1. Joan Alexandra Molinsky , better known as Joan Rivers, was an American actress, comedian, writer, producer, and television host noted for her often controversial comedic persona—where she was alternately self-deprecating or sharply acerbic, especially toward celebrities and politicians.
2. Rivers came to prominence in 1965 as a guest on The Tonight Show.
3. In 1986, with her own rival program, The Late Show with Joan Rivers, Rivers became the first woman to host a late night network television talk show.
4. She subsequently hosted The Joan Rivers Show , winning a Daytime Emmy for Outstanding Talk Show Host.
5. Having become widely known for her comedic red carpet awards show celebrity interviews, Rivers co-hosted the E! celebrity fashion show Fashion Police from 2010 to 2014 and starred in reality series Joan & Melissa: Joan Knows Best? with daughter Melissa Rivers.
6. She was the subject of the documentary Joan Rivers: A Piece of Work .
7. In addition to marketing a line of jewelry and apparel on the QVC shopping channel, Rivers authored 12 best-selling books and released numerous comedy albums.
8. She was nominated in 1984 for a Grammy Award for her album What Becomes a Semi-Legend Most?; and was nominated in 1994 for the Tony Award for Best Actress in a Play for her performance of the title role in Sally Marr…and Her Escorts.
9. In 2015, Rivers posthumously received a Grammy Award for Best Spoken Word Album for her book, Diary of a Mad Diva.
10. In 1968, The New York Times television critic Jack Gould called Rivers “quite possibly the most intuitively funny woman alive”.
11. During the late 1950s, Rivers appeared in a short-run play, Driftwood, playing a lesbian with a crush on a character played by a then-unknown Barbra Streisand.
12. By 1965, Rivers had a stint on Candid Camera as a gag writer and participant; she was “the bait” to lure people into ridiculous situations for the show.
13. She also made her first appearance on The Tonight Show with new host Johnny Carson, on February 17, 1965. During the same decade, Rivers made other appearances on The Tonight Show as well as The Ed Sullivan Show, while hosting the first of several talk shows.
14. She had a brief role in The Swimmer , starring Burt Lancaster.
15. A year later, she had a short-lived syndicated daytime talk show, That Show with Joan Rivers; Johnny Carson was her first guest.
16. By the 1970s, Rivers was appearing on various television comedy and variety shows, including The Carol Burnett Show and a semi-regular stint on Hollywood Squares.
17. From 1972 to 1976, she narrated The Adventures of Letterman, an animated segment for The Electric Company.
18. In 1973, Rivers wrote the TV movie The Girl Most Likely to…, a black comedy starring Stockard Channing.
19. In 1978, Rivers wrote and directed the film Rabbit Test, starring her friend Billy Crystal.
20. During the same decade, she was the opening act for singers Helen Reddy, Robert Goulet, Mac Davis and Sergio Franchi on the Las Vegas Strip.
21. The album reached No. 22 on the U.S. Billboard 200 and was nominated for a Grammy Award for Best Comedy Album.
22. During the 1980s, she continued doing stand-up shows along with appearing on various television shows.
23. A friend of Nancy and President Ronald Reagan, Rivers attended a state dinner in 1983, and later, at the invitation of Nancy, spoke at luncheon at the 1984 Republican National Convention.