Joan Rivers, the blunt, tart-tongued celebrity and talk show host who reconstructed her career time and time again en route to becoming one of the most memorable female comics of all time, has died. She was 81.

The breakthrough standup comic, writer, actress, fashion critic, red-carpet doyenne, gossip and businesswoman died Thursday at 1:17 p.m. local time at Mount Sinai Hospital in New York, her daughter Melissa announced. She was rushed there Aug. 28 and placed on life support after she suffered from respiratory and cardiac arrest during surgery on her vocal cords in a doctor’s office.

“My mother’s greatest joy in life was to make people laugh. Although that is difficult to do right now, I know her final wish would be that we return to laughing soon,” Melissa Rivers stated.

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