American Comedian Joan Rivers died on Thursday – aged 81 – a week after suffering a heart attack in the middle of throat surgery.
A trail-blazer for women comedians, Rivers’ sharp tongue won her a break on the Tonight Show with Johnny Carson in the 1960s.
She later went on be the first female guest host of the American late night talk show before launching her own rival three years later, which failed.
More recently, she made Hollywood celebrities cower, hurling insult after insult at their dress sense for a TV show called Fashion Police.
Rivers’ cutting one-liners often won her famous enemies. But she often turned her wicked wit against herself.
Describing herself as the “plastic surgery poster girl”, Rivers once remarked that she’d had so much cosmetic surgery they would probably donate her body to Tupperware.
On August 28, Rivers was rushed to hospital and put on a life support machine following a heart attack during minor surgery at a New York outpatient clinic.
After being stabilised, her daughter Melissa says Rivers’ condition deteriorated on Thursday and that she was surrounded by family and close friends when she died.
The clinic where she was being treated is now under state investigation.
Joan Rivers will always be a pioneer. She paved the way for a lot of comedians. I’m very sad she’s gone. pic.twitter.com/i1uE9fyHMh— Ellen DeGeneres (@TheEllenShow) September 4, 2014