MTV Artists

Millions of artists.
Your pocket.
One app.
Download now

Download on the App Store Stay in
My Browser

Comedian Joan Rivers carves out her own niche in the entertainment industry: she's a talker. In fact, she preempts most of her shtick with her trademark line "Can we talk?" A constant stream of one-liners, Rivers is instantly recognizable by her raspy voice, upturned nose, bob haircut, fashion sense, quick wit, and presence as commentator at high-profile celebrity awards ceremonies. She also conducts fashion reviews on the sensational celebrity "news" channel E! Entertainment Television.

In 1990, Rivers won an Emmy for her daytime television talk show, The Joan Rivers Show. She entertained her audiences with her conversational-style standup comedy repertoire between guests and with "Gossip gossip gossip!" Rivers' gift of gab has been featured in comedy clubs around the nation throughout the past five decades, and her show has played Vegas regularly.

During the early '80s, Rivers often filled in as guest host for Johnny Carson on The Tonight Show. By 1986, she had her own late night talk show, but it was canceled the following season. That same year, her husband, manager/producer Edgar Rosenberg, committed suicide. Years later, after the success of her new show, her highly publicized real-life drama was made into a made-for-TV movie (Tears and Laughter: The Joan and Melissa Rivers Story ), recounting what Rivers and her daughter went through after her husband's death.

Joan Rivers did attempt to make a sitcom, direct a movie (Rabbit Test -- starring Billy Crystal), and a Broadway show, none of which took off, despite her popularity. But she constantly appears on television and in movies in bit parts and supporting roles. She has had several hit comedy albums and books, a best-seller (Enter Talking) among them.

Before she critiqued celebrity wardrobes at the Academy Awards, Golden Globe Awards, and Emmy Awards, Rivers worked as a fashion consultant at Bond Clothing Stores. She was also a publicist for Lord & Taylor. She started traveling the nightclub circuit and after seven years of struggling, got a shot to appear on The Tonight Show. From there, Rivers was catapulted into a lifetime career that has lasted over five decades.

Joan Rivers parents were Russian immigrants. She attended Connecticut College for Women and graduated Barnard College with a B.A. in English and anthropology. She has been married twice and engaged a third time. She has one daughter, Melissa, who often accompanies her when commentating. ~ Sandy Lawson, Rovi