Late comedian Joan Rivers made a career out of lampooning politicians, public figures and anyone foolish enough to be caught in an unfashionable outfit. The Daily Mail called her “acerbic,” noting that she even poked fun at herself.
“I’ve had so much plastic surgery, when I die they will donate my body to Tupperware,” she said. Yet, just because she had a biting wit didn’t mean that Rivers wasn’t loved by many.
Her daughter Melissa Rivers adored her mother, and even after she passed away in 2014 during an outpatient surgical procedure, Melissa struggled to find closure. “There are some days that it feels like 10 years and some days where it feels like yesterday,” she said, according to People magazine.
“But that’s the normal grieving process. Everyone expects me to have this sort of elevated or heightened experience, and the truth is — and I say this all the time — grief is grief is grief.”
Rivers’ famous barbed jabs aside, it’s easy to understand why she earned the admiration of her daughter and those around her. Indeed, once you know about her past, you can see that she was an impressive person in her own right.
Biography.com chronicled how Rivers was born in 1933 to a father “who had a great sense of humor.” She initially gave up her college dreams of acting on stage or screen, working instead as a wholesale buyer for a retail location.
Yet when her first marriage failed after six months, she went back to performing and learned a harsh truth: She couldn’t hack it. Numerous acting attempts in plays and films over the coming years left audiences unimpressed.
Her sense of humor, though, had them rolling in the proverbial aisles. She transitioned to stand-up comedy and eventually landed a booking on “The Tonight Show Starring Johnny Carson.”
That was her big break, yet Rivers didn’t rest on her comedic laurels. Through the ups and downs of her career, she latched onto something utterly unique: red-carpet fashion critiques.
Rivers and Melissa would stand in front of the cameras at premiers and comment on the couture they saw. Some of their comments were kind.
Others, though, stung. In fact, their shtick made a lasting impression on the entertainment world.
“I think what’s happened in general is (the celebrities have) all got stylists,” Rivers said in a 2010 interview. “When Melissa and I started (rating their personal style), nobody else was doing this and nobody had stylists.
“They all picked their own dresses. It was wonderful because you got to see the good, you got to see the bad.”
Perhaps the personal and professional camaraderie that Melissa built with her mother explains a certain piece of jewelry she recently revealed. Page Six reported that she had a pendant made in honor of Rivers with four letters on it
In honor of Mom. “What Would Joan Say?” pic.twitter.com/4RPjgYSdjQ
— Melissa Rivers (@MelRivers) September 4, 2018
The pendant is emblazoned with WWJS: “What would Joan say?”
“In honor of Mom,” Melissa wrote on a Twitter post showcasing the piece. Rivers may have had a sharp tongue, but we can be sure that she would’ve said to her daughter, “I love you.”
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