Joan Rivers Dies at 81: Khloé Kardashian and More Stars Pay Tribute

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Comedic legend Joan Rivers has died at the age of 81.

The E! Fashion Police host, whose biting sense of humor and quick wit garnered her decades of fans, passed away Thursday in New York City after suffering from complications during throat surgery days before.

"It is with great sadness that I announce the death of my mother," her daughter, Melissa Rivers, told E! News in a statement. "She passed peacefully at 1:17 p.m. surrounded by family and close friends. My son and I would like to thank the doctors, nurses, and staff of Mount Sinai Hospital for the amazing care they provided for my mother."

"Cooper and I have found ourselves humbled by the outpouring of love, support, and prayers we have received from around the world," she continued. "They have been heard and appreciated. 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."

Joan stopped breathing while undergoing a minor endoscopic procedure at a medical clinic Aug. 28. Although her loved ones, friends and fans held out hope that she would soon be released from the hospital, the comedienne was placed in a medically induced coma and taken to ICU. According to a statement, Joan was moved out of ICU and was given a private room where she was being kept comfortable Wednesday, but she was still on life support.

NBCUniversal Cable Entertainment 2014 UpfrontJoan first rose to the spotlight back in 1965 when she made a guest appearance on The Tonight Show with Johnny Carson. The duo hit it off when she became a permanent guest host on the show in 1983, but that relationship soon fizzled when she started the rival program The Late Show in 1986.

In addition to her many comedy stand-up performances and extensive show business career, Joan also shined as a host, taking a 'keep it real' approach as she sounded off on the red carpet fashions at major award shows for E! with her daughter Melissa. Joan later joined Giuliana Rancic, Kelly Osbourne and George Kotsiopoulos on Fashion Police in 2010.

Joan had also recently released her latest book, Diary of a Mad Diva, and advocated for many charitable organizations including the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention and GLAAD, according to E! Online.

Following her passing, Joan's fans and friends paid tribute to her via social networking sites, with Whoopi Goldberg telling E! in a statement. "My dear friend, Joan Rivers, has passed away. Once again, I can only quote Billy Crystal...'there are no words.' Bon voyage, Joan."

"Rest in peace Joan!! You will be missed!," Khloé Kardashian tweeted.

"Joan was a trailblazer in so many ways, and I greatly admired her talent and humor," Ryan Seacrest said. "She was a colleague and friend, as we worked together on E!, and she was also a treasured guest on my radio show many times. Regardless of the forum, Joan was full of funny, witty surprises and she had so much spirit. She will be greatly missed. My thoughts and prayers go out to Melissa and her family."

"A legend, a friend, a mentor, an icon, and wildly funny. One of a kind. RIP #JoanRivers @joan_rivers," Kathy Griffin wrote.

"My heart is absolutely broken. My prayers go out to #JoanRivers and her family. RIP#JoanRivers," Zoe Saldana tweeted.
Joan Rivers: Best Highlights

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