Joan Rivers dead: Tributes pour in for the comedian famed for her acerbic one-liners

Joan Rivers-inspired comedian Sarah Silverman tweeted that her "heart is torn in half"

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The Independent Online

Joan River's daughter lead tributes to her mother on Thursday, after the comedian died aged 81 at a hospital in New York.

During her lengthy career, the raucous funny-woman was famed for shaking up the male-dominated realm of late-night talk shows and delivering acid-tongued one liners in her stand-up shows.

In a statement confirming her mother's death, Melissa Rivers said: "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."

Messages of love and respect for the fearless comedian have since flooded in from her friends, colleagues and fellow comics.


Comedian Louis CK, who acted alongside Rivers in his comedy drama Louie, said in a statement: "I never saw someone attack a stage with so much energy.

"She was a controlled lightning bolt. She was a prolific and unpredictable, joyful joke writer. She loved comedy. She loved the audience.

"She was a great actress and should have done that more. She loved living and working. She was kind. She was real. She was brave. She was funny and you just wanted to be around her. I looked up to her. I learned from her. I loved her. I liked her. And I already miss her very much."

Rivers' friend, journalist Barbara Walters, fondly called the comedian "brassy" and "outrageous".

"No one loved life, laughter, and a good time more than Joan," she said.

"We would have dinner and laugh and gossip and I always left the table smiling. She was a brassy, often outrageous, and hilarious performer who made millions laugh. In private, she was the picture of elegance and class. I will miss her," she added.

Rivers' co-host on E!'s Fashion Police simply thanked her for "changing his life."

Sarah Silverman, who was clearly inspired by Rivers' boundary-pushing comedy, tweeted of her heartbreak at the news.

Meanwhile, journalist and broadcaster Piers Morgan paid tribute to Rivers using her own words.

And singer and DJ Boy George - of whom Rivers once said: "Boy George is all England needs — another queen who can't dress." - tweeted his sadness and an old photo of the pair together.