I still can’t believe she is gone.
As most of the world is still coping with the famous comedian’s death and as media stories surface almost daily regarding the circumstances of her recent and sudden passing, I have been trying to avoid the fact that Joan Rivers, actress, comedian, talk show host, businesswoman and the winner of “The Celebrity Apprentice” who made millions of people laugh around the world and who dared to criticize the A listers for their red carpet wardrobe, is no more.
I still can’t believe it folks.
I first became a fan of Rivers’ as a youngster when in 1987, I decided on a whim, to write her a letter after seeing her talk show. I wanted to let her know how much I enjoyed her comedy, her interviews and the writing.
To my surprise, she wrote me back! I was shocked!
I first found out about Rivers’ illness when I was recently in India. I was coming back to my hotel room in Mumbai and in the lobby, I saw a crowd of people looking at a wide-screen TV. All I could see from a distance was Rivers’ face.
“The famous American entertainer is very sick,” said a beautiful, tall Indian lady as I approached the TV screen.
I got up close to hear that Rivers’ had in fact gone into sudden cardiac arrest from a simply outpatient procedure done at a medical clinic in NY. I stood there almost in disbelief not wanting to believe what the reporter was saying.
Then came the horrific and unbelievable news as I arrived back in the US on September 4th.
Almost every single newspapers at Newark airport had front page coverage that Joan Rivers had in fact died at the age of 81 from her sudden medical crisis.
I was in shock (and jet lagged) when I saw the news.
Joan Rivers, the quick-witted pioneer of comedy and world-famous iconic figure to women comedians, had died on September 4th in NYC due to medical complications stemming from a routine throat procedure as reported in the news. It was distressing news since no one was expecting to hear that the active, driven and energetic entertainer has suddenly died.
The memories and personal anecdotes will be flooding in for months to come if not longer. I mean after all, Rivers DID have a strong presence in the entertainment and business world with her gifted ability to make people laugh and sell them jewelry at the same time.
FYI folks, I gifted my mom a necklace a few years ago from The Joan Rivers Collection and she gets praises all the time when she wears the necklace. (Thank you Joan!)
I recently attended a little get together with some close friends in which we all shared something in common- we had met Joan Rivers over the years and wanted to share our memories of the iconic entertainer with one another.
I started telling the group that my first personal encounter with Rivers was back in 1999 when I was at CNN in NY and Rivers was a guest on a show I was working on. The comedian came to the studio in full make up, looking elegant, professional and very classy. She had her hair pulled back a little and was wearing a stylish black dress carrying a very fancy expensive hand bag.
After her appearance on CNN, Rivers had another TV show to attend to and I had ordered her a car service to take her home. I walked downstairs with Rivers to the lobby and waited with for her car.
When I found out that the car service was running late due to the horrendous ongoing NYC traffic, I explained to Rivers that the car was on its way and would be a late due to the heavy city traffic. I kept apologizing to her for the lateness and she was ever so gracious and said “no worries” and gave me a goodbye hug and hopped into a cab and headed to her other appointment.
Now that my friends is an example of a classy and refined lady.
Other celebrities (and I won’t name any) would have, how shall I say this nicely, performed in the lobby if their car service was late or did not show up. Trust me when I say this folks. I have seen it first hand. But not Rivers. She was ever so gracious and so humble that you can’t help but feel sad that such a well-loved famous celebrity is no more.
But the question that many are asking and that has been presented in the media, is this. Did Joan Rivers’ celebrity or rather VIP status help or hurt her in the end with her medical treatment? A terrific article recently written by the famous NY plastic surgeon Dr. Elan Singer brings up a very good and crucial point about famous individuals and their medical care as celebrities. Dr. Singer deals with celebrities and understands the dynamics of “VIP Syndrome” extremely well.
With Rivers gone, the upcoming awards season will have a strong void on the red carpet. I personally know celebrities and fashion designers will miss the way Rivers critiqued (and praised) their fashions and accessories while adding her own take on how Hollywood celebrities should dress on her show at those events and on her show “Fashion Police”.
Ten Interesting facts about Joan Rivers
1. Born Joan Alexandra Molinsky in Brooklyn, New York on June 8th, 1933.
2. Rivers was nominated for a Grammy Award in 1984 for her album What Becomes a Semi-Legend Most?
3. Rivers was nominated for a Tony Award for Best Actress in a Play for her title role in Sally Marr…and her escorts.
4. Joan Rivers co-hosted the popular show “Fashion Police” on the E!Entertainment Network for four years.
5. Rivers was one of four Americans invited to the wedding of her close friend, Prince Charles and Camilla Parker Bowles.
6. Her career lasted over 55 years.
7. Rivers authored 12 books.
8. She acted in 21 films, the most famous being her own documentary Joan Rivers: A Piece of Work (2010) which premiered at Sundance.
9. Rivers won an Emmy for Outstanding Talk Show Host in 1990 for The Joan Rivers Show.
10. Rivers donated thousands of dollars and personal time to her favorite charity God’s Love We Deliver for over 25 years.
The journey continues for many of us, but for Joan Rivers it abruptly ended leaving a void in the world of laughter,
fashion and comedy.