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Joan Rivers Poster

Biography

Jump to: Overview (5) | Mini Bio (1) | Spouse (2) | Trade Mark (4) | Trivia (37) | Personal Quotes (32) | Salary (1)

Overview (5)

Date of Birth 8 June 1933Brooklyn, New York City, New York, USA
Date of Death 4 September 2014New York City, New York, USA  (cardiac arrest after surgery)
Birth NameJoan Alexandra Molinsky
Nickname The Queen of the Barbed One-liners
Height 5' 2" (1.57 m)

Mini Bio (1)

Joan Rivers was born on June 8, 1933 in Brooklyn, New York City, New York, USA as Joan Alexandra Molinsky. She was a writer and actress, known for The Joan Rivers Show (1968), Joan Rivers: A Piece of Work (2010) and The Joan Rivers Show (1989). She was married to Edgar Rosenberg and James Sanger. She died on September 4, 2014 in New York City.

Spouse (2)

Edgar Rosenberg (15 July 1965 - 14 August 1987) (his death) (1 child)
James Sanger (1955 - 1955) (annulled)

Trade Mark (4)

Had had a lot of plastic surgery, had never denied it, and as a matter of fact, made lots of jokes about her own (and other people's) plastic surgery.
Loud, raspy voice with New York accent.
Said "Can we talk?" frequently in both her acting roles and stand-up routines.
"What a tramp!" or "Such a tramp!"

Trivia (37)

Mother of Melissa Rivers.
Attended Adelphi University in Garden City, New York.
Attended Connecticut College for Women in New London, Conneticut.
Received her Bachelor's degree in English literature and anthropology from Barnard College in New York City (1954).
After graduating from college and before getting into show business, she was briefly a shoe buyer for Lord & Taylor, a department store in New York City.
Collected Faberge eggs.
Said the most difficult celebrity she ever interviewed was Tommy Lee Jones, whom she thought was rude.
Was the national spokesperson for the Cystic Fibrosis Foundation.
Hosted a daily talk show on WOR-AM radio in New York City from 1997 until 2002, syndicated to about 50 stations.
About 1982, she was appointed the first permanent guest hostess on The Tonight Show Starring Johnny Carson (1962). She infuriated Johnny Carson when she left to host her own show, The Late Show (1986) on rival Fox network. Johnny Carson never spoke to her again.
She won a Daytime Emmy Award in 1990 for best talk show host and was nominated for a Tony Award for the play "Donna Marr and her escorts" in 1994. She was also nominated for a Grammy Award for Best Comedy Recording in 1985.
Was one of the final guests to appear on The Wayne Brady Show (2002).
Was nominated for Broadway's 1994 Tony Award as Best Actress (Play) for portraying the title character, Sally Marr, in "Sally Marr... and Her Escorts".
Was a vegetarian.
Started performing as a stand-up comedienne using the stage name Pepper January.
She was a Phi Beta Kappa Sorority key holder from Barnard College, where she studied anthropology.
She had her first cosmetic surgery procedure (an eye-lift) in 1965 at age 32.
She had her nose thinned in 1983.
The majority of her plastic surgery was performed by Santa Monica surgeon Steven Hoefflin (who also performed plastic surgery on Michael Jackson's nose). She also received Botox and collagen injections every four months from New York City dermatologist Patricia Wexler.
She was an advocate of plastic surgery for older women saying that if a woman can afford it, it is worth it for her self-esteem.
Early in her career, she performed as half of the comedy team of "Joanie and Bill". "Bill" was former actor William Perry (1936-2006) who was the nephew of actress Toby Wing.
An accomplished author, she has written several candid autobiographies, including "Enter Talking" and "Still Talking". Author of self-help books, including "Bouncing Back: I've Survived Everything... and I Mean Everything... and You Can Too!" and "Don't Count the Candles: Just Keep the Fire Lit!". Author of several comedy books, including "Having a Baby Can Be a Scream" and "The Life and Hard Times of Heidi Abromowitz".
Her father was a doctor.
Her parents, Beatrice (Grushman) and Meyer Molinsky, were Russian Jewish immigrants.
Early in her career, she was a writer for Candid Camera (1953).
Grandmother of Edgar Cooper Endicott.
Her publicist was Judy Katz.
Was a Republican.
Was longtime friends with the late Mike Wallace.
Used to maintain a residence in Litchfield County, Connecticut adjacent to the former Bill Blass estate.
Performed stand-up comedy, prior to hopeful Broadway run, at Club Fez in Manhattan. [June 2002]
(June 30, 2004) Announced that she and her daughter, Melissa Rivers, were leaving E! Entertainment to fashion-bash red-carpet-wise over at the TV Guide Channel. They had been with E! Entertainment since 1996.
Most recently lived in Malibu, California with her daughter, Melissa Rivers, and her grandson, Edgar Cooper Endicott.
She was awarded a Star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame at 7030 Hollywood Boulevard in Hollywood, California on July 26, 1989.
On August 28, 2014, she was rushed to Mount Sinai Hospital after experiencing complications during throat surgery being performed at a New York City Clinic.
Joan Rivers passed away on September 4, 2014, at age 81. This was a month, after her longtime friend Lauren Bacall had passed away.
Upon her death, her body was cremated at the Garden State Crematory in Union City, New Jersey, and was interred at Forest Lawn Memorial Park in Los Angeles, California.

Personal Quotes (32)

[on her idea of a perfect childbirth experience] Knock me out with the first pain, and wake me up when the hairdresser arrives.
If you're not a wreck in this business, you're not around.
Once I was having lunch in a fancy restaurant with Lily Tomlin and Richard Pryor. We were all struggling comics together and the day we had lunch, any one of us could have picked up the check. That's when I knew I'd made it.
Camilla Parker-Bowles is an earthy, funny woman. You can swear in front of her.
[on Parkinson (1971), when entering] I am a dyke! And I'm DAMN proud of it!
I want them to know I don't think I'm wonderful, or better than they are. Part of comedy is saying: "I am you and you are me, and we're all feeling the same thing.".
I'm in nobody's circle, I've always been an outsider. I don't have those wonderful dinners with Woody, I've never been asked by Jay. And it makes you sad, because I think it would be wonderful to sit and talk about things that very few people understand. But I'm very competitive, and I'm sure they feel that. I'm jealous of that little slut Paris Hilton. Why? I'm very competitive. And I think that's what has kept me going. I'm not gracious.
The only thing that's saving me is my age. Because I don't care. I've been up, I've been down. I've been fired, I've been hired. I've been broke. What are you gonna to do me? Not like me? I don't give a damn.
There is not one female comic who was beautiful as a little girl.
[on young female comics]: They all come up to me and say, "Without you, I couldn't be here, the barriers you broke down." I say, "Get the f*** away from me. I still could take every one of you with one hand behind my back. Outta here. Talk like that at my funeral, but not till then.".
[June 29, 2008] One of the reasons I am so happy - there's lots happening again. Four times in my life, I woke up and the diary was empty. That's the worst feeling in the world. My Broadway show and my talk show were canceled on the same Friday. And I went that night to see Barbra Streisand, whom I'd started with, perform for 20,000 people at Madison Square Garden. That was a very bad night. Now I'm doing a pilot, I have two books coming, I have my play, I'm in a series that they've shot and they hope will be successful, I'm doing stand-up and I've got my jewelry company. At this age, to be wanted - you are fighting every single step of the way.
I was just interviewed for a documentary [Making Trouble (2007)] on my least favourite subject - women comedians and how we've all been kept out. These two women came to my house, very serious, and asked, "How long did it take for you to get into the room?". I said, "Let me tell you something: if Adolf Hitler had four good jokes, he'd be in the room." It has to do with funny. Then they talked about how women help each other. I said, "I hate to tell you, but if it was between Sarah Silverman and me for a job? I'll kill her and she'll kill me. There's no sisterhood in comedy.".
There is not one female comic who was beautiful as a little girl. Tell me one funny woman who was ever beautiful. Gwyneth Paltrow, stop, please, stop, I can't stand it. Angelina Jolie? Men don't want you funny. It's all about coping when you're not being the pretty girl, and you're not being the first one asked to dance, and the bottle spins and lands on you and Stuart Wein doesn't want to kiss you.
One of the earliest jokes I did about my husband was that I was the one who really caused Edgar's suicide, because, while we were making love, I took the bag off my head.
My husband wanted to be cremated. I told him I'd scatter his ashes at [the department store] Neiman Marcus - that way, I'd visit him every day.
I knew I was an unwanted baby when I saw my bath toys were a toaster and a radio.
[in an interview, on the British chat show Loose Women (1999) in 2008, on working the red carpet for the E! Channel]: You get someone like Russell Crowe, and you want to say to the camera, he is a piece of - get ready to bleep this - f***ing shit. (Rivers was immediately pulled from the British chat show - they had no bleep.) These idiots came running onto the set, ripped me off my seat and dragged me off, saying, "Let's go, let's go, let's go." When the audience saw my empty chair, I worried that, because of my age, they might think I'd wet it because my diaper leaked. People always ask me, "What haven't you done, Miss Rivers? You've done this and that, been nominated for an Emmy and a Tony. You've hosted shows, you've acted, done stand-up, lost your husband to suicide, been bankrupted by a business partner [who made off with $37m in the 1990s] - what haven't you done?". Well, until today, I'd never been kicked off live television. Assholes.
[Interview with Andrew Scott, June 10, 2010] I've never been in the "in" group. I've never been considered. But that's what keeps me punching, if that makes sense. I'm still in the "I'll show you" mentality.
[on the passing of Elaine Kaufman] Elaine's was a place you went to let everyone know you were in town. It was first stop L.A./N.Y. You knew your name was above the title when Elaine sat with you. I also loved that the prices changed constantly.
[on reality shows] When was the last time you went to a dinner party where three women got up and slapped each other? Everybody's punching and slapping. This is not reality. We got a second season because everybody that has a parent, a mother, anyone can relate to what really happens between adult children and parents.
Having my daughter, I screamed for twenty-three hours straight. And that was just during conception.
Boy George is all England needs. Another queen who can't dress.
New York was the magic city. New York was Oz. All I wanted to do was get out of Brooklyn and get into Oz. We'd go to the theater district -- I saved my money, and I would go with a girlfriend and sit in Sardi's, order an avocado for 60 cents, and wait to be discovered. They must have been thrilled to see us. We went to Howard Johnson's, and my friend smoked a cigarette. We're sitting at the Howard Johnson's, and we're smoking cigarettes -- say no more.
Men who look down my dress usually compliment me on my shoes.
That awful, vulgar, loud woman on stage, that's not me. I wouldn't want to be her friend.
[on antiques] If Louis XIV hasn't sat on it, I don't want it.
[In 2010, on Twitter] With all the plastic surgery I've had I'm worried that when I die, God won't recognize me!
I don't exercise. If God had wanted me to bend over, he would have put diamonds on the floor.
[on the red-carpet] Who are you wearing?
[her trademark line] Can we talk?
My best birth control now is just to leave the lights on.
[as reported by Richard Corliss] They all come up to me and say, 'Without you I couldn't be here, the barriers you broke down'. I say, 'Get the fuck away from me. I still could take every one of you with one hand behind my back. Outta here. Talk like that at my funeral, but not till then'.

Salary (1)

The Late Show (1986) $5,000,000 /year

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