'Joan Rivers paved the way for a lot of us' - Ellen DeGeneres and Samuel L. Jackson lead tributes to 'pioneer' comedian
Stars of stage and screen have paid tribute to Joan Rivers.
The Fashion Police host lost the battle for her life this evening and her daughter Melissa announced the tragedy.
A host of Hollywood names came forward to express their sadness following the news Rivers had died aged 81.
Samuel led the tribute, by writing on his Twitter: “Love Her or Hate Her, we're gonna Miss JOAN RIVERS! I always respected her go for broke humor. One of a kind.R.I.P.”
“Joan Rivers will always be a pioneer. She paved the way for a lot of comedians. I’m very sad she’s gone,” Ellen DeGeneres tweeted.
Emmy Rossum wrote: “Heaven just got a little funnier. We will miss you, Joan. There will never be another one like you.”
Sharon Osbourne, whose daughter Kelly hosts Fashion Police alongside Joan and Melissa, tweeted: “We've lost a true legend today and an amazing woman - a pioneer. She opened up the arena for women in comedy.”
Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said in a statement: "Joan Rivers brought laughter to millions around the world and was proud of her Jewish heritage and a vocal supporter of the State of Israel. We will miss her deeply and we send our heartfelt condolences to her family."
And Roseanne Barr added: “RIP GODDESS: Hail Hail, a GENIUS has vacated this realm: Joan Rivers has died.”
Actress and singer Liza Minnelli said on Facebook: "Joan Rivers was my dear friend and I will miss her but I will always remember the laughter and friendship she brought into my life."
Real estate mogul Donald Trump, whose "Celebrity Apprentice" reality TV show Rivers won in 2009, on Twitter said Rivers "was an amazing woman and a great friend. Her energy and talent were boundless. She will be greatly missed."
British-born best-selling novelist Barbara Taylor Bradford said: "It is with great sorrow that (husband) Bob and I have just heard of Joan's passing today.
"What a terrible loss to her daughter, Melissa, and her grandson, Cooper, and to all of her friends and fans. Joan was a great friend to have.
"Aside from her humour and comedic talents, she also made her friends laugh in private. Hospitable and generous to a fault, she was loyal and always there for all of us. She will be terribly missed.
"Bob and I send many condolences and much love to Melissa, Cooper and their family. Just imagine: we won't hear those witty, sometimes caustic, but always funny one-liners ever again.
"Goodbye Joan Rivers. You'll always be in our hearts."
Comedian Louis C.K. said in a statement: "I never saw someone attack a stage with so much energy. She was a controlled lightning bolt."
Comedian Ricky Gervais was among stars who paid tribute to Rivers.
He wrote on Twitter: "RIP the mighty Joan Rivers. Funny & fearless. Truly one of a kind."
Actor Hugh Jackman said: "We lost one of the true originals today. Joan Rivers. A force. You will be missed."
Actress and singer Bette Midler said on Twitter: "Joan Rivers has died. What a sad ending to a brilliant and tragi-comic life; one of the bravest, and funniest of all."
Comedian Sarah Silverman said on Twitter: "My heart is torn in half. She wasn't done."
US television host Larry King tweeted: "Joan Rivers was a dear and wonderful friend who I've known for 45 years. Great guest, pal, comedian & mother. We will never see her likes again."
Singer Jordin Sparks tweeted: “Oh, Joan. Thank you for being so kind to me & making me laugh until tears in those moments I got spend with you. Rest in peace.”
Referring to his appearance on In Bed With Joan, former ‘N Sync singer Lance Bass wrote on his Twitter page: “Thanks for the laughs @Joan_Rivers ! The last woman to bed me!”
“RIP Joan Rivers. A force of nature,” comedian and Family Guy creator Seth MacFarlane tweeted.
The comedienne began the battle for her life after she suffered a cardiac arrest during a routine operation on August 28.
Joan received treatment at Mount Sinai Hospital and the star was in critical condition when she first reached the medical centre. The comedy icon was then put on life support and the New York Daily News reported doctors were attempting to life her from a medically induced coma earlier this week.
Announcing her mother’s passing in a statement, Melissa said: “It is with great sadness that I announce the death of my mother, Joan Rivers. She passed peacefully at 1:17pm surrounded by family and close friends.”