Famous faces at Joan Rivers funeral


Published: Sunday 7th September 2014 by The News Editor

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The worlds of Hollywood, fashion, media and money have united among the mourners at a funeral for Joan Rivers, meaning she got the star-studded send-off she wanted.

A legion of famous faces turned out at New York’s Temple Emanu-El to remember Rivers, who died on Thursday aged 81.

They included Kathy Griffin, whose edgy, biting comedy career was largely made possible by Rivers; colleague and friend Kelly Osbourne, Sarah Jessica Parker, Whoopi Goldberg and Howard Stern.

Theater stars Bernadette Peters, Alan Cumming and Tommy Tune were there. Record producer Clive Davis arrived, too. Fashion designers Carolina Herrera and Michael Kors were there.

Stars from TV such as Barbara Walters, Geraldo Rivera, Diane Sawyer, Kathie Lee, Hoda Kotb and Andy Cohen attended, along with moguls Barry Diller, Donald Trump and Steve Forbes.

Mourners lined up outside the Manhattan synagogue and waited for their names to be checked against a list before entering. Barricades lined several blocks of Fifth Avenue, and a crowd of fans and media stood watch across the street.

Rivers, a raspy-voiced blonde with a brash New York accent, was a TV talk show host, actress, fashion critic and sold a line of jewellery.

The cause of her death is being investigated. Rivers had been in hospital since August 28 when she went into cardiac arrest during a routine procedure at a doctor’s office.

The New York state health department is investigating the circumstances.

In her book, Rivers joked that dying of natural causes was boring. She wrote: “It’s the grand finale, act three, the eleven o’clock number – make it count. If you’re going to die, die interesting! Is there anything worse than a boring death? I think not.”

The comedian detailed in the 2012 book I Hate Everyone … Starting With Me how she hoped for “a huge showbiz affair with lights, cameras, action” and “Hollywood all the way” at her funeral.

Instead of a rabbi talking, Rivers asked for “Meryl Streep crying, in five different accents” and “a wind machine so that even in the casket my hair is blowing just like Beyonce’s”.

Her publicist said that in lieu of flowers, donations can be made to God’s Love, We Deliver; Guide Dogs for the Blind; or Our House.

Howard Stern delivered the eulogy and Broadway singer-actress Audra McDonald sang Smile at the service.

A men’s choir singing Broadway hits kicked off the ceremony before the six-time Tony Award-winner sang her tribute to Rivers, a champion of theatre for decades. Hugh Jackman was expected to sing later.

Published: Sunday 7th September 2014 by The News Editor

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