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Opinion: Joan Rivers a celebrated comedian

At 1:17 p.m. on Thursday, comedic legend Joan Rivers died surrounded by loved ones in a New York City hospital.

Rivers was originally hospitalized for cardiac arrest Aug. 28 after she stopped breathing during a vocal chord surgery. She was taken off life support a week later, and the comedian passed gently into the beloved realm of fallen entertainers.

Known worldwide for her sharp tongue and lively spirit, Rivers appeared to be experiencing normal health during the final moments before her hospitalization. After recording the latest episode of E!’s “Fashion Police,” sources claimed Rivers appeared to be fine.

Rivers’ time spent on life support appeared to be promising. The star was removed from intensive care on Wednesday. Just hours before the announcement of the “Fashion Police” host’s death, E! announced that the show would be on hiatus, as her mother was “recovering.”

An official cause of death had not been released as of Thursday night, but her daughter said in a statement her mother died peacefully.

Fellow celebrities have already begun gushing with their sincerest admiration for Rivers via Twitter.

Business pioneer Donald Trump tweeted from his account, @realDonaldTrump, “Joan Rivers @Joan_Rivers was an amazing woman and a great friend. Her energy and talent were boundless. She will be greatly missed.”

Fellow female TV personality Sharon Osbourne tweeted from her account, @MrsSOsbourne, “We’ve lost a true legend today and an amazing woman — a pioneer. She opened up the arena for women in comedy….”

Dozens more — from Larry King to Robin Roberts to Sarah Silverman — have shared similar feelings of loss across all platforms of social media. Many touch upon the fact that Rivers was a one-of-a-kind entertainer. Her tell-it-like-it-is honesty and cutting humor drew appreciation from stars across all genres.

Rivers was a true influence in the worlds of acting, fashion and comedy. Though her life has come to an end, her indomitable spirit will likely live on in the fiercest attitudes of the industries that made her famous. 

If the she taught America one thing, it is that no topic is off-limits when it comes to laughter. The comedian herself once said: “Life is very tough. If you don’t laugh, it’s tough.”

These times are surely tough. But for Joan Rivers, America will keep on laughing.

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