UPDATE: Joan Rivers 'Resting Comfortably' After Surgery Scare
As BWW reported earlier today, stage and screen star Joan Rivers was rushed to New York City's Mount Sinai hospital after she stopped breathing during a minor throat operation. The 81 year-old comedienne was having surgery on her vocal chords.
E! News wrote earlier today that Rivers had been undergoing a minor endoscopic procedure when "she stopped breathing" after a scope was inserted down her throat. The actress and TV host, suffering from cardiac and respiratory arrest, was rushed away in an ambulance in critical condition.
UPDATE: According to new reports, Joan Rivers is now in stable condition. Her daughter said in a statement late today, Thursday, August 28: "I want to thank everyone for the overwhelming love and support for my mother. She is resting comfortably and is with our family. We ask that you continue to keep her in your thoughts and prayers."
Rivers made the rounds in New York during the 1950s, appearing in a few off-off Broadway plays (including one where she played a lesbian opposite an equally unknown Barbra Streisand), surviving sleazy agents, tawdry clubs, and hostile audiences. A 1965 booking on "The Tonight Show with Johnny Carson" led to her hosting one of the first syndicated talk shows on daytime TV, "That Show with Joan Rivers" in 1968.
In the 1970s Joan wrote the TV-movie The Girl Most Likely To (starring Stockard Channing) and then wrote and directed her first feature film Rabbit Test, casting Billy Crystal in the lead. In 1983 Joan became the permanent guest host on "The Tonight Show." Later, she headlined in Las Vegas, sold out Carnegie Hall, produced a Grammy nominated comedy album, and wrote two best-selling books. In 1989 the Tribune Corporation launched Joan in her own syndicated daytime talk show.
She won an Emmy and a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame. In 1994 she wrote and starred on Broadway in Sally Marr and Her Escorts, for which she received a Best Actress Tony nomination. Since then, Joan has written five more best-selling books, maintains her own jewelry line on QVC, served as host of the series "How'd You Get So Rich?" on TVLand, and filmed a special for Bravo. In 2009, she was the winner of Donald Trump's "Celebrity Apprentice". In 2010, she returned to The Fashion Police show on E! and was featured on the big screen in the acclaimed Sundance Award-winning documentary Joan Rivers: A Piece of Work. In 2011, she launch the reality TV series Joan & Melissa: Joan Knows Best? on Oxygen, which is now in its 4th season.
Her Broadway credits include Fun City, Broadway Bound and Sally Marr...and her escorts, for which she received a Drama Desk Nomination as Outstanding Actress in a Play and a Tony Nomination for Best Actress in a Play. Her solo show, Joan Rivers: A Work in Progress by a Life in Progress, played at Los Angeles' Geffen Playhouse before moving to Edinburgh Festival Fringe, followed by a run at the Leicester Square Theatre in 2008.
Photo Credit: Walter McBride