Joan Alexandra Molinsky, known as Joan Rivers, was an American actress, comedian, writer, producer, and television host noted for her often controversial comedic persona — where she was alternately self-deprecating or sharply acerbic, especially toward celebrities and politicians.
Rivers came to prominence in 1965 as a guest on The Tonight Show. Hosted by her mentor, Johnny Carson, the show established Rivers’ comedic style. In 1986, with her own rival program, The Late Show with Joan Rivers, Rivers became the first woman to host a late night network television talk show. She subsequently hosted The Joan Rivers Show (1989–1993), winning a Daytime Emmy for Outstanding Talk Show Host.
As the author of 12 best-selling memoir and humor books and numerous comedy albums, Rivers was nominated in 1984 for aGrammy Award for her album What Becomes a Semi-Legend Most? and was nominated in 1994 for the Tony Award for Best Actress in a Play for her performance of the title role in Sally Marr…and her escorts. In 2015, Rivers posthumously received a Grammy Award for Best Spoken Word Album for her book, Diary of a Mad Diva.
In her later years, Rivers was particularly known for conducting comedic interviews with celebrities as they walked the red carpet at awards shows. From 2010 to 2014 Rivers co-hosted the E! celebrity fashion show Fashion Police and starred in reality seriesJoan & Melissa: Joan Knows Best?, from 2011 to 2014, with daughter Melissa Rivers. Rivers marketed a line of jewelry and apparel on the QVC shopping channel, and was the subject of the documentary Joan Rivers: A Piece of Work (2010).