NEW YORK CITY — Legendary comedian Joan Rivers has died at 81 after complications from throat surgery, her daughter Melissa confirmed to NBC New York.
"It is with great sadness that I announce the death of my mother, Joan Rivers," Melissa Rivers said in a statement. "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."
Born in Brooklyn, Rivers became famous in the 1960s after appearing on "The Tonight Show," eventually becoming a director, writer, actress, and author. She was a common sight on the red carpet of high-profile awards shows, and introduced the question "Who are you wearing?"
Rivers appeared in dozens of movies and television shows, and won a Daytime Emmy Award for Outstanding Talk Show Host in 1990 for her work on "The Joan Rivers Show."