Tributes paid to Joan Rivers, who has died aged 81

joan rivers

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Hollywood stars have been paying tribute to American comedian Joan Rivers, who has died at the age of 81.

joan rivers
[Joan Rivers, 1933 – 2014]

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”.