Born on June 8, 1933 in Brooklyn to Russian immigrants, Joan Rivers knew from an early age that she wanted to be an actress. She appeared in all of the plays shown during her time at Barnard College, from which she graduated a member of Phi Beta Kappa. While working as a buyer in a department store, she married the boss's son - but the marriage only lasted six months. After seven years of failures, she finally gained a booking on The Tonight Show with Johnny Carson. Four months later, she married producer Edgar Rosenberg, and in January 1968 gave birth to daughter Melissa. Later that same year she hosted her own syndicated talk show and appeared on The Ed Sullivan Show. She continued as a comedian, including stints as guest host on The Tonight Show, and by 1983 had sold out performances at Carnegie Hall. She suffered depression after her husband died in 1987, but by two years later she was bouncing back, appearing on Broadway and hosting a syndicated daytime talk show in 1989. She would go on to win an Emmy award and a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame. Today, she has perfume and skin care products named after her, and works on occasion with QVC. She lives in Manhattan and appears frequently on E! Television, where her trademark line remains can we talk?!

Editors Note:

On September 3, Melissa Rivers (daughter of Joan) issued a brief statement that Rivers had been moved from Mount Sinai Hospital's intensive care unit into a private room without any comment concerning Rivers's condition or prognosis. Joan Rivers died the next day on September 4, 2014. She was 81 years old.

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