Birth Date: June 8, 1933 / Age: 83
Birth Place: Brooklyn, New York, USA
Biography: Joan Rivers (born 8 June 1933) is a United States comedian, talk show host, and celebrity. She is known for her brash manner and loud, gruff voice with a heavy New York City accent.
Rivers was born as Joan Sandra Alexandra Molinsky in Brooklyn, New York. She graduated from Barnard College in 1954 with a B.A. in English and anthropology.
In the 1960s she made television appearances as a comedian on the popular shows The Tonight Show and The Ed Sullivan Show, as well as hosting the first of her several talk shows. Later in that decade she made a brief but notable appearance opposite Burt Lancaster in the film, The Swimmer.
In the 70s, Rivers appeared often on as a guest on various television comedy and variety shows. One notable appearance on The Carol Burnett Show had Rivers spoofing Valerie Harper in Rhoda instead as "Rhonda" to the delight of the audience.
In 1978 she directed and wrote the film Rabbit Test starring her friend Billy Crystal. The avante-garde movie about a man who gets pregnant bombed at the box-office. Rivers was the opening act for singer Helen Reddy on The Las Vegas Strip during the 70s. Rivers then became a headliner in her own right to standing room crowds continuing into the 1980s. Rivers also recorded a popular record album of her live standup act entitled "Can We Talk?"
Rivers continued to gain acclaim on television as she would often be brought in as a guest host of the Tonight Show throughout the 1980's. In the early 1980's she was named the permanent guest host of that show.
In 1986, she hosted her own evening talk show, "The Late Show Starring Joan Rivers" on the Fox Television Network, one of the launch shows for the new network. The show lasted about a year. When it began, Rivers was the permanent guest host for Johnny Carson on The Tonight Show. Carson was so upset by her decision to leave without discussing it with him, that he banned her from his show, even after Rivers' show failed. The two never reconciled before his 2005 death.
Soon after the cancellation of her series, her husband (who was also one of the show's producers) Edgar Rosenberg committed suicide. Joan was devastated by the loss. Eventually returned to television with a daytime talk show of her own, The Joan Rivers Show, which ran from 1989 until 1993. Rivers candidly wrote about her husband's passing in two autobiographical, motivational best-selling books published in the 90s, entitled: Enter Talking, and Still Talking.
Joan Rivers has been awarded the 1975 Georgie Award as "Best Comedienne", the Clio Award for "Best Performance in a TV Commercial" in 1976 and 1982, and the 1990 Daytime Emmy Award as "Best Talk Show Host".
As of 2005, Joan Rivers is a host for the TV Guide channel, often cohosting red carpet specials before awards shows with her daughter, Melissa Rivers. She previously worked for the E! Entertainment Television network in a similar role. In the movie Shrek 2, she cameoed as a computer-generated version of herself, hosting the parody ME! Medieval Entertainment Television channel.
In a 2005 Channel 4 poll to find The Comedian's Comedian, she was voted amongst the top 50 comedy acts ever by fellow comedians and comedy insiders.
Rivers is an avid and unapologetic user of plastic surgery to enhance her looks; she appeared on an episode of Nip/Tuck where she wants to find out what she would look like without all the plastic surgery she has gotten, and is horrified by the result. She is also an avid collector of jewelry. Rivers also appears regularly on television's QVC, selling her own line of jewelery under the brand name, "The Joan Rivers Collection," which in fact is one of that network's best selling lines.
Today, Rivers is a proud and involved grandmother by way of her daughter's very brief marriage.