Joan Alexandra Molinsky, A.K.A. Joan Rivers, was an American comedian, actress, producer, T.V host, and writer born on June 8, 1933. Rivers was best known for her show called “The Late Show with Joan Rivers” and several other exploits. She has been in the industry since 1959 and had achieved enviable accolades. Join us in celebrating this matriarch on her birthday today!
Joan Alexandra Molinsky
June 8, 1933
September 4, 2014 (age 81)
The story began with Joan Alexandra Molinsky on June 8, 1933. She was a Gemini born in Brooklyn, New York, to Russian-Jewish immigrants. Hence, she’s of Russian descent. Rivers attended Brooklyn Ethical Culture School and Adelphi Academy of Brooklyn. Within two years in the school, she performed in the Cavalcades and became vice president of their dramatic club in 1949. She graduated two years later and relocated with her family to Larchmont. Rivers attended Connecticut College for two years and then transferred to Barnard College. She graduated from the latter in 1954 with a B.A. in English literature and Anthropology. She worked several menial jobs before entering show business, where on the advice of her agent, changed her name to Joan Rivers.
Rivers appeared in an Off-Broadway play called “Driftwood” in the late ‘50s. In 1965, she appeared with Jim Connell and Jake Holmes in their cabaret act, ‘“Jim, Jake & Joan” in the motion picture “Once Upon A Coffee House” (1965). After her appearance on “The Tonight Show” hosted by Johnny Carson, who told her she would become a star, her profile rose significantly, as she made guest appearances on several more shows. From “The Ed Sullivan Show” to “The Mike Douglas Show,” “The Dick Cavett Show,” and “Girl Talk with Virginia Graham,” Rivers displayed her funny talents everywhere. In 1972, she made her Broadway debut in a play called “Fun City.” Rivers went on to narrate “The Adventures of Letterman” from 1972 to 1976. By 1974, she published her first book “Having a Baby Can Be a Scream.” She made her directional debut in 1978 in the comedy “Rabbit Test.” In 1983, Rivers released the best-selling comedy album called “What Becomes a Semi-Legend Most?” which peaked at number 22 on the U.S. Billboard 200 and even got a Grammy Award nomination for Best Comedy Album. In 1986, Fox Television Network announced it was giving Rivers her late-night talk show called “The Late Show Starring Joan Rivers” and by October, the show premiered. However, she got fired in May 1987. By 1989, “The Joan Rivers Show” premiered. Rivers’ eponymous daytime show ran for five seasons and earned her an Outstanding Talk Show Host Daytime Emmy in 1990.
In the 2000s, Rivers did explicitly well. She hosted red carpet shows, appeared in television shows, and wrote more books before hosting “Fashion Police” by the E! Network in 2010. In 2011, she starred in “Joan & Melissa: Joan Knows Best?” which ran for four seasons until 2014. Her 11th book, “I Hate Everyone…Starting with Me,” was released in June 2012 and became a New York Times Best Seller. In 2013 she launched an online talk show, “In Bed with Joan,” where she invited guests to have conversations with her in bed. As someone of such caliber, Rivers’ personal life has also been public. It features two marriages and one annulment. Rivers was married to James Sanger in 1956, but the marriage lasted six months and was annulled. Her second marriage was to Edgar Rosenberg in July 1965, which lasted until his demise in 1987. They had one child, Melissa Rivers. Rivers had an eight-year relationship with Orin Lehman in the ‘90s. On September 4, 2014, Rivers died at Mount Sinai Hospital, having failed to wake up from a medically-induced coma. Rivers made a significant mark in the world and is missed every day.
Rivers got her first big-screen credit as part of the cabaret, Jim, Jake & Joan in “Once Upon A Coffee House.”
Rivers made her Broadway debut in “Fun City.”
Rivers published her first book, “Having a Baby Can Be a Scream.”
Rivers made history as the first woman to be given a late-night talk show on a major network.
Rivers hosted “Fashion Police” with Giuliana Rancic, Kelly Osbourne, and George Kotsiopoulos.
Why We Love Joan Rivers
She was hardworking
12 books, several albums, and endless television shows and appearances offer proof of Rivers’ drive and resilience. She was incredibly hardworking.
She was hilarious
Rivers’ sense of humor and hilarious personality kept her career afloat in the industry. She was talented and funny.
She was a philanthropist
Rivers was a philanthropist and supported multiple causes. Some of which include H.I.V./AIDS activism and the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention as its Honorary Director.
5 Surprising Facts
She was overweight
Rivers had revealed that she was overweight from childhood through adolescence.
She was a tour guide
Rivers worked as a tour guide at Rockefeller Center before fame.
Her husband committed suicide
After Rivers and her husband Rosenberg got fired from Fox, he committed suicide three months later.
She was on Celebrity Apprentice
Rivers and her daughter, Melissa, competed in Celebrity Apprentice Season eight, but only Rivers won.
She was licensed to carry a gun
Rivers got her gun license in New York City and was licensed to carry a gun.
Joan Rivers FAQs
What was Joan Rivers’ last television appearance?
Before her demise, Rivers hosted the August 26, 2014 “Fashion Police” episode and the 2014 MTV Movie Awards.
What cosmetic procedure did Joan Rivers have?
Rivers had several procedures from a nose thinning to an eye lift, tummy tucks, etc.
Is Melissa Rivers married?
Melissa was married to John Endicott from 1998 to 2003.
Joan Rivers’s birthday dates