hate Everyone ... Starting With Me' that she hoped for 'a huge showbiz affair with lights, cameras, action' and 'Hollywood all the way.'
Instead of a rabbi talking, Rivers asked for 'Meryl Streep crying, in five different accents' and 'a wind machine so that even in the casket my hair is blowing just like Beyonce's.'
In her book, Rivers joked that dying of natural causes was boring. 'It's the grand finale, act three, the eleven o'clock number — make it count. If you're going to die, die interesting! Is there anything worse than a boring death? I think not.'
BREAKING NEWS: Joan Rivers Dead -- Legendary Comedienne Dies at 81 …
Legendary comedienne Joan Rivers has passed away at the age of 81.
Rivers was having throat surgery at Yorkville Endoscopy on August 28, when she stopped breathing and went into cardiac arrest. She was rushed to New York City’s Mount Sinai Hospital, where she fell into a coma.
On Thursday, September 4, her daughter Melissa Rivers made the decision to take her mom off of life support.
The New York State Department of Health has launched an investigation into Yorkville Endoscopy to find out what happened during what was supposed to be routine surgery.
“The state department of health is investigating the matter,” a Department of Health official told Fox News. “It’s a full investigation of the matter… Since it’s an ongoing investigation I can’t comment on what we’re looking at.”
'We are keeping out fingers crossed': Joan Rivers' daughter says she remains hopeful for 81-year-old's recovery as celebrity friends pay tribute to stricken comedian
Joan Rivers -- who made the world laugh for over 50 years with her jokes, put-downs and one-liners -- has died in NYC ... a week after her heart suddenly stopped beating during vocal chord surgery.
She was 81.
Joan's daughter Melissa Rivers took her mom off life support so she could pass comfortably in a private room.
Rivers is widely credited for opening doors for countless female comedians. She broke through in a big way during her appearances on "The Tonight Show" with Johnny Carson.
She also famously enraged Carson by accepting a gig to host a competing late night show on FOX. Carson never spoke to her again.
Rivers was born in 1933 -- she worked as a writer and fashion consultant before entering show biz as a stand-up comic in the early '60s. She was famously self-deprecating ... often self-critical of her looks and her marriage to Edgar Rosenberg ... who committed suicide in 1987.
Joan's late '80s FOX show tanked, which somewhat derailed her career. It was resurrected in a big way in 2010 in the wake of the documentary "Joan Rivers: A Piece of Work."
She was universally adored by fellow comedians, including fellow legend Don Rickles, who once said about her ... "Joan is not only a very intelligent lady, but extremely masterful at comedy timing. Sharing the stage with her has always been a joy for me."
Barbara Walters was asked about Joan last year, saying ... "I wouldn't dare to try to be funny about Joan Rivers because she is the smartest, best-informed and funniest woman I know."
Joan and her daughter Melissa began working as a team hosting various red carpet and fashion shows on E! and other networks, including "Fashion Police."
Joan's credits could fill a book ... including appearances in "The Muppets Take Manhattan," "The Carol Burnett Show," "Hollywood Squares," "Pee Wee's Playhouse," "Celebrity Apprentice," "Saturday Night Live" ... and on and on.
Joan Rivers Stops Breathing During Throat Surgery. Currently In Critical Condition
Joan Rivers' loved ones said Sunday that they remain hopeful about her recovery three days after she went into cardiac arrest at a doctor's office.
'We are keeping our fingers crossed,' her daughter, Melissa Rivers, said in a statement, thanking people who have expressed support for the 81-year-old comedian. Rivers on Friday described her mother's condition as serious.
Joan River’s E! colleagues and a host of famous well-wishers took to Twitter Saturday, sending prayers to the formidable comedian as she remained in a coma and on life support.
Giuliana Rancic and Kelly Osbourne, Rivers' Fashion Police co-hosts, expressed their love and support for their stricken friend.
'Praying for @Joan_Rivers and @MelRivers,' Mrs Rancic wrote Saturday morning. 'Even though Joan's the strongest woman I know, every single prayer counts. I love you, Joan.'
Battling: According to media reports, Rivers, 81, remains unconscious after going into cardiac arrest during throat surgery in New York on 28 August 2014. She is said to be on a life-supporting system
Worried sick: Kelly Osbourne, Rivers' Fashion Police co-host, took to Twitter to express her support for the 81-year-old comedian whom she called her 'grandma'
Higher power: Ms Osbourne called on her 3.77million followers to pray for the comatose TV host
Well wisher: Giuliana Rancic (far right), who also hosts Fashion Police, expressed her love for Rivers on Twitter
Mrs Rancic said on Twitter that despite being a strong woman, Joan Rivers is now in need of prayers
A seemingly heartsick Ms Osbourne called her 81-year-old co-presenter her ‘grandma’ and added the hashtag 'inconsolable.’
'4 the first time in years I got down on my knees & prayed tonight! I encourage U 2 do the same,' the TV fashionista tweeted at her 3.77million followers Friday night.
Charlie Sheen also joined the chorus of well-wishers on Twitter, writing: 'Please come back to us young lady.'
Real estate mogul and fellow reality TV maven Donald Trump called Ms Rivers his 'dear friend' and an ‘amazing woman.'
Ms Rivers famously won season 2 of Trump’s Celebrity Apprentice in 2009.
Fellow funnywoman Sarah Silverman tweeted Friday: 'Jesus Christ, Joan. You can't be in the hospital - you have work to do! This is BULL****.'
High praise: Donald Trump, who met Joan Rivers on Season 2 of Celebrity Apprentice, which the E! presenter won in 2009, called the 81-year-old a dear friend and an amazing woman
Heartfelt: Charlie Sheen joined the chorus of well-wishers, urging Rivers to come back to us
Sources close to Rivers have said that the television host is reliant on machines to stay alive and that the family will have to decide in the next few days whether or not to turn the machines off.
It is hoped that the star, who was put into a medically induced coma after she went into cardiac and respiratory arrest during routine surgery on Thursday, will then bounce back and recover her full health.
Sources told TMZ that no decisions will be made on Rivers' health for at least a couple of days.
The comic's daughter, Melissa rushed to her mother's side on Thursday after flying from LA to New York.
The star remained in a serious condition in a New York City hospital on Friday, one day after going into cardiac arrest at a doctor's office during a routine procedure.
Melissa Rivers is said to be an 'emotional wreck' as she waits for news of her mother's condition on Friday. She is pictured on Thursday, with 13-year-old son Cooper (left), after rushing to the airport in LA to catch a flight to NYC to be with her mother who had been placed in a medically induced coma
The 81-year-old's daughter Melissa, seen here with her mom last year, is in New York and at her mother's bedside at Mount Sinai Hospital
A source told the New York Daily News that Melissa, an only child, is staying at her Upper East Side apartment in the same building where her mother lives as she struggles to cope with her mother's health emergency.
Friends are helping care for Melissa's 13-year-old son Cooper who flew with her from LA. Earlier on Thursday they were pictured at Los Angeles airport as they traveled to be by the star's side.
Melissa, 46, released a statement today thanking everyone for their messages of support and gave a brief update on her mother's condition.
She said: 'My mother would be so touched by the tributes and prayers that we have received from around the world.
'Her condition remains serious but she is receiving the best treatment and care possible. We ask that you continue to keep her in your thoughts as we pray for her recovery.'
Joan Rivers is 'resting comfortably' in a medically induced coma just hours after she performed a typically acerbic show in Manhattan and joked about her own death.
She was rushed from an Upper East Side clinic to Mount Sinai Hospital in critical condition on Thursday morning at 9.40am after she stopped breathing during a routine medical procedure.
A picture of health only the day before, Rivers accepted a bouquet of flowers from a fan as she finished her stand-up performance at around 9.30pm on Wednesday.
The entertainment legend even posed for pictures with a fan on the way out of the Laurie Beechman Theatre, only to suffer respiratory failure less than twelve hours later during surgery on her throat.
Thank you: Joan Rivers accepts a bouquet of flowers from a fan after wrapping up her one hour performance at the Laurie Beechman Theatre on Wednesday night at around 9.30pm
Busy as always: Joan Rivers is pictured here at a press event in New York City on Wednesday evening for her book, Diary of a Mad Diva. She is currently in a medically induced coma at Mount Sinai Hospital after she stopped breathing during vocal cord surgery
While doctors are said to be keen to keep her in a coma until the weekend, there is concern about the length of time her brain was starved of oxygen.
But less than 12 hours before she stopped breathing, Rivers was her usual irrepressible self, making jokes about her own longevity and mortality to an audience of around 100.
'She did a joke onstage, she goes, ‘I’m 81 — I could go at any moment,’ said Shade Rupe, 45.
‘I could fall over right here and you all could say, ''I was there!’
Rupe, who spoke to the New York Daily News, said that Rivers' comedy was as quick-witted as it has always been.
'She was so on,' he said. 'If you had me guess her age, I’d say she was in her 50s. She didn’t miss a step, she didn’t go ditzy, she didn’t forget anything and her timing was amazing.'
Rupe grabbed a picture with the star outside the theater and said that Rivers 'looked fantastic.'
And, as testament to the television host's vigor, Rivers was even promoting her book, Diary of a Mad Diva, before she took to the stage on Wednesday.
Rivers, who has been a fixture on American television since the mid-1960s, was her forthright self according to those who were at the press meet.
When she walked in to take her seat, said Shira Blum, an online project manager, 'She seemed totally healthy. She was very energetic, hilarious, funny. And it was such a shock, a surprise to hear the news this morning.'
Rivers took questions and said she wakes up every morning and 'is thankful that everything works,' Blum added.
The entertainer has logged a half-century in showbusiness and gave rise to red-carpet commentary - and the snarky criticism that often accompanies it. Her signature red carpet query: "Who are you wearing?"
She continues to maintain a busy schedule, and was to perform a show Friday at the Count Basie Theatre in Red Bank, New Jersey. That show was postponed because of her hospitalization.
'She’s not conscious, but she’s stable,' said the comedian's aide Graham Reed, to the New York Daily News, which reported the star was in a coma.
'This morning, Joan Rivers was taken to The Mount Sinai Hospital in New York, where she is being attended to,' Sid Dinsay, a spokesman for the hospital, said in a statement this afternoon.
'Her family wants to thank everybody for their outpouring of love and support.'
He said the hospital would provide an update on Rivers' condition as it becomes available.
A source told E! News earlier: 'They were putting a scope down her throat to check her vocal cords. She stopped breathing.'
The source added that the operation was not a major one though Rivers was sedated throughout. It's unclear what medication was used.
TV host Billy Bush said on Facebook that he had exchanged texts with Joan's daughter Melissa who asked him to 'please pray'.
Hospital: NYPD officers wait outside of the main entrance to Mount Sinai hospital on Thursday
He wrote: 'Praying for Joan Rivers who is in critical condition at Mt Sinai hospital in NY. Texted with Melissa Rivers who said 'please pray.' Already doing that. Joan is beloved around here. A regular guest on Access Hollywood Live she never fails to deliver.
'She taped her post Emmy special Tuesday in LA and was strong. This is out of nowhere. Come on Joan you have to make it. Just think of all the material. Sending love and prayers.'
He later tweeted: 'Per Melissa, The mighty @joan_rivers Is in stable condition. That Means her first joke is coming... :)'
Stars took to Twitter to express their shock and to wish Rivers and her family well at this difficult time.
'Get well my friend,' tweeted Kathy Griffin and Ellen DeGeneres wrote, 'I’m thinking about you and sending lots of love your way.'
A host of other stars took to social media and said they were hoping the trail-blazing star recovered.
TMZ reported that an emergency call was placed to 911 at 9:39 a.m. New York time.
The caller told emergency services: 'We have somebody in either cardiac or respiratory arrest.'
The drama unfolded at Yorkville Endoscopy on East 93rd street near Third Avenue, police confirmed.
A woman who answered the phone at the clinic this afternoon told MailOnline: 'I don't know what you're talking about, have a great day!'
According to another E! source, Rivers 'had a lot of energy' and was 'cracking jokes' at a Wednesday event in New York to promote her new book.
Surgery: Rivers stopped breathing while undergoing surgery at Yorkville Endoscopy, pictured, in Manhattan
Similarly on Tuesday, she gave no hint about needed surgery as she taped a special 90 minute edition of her show Fashion Police which aired on E! that same night.
Covering both the Emmy Awards and the MTV VMA's the veteran comedienne's voice did sound raspy but she has become known for her gravelly voice and biting tongue.
Rivers also recently took part in the ASL ice Bucket Challenge not once but three times after celebrities Anne Hathaway, Sarah Jessica Parker and Tara Reid nominated her.
She was to perform a show Friday at the Count Basie Theatre in Red Bank, New Jersey. That show was postponed because of her hospitalization.
The host of 'Fashion Police' on E! network, Rivers also presides over an online talk show, 'In Bed With Joan' and co-stars with her daughter, Melissa, on the WEtv reality show, 'Joan & Melissa: Joan Knows Best?'
Her latest book, Diary of a Mad Diva, was released this summer.
In 2009, Rivers emerged as the winner of NBC's 'The Celebrity Apprentice.'
A documentary, 'Joan Rivers: A Piece of Work,' premiered in theaters in 2010.
Comic legend: Rivers is seen here around 1965. She has been a staple of American culture for half a century
Stars: Rivers interviewed Oprah Winfrey while guest hosting the Tonight Show Starring Johnny Carson on January 27, 1986
She gave rise to red carpet commentary - and the snarky criticism that often accompanies it. Her signature red carpet query: 'Who are you wearing?'
The often outspoken funny lady - born Joan Alexandra Molinsky - started her career in her native New York performing in comedy clubs across the city and even starred in a play as a lesbian woman with a crush Barbara Streisand in the 1950s.
'Somebody said, "You can make six dollars standing up in a club,"' she told the Associated Press in 2013, 'and I said, "Here I go!" It was better than typing all day.'
Joan started to make a name for herself in the male-dominated comedy world as a guest on The Tonight Show from 1965.
Rivers was a smash on her first booking on The Tonight Show Starring Johnny Carson. 'God, you're funny,' Carson told her.
She also started landing guest spots on The Ed Sullivan Show. Taken under the wing of Johnny Carson as a writer, Joan further developed her biting wit.
Going on to host Saturday Night Live during the Eighties, the iconic star was awarded her show by for The Late Show Starring Joan Rivers - it was this show that led to a bitter fallout with her mentor Carson and he never spoke to her again before his death.
Only this year was Joan's ban from ever appearing on the Tonight Show lifted by Jimmy Fallon.
The comedian would eventually be fired from her Fox show after she challenged executives' decision to removed her husband Edgar Rosenberg as a producer.
Edgar was the star's second husband - her first marriage was annulled after just a few months in 1955 - and he tragically committed suicide three months later in May 1987, Joan blamed the 'humiliation' of Fox's treatment.
Joan Rivers is currently in critical condition at Mount Sinai hospital in New York City.TMZ reports that the 81-year old comedienne was undergoing surgery on her vocal chords when she stopped breathing.
At 9:39 AM ET an emergency call was placed from an undisclosed clinic.
Rivers, known for her sarcastic brand of comedy has been a television fixture since the 60's. In 2012 she starred in a Street King commercial alongside 50 Cent. She is currently the host of E!'s Fashion Police.
Her daughter Melissa Rivers and 13-year old grandson, Cooper, took a morning flight to be by her side, according to E!.