Liza Minnelli and several others reminisced about their times with Joan Rivers who just passed away recently. She was a wonderful comedienne and a remarkable human being.
Joan Rivers is not with us anymore. She has departed for the next world. She was 81 years old. Many colleagues of her took to social online media to comment on the illustrious talk show host and blonde lady who made everyone laugh via her jokes and one-liners.
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One of these was Liza Minnelli and she said on her Facebook that Joan was a dear and kindred friend who brought a smile to her face and made her laugh out loud.
Comedian Lisa Lampanelli told Playbill.com by phone, "I've said this before, and I mean it now more than ever. If Joan hadn't done what she did years ago, neither me or any other women comics of our day would be doing anything or have a career. We needed someone to break down the wall, and she was that chick. She was a groundbreaker and an icon, and thank God she did what she did."
Joan Rivers was the sort of person who had laid the base for other female comedians who followed in her footsteps. Lonny Price who directed Joan in Sally Marr…and Her Escorts, still remembers her in kind words.
Although Joan was not an actress, she knew a little bit of method acting and could tap the tears and painful experiences in her life for the silver screen.
Lonny Price said in a statement to Playbill.com, "In 1994 I directed Joan Rivers in Sally Marr...and Her Escorts, a play about Lenny Bruce's mother that we co-wrote with Erin Sanders. It was my first Broadway effort as a director. We worked for two years doing readings and workshops in between her television show, concerts and QVC dates.
"She would arrive at 72nd Street Studios, throw her mink on the floor whereupon her five-pound yorkie, "Spike, The Wonder Dog," would leap upon it and go to sleep. Though she was not a trained actress, she knew about pain (like most great comics) and could access it easily and fully.
"She was incredibly moving. The play didn't do well, but Joan got a Tony nomination, which she deserved. Ever since then, she's been there for every play or musical I ever directed, always posing for pictures when asked, all the way up to Lady Day, which she reminded me last week she saw twice and PAID FOR BOTH TIMES!
"She wanted to resurrect Sally Marr this coming November for a reading at the National Theater in Washington, and I was helping her put together a new team. Every time we would speak, she would tell me how proud she was of me. 'I take great pride in you,' she told me as recently as ten days ago on the phone. I know she meant it. People have asked me if she was funny in life.
"And, the answer is — Joan was always funny. When my mother died, she told me to tell my sister to take my mom's silver and replace it with silver-plated. 'Give your father the fake stuff, he'll never know the difference.' Maybe not about the silver, but as for you, Joan — you were undeniably the real thing. I sure will miss you."
Joan Rivers was also a very witty person who could make anyone’s funny bone react and thus cause them to burst into peals of laughter. Barbra Streisand also spoke of how she knew Joan since her teens.
"I first met Joan Molinsky (that was her real name) when I was 17 years old. We were both in an Off-Off Broadway show called 'Driftwood.' She was a real character, and I am so upset by her passing. She was too young and still had much to do," Barbra said in her statement.
"She knew no boundaries," former CNN host Larry King said in a statement. "Everything was funny to her. You couldn't really object because she took no prisoners."
"Joan Rivers was not only a dear friend, but one of the kindest and funniest people I ever knew," former first lady Nancy Reagan said. "I doubt there's anyone who hasn't laughed at her or with her until they cried. Today our tears are those of sadness. I know I join millions in saying, 'Thanks for the good times Joan, we will truly miss you.' My love and deepest sympathy go to Melissa and Cooper."
Donald Trump said that Rivers "was stronger at the end than she was at the beginning. She had unbelievable stamina."
Ryan Seacrest called Rivers "a trailblazer in so many ways."
"For decades Joan has made people laugh, shattered glass ceilings and revolutionized comedy," E! and NBCUniversal, producers of Rivers' TV show "Fashion Police," said in statement.
"She was unapologetic and fiercely dedicated to entertaining all of us and has left an indelible mark on the people that worked with her and on her legions of fans. She's been a much beloved member of the E! family for over 20 years and the world is less funny without her in it. Today our hearts are heavy knowing Joan will not be bounding through the doors."
Meanwhile, Joan Rivers will be getting the red carpet treatment at the occasion which is her funeral. This fact was ratified by many of her celeb friends.
"Joan Rivers is getting her final wish. The late legendary comedienne and E! Fashion Police host will have a red carpet at her funeral in NYC on Sunday, Sept. 7," an insider confirms to Us Weekly. "The rug, which Rivers' family and friends will walk upon outside Temple Emanu-El, will then be buried with the star."
Joan had expressed her wish that her funeral be a “lights, camera, action” affair. She lived out large and she wanted her death to be an event that would reverberate throughout the entertainment world. Joan was the stuff of which dreams are made. She wanted paparazzi and a whole lot of publicity at her final day of on earth.
"When I die (and yes, Melissa, that day will come; and yes, Melissa, everything's in your name,) I want my funeral to be a huge showbiz affair with lights, cameras, action," Joan Rivers wrote in her 2012 book I Hate Everyone…Starting with Me.
"I want Craft services, I want paparazzi and I want publicists making a scene! I want it to be Hollywood all the way. I don't want some rabbi rambling on; I want Meryl Streep crying, in five different accents," she continued. "I don't want a eulogy; I want Bobby Vinton to pick up my head and sing 'Mr. Lonely.' I want to look gorgeous, better dead than I do alive. I want to be buried in a Valentino gown and I want Harry Winston to make me a toe tag. And I want a wind machine so that even in the casket my hair is blowing just like Beyonce's."
"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," Melissa Rivers said in a statement. "Cooper and I have found ourselves humbled by the outpouring of love, support, and prayers we have received from around the world. They have been heard and appreciated.'
"My mother's greatest joy in life was to make people laugh," Melissa Rivers said. "Although that is difficult to do right now, I know her final wish would be that we return to laughing soon."
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Joan was known for her in-your-face attitude and she never backed off from a challenge. She was never afraid of speaking her mind. If something offended her she chose to call a spade a spade. There were no two ways about it. Joan’s radical or rather extreme honesty got her into trouble sometimes but she always managed to emerge unscathed. May her soul rest in peace in Heaven!