Hollywood stars have been paying tribute to American comedian Joan Rivers, who has died at the age of 81.
Her daughter Melissa revealed the news in a statement tonight:
“It is with great sadness that I announce the death of my mother, Joan Rivers. She passed peacefully at 1.17pm 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.”
The legendary comedian suffered a cardiac arrest and stopped breathing during a procedure on her vocal chords at an outpatient clinic in New York last week.
She was moved out of the intensive care unit earlier on Thursday and was being kept in a private room at Mount Sinai Hospital.
It was there that her daughter made the decision to take her off life support.
Her celebrity friends and fans have been paying tribute to Rivers tonight on Twitter, with Ellen DeGeneres saying “she will always be a pioneer”, while Ricky Gervais called her “funny and fearless”.
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
Joan Rivers has died. What a sad ending to a brilliant and tragi-comic life; one of the bravest, and funniest of all.
— Bette Midler (@BetteMidler) September 4, 2014
I think if twitter has taught us all one thing, it's that there's a little wannabe Joan Rivers in all of us.
— Duncan Jones (@ManMadeMoon) September 4, 2014
My friend Joan Rivers has passed away once again to quote Billy Crystal… There are no words. Bon Voyage Joan
RIP GODDESS: Hail Hail, a GENIUS has vacated this realm: Joan Rivers has died.
— Roseanne Barr (@therealroseanne) September 4, 2014
And in addition to being a trailblazer the great Joan always smelled good.Thanks for taking my challenge. I still owe you one. RIP x,sj
— Sarah Jessica Parker (@SJP) September 4, 2014
we lost a great one in @Joan_Rivers – she was funny all the way to the end
— Jimmy Kimmel (@jimmykimmel) September 4, 2014
RIP the mighty Joan Rivers. Funny & fearless. Truly one of a kind.
— Ricky Gervais (@rickygervais) September 4, 2014