Joan Rivers Gets Star-Studded New York Funeral

September 8, 2014
Advertisement

Fashion, film and comedy stars joined grieving relatives Sunday to say goodbye to comedy legend Joan Rivers at a New York funeral that fulfilled her last wish for a showbiz send-off.

Film stars Whoopi Goldberg and Sarah Jessica Parker joined Rivers’ daughter Melissa and grandson Cooper at the hour-long, private service at Temple Emanu-El on 5th Avenue.

Comedian Kathy Griffin, who has paid tribute to Rivers for blazing a trial for women comics, also attended alongside tycoon Donald Trump, TV legend Barbara Walters and Rivers’ co-host on TV show “Fashion Police” Kelly Osbourne.

The service at one of America’s oldest reform synagogues was by invitation only. Police shut down the sidewalk and PR women armed with clipboards checked guests’ IDs.

Advertisement

A huge scrum of paparazzi, TV cameras and journalists camped out across the street and hundreds of fans lined the street five or six deep to watch guests arrive from behind metal railings.

Rivers, 81, died on Thursday in hospital a week after she stopped breathing during a medical procedure on her vocal cords at a private clinic.

In her 2013 book “I Hate Everyone… Starting With Me,” she said she wanted “a huge showbiz affair with lights, camera, action” — the paragraph of which was re-produced on the inside of the funeral program.

“I want paparazzi and I want publicists making a scene! I want it to be Hollywood all the way,” she wrote.

Actor Hugh Jackman sang — reportedly “Quiet Please, There’s a Lady on Stage” from his musical The Boy From Oz — as did Broadway actress Audra McDonald also performed.

The service opened with the New York City Gay Men’s Chorus and closed with the bagpipe band of New York City Police Department.

Tributes came from Melissa, friend Margie Stern and gossip columnist Cindy Adams.

Melissa, wearing a black dress and large black sunglasses, was cheered by Rivers’ fans as she pulled away in a black limo after the service.

One police officer estimated the crowd, many of them women, at around 1,500.

The bagpipe players were given a roar of applause as they streamed out of the synagogue, closing off a portion of 5th Avenue as the mourners departed.

In the crowd there were complaints that a huge screen was not erected outside to broadcast the funeral. “They way she was, she would have wanted it,” muttered one woman.

Rabbi Joshua Davidson led opening prayers. He previously announced: “We mourn with her family, friends and all those millions to whom she brought laughter and joy.”

No specific cause of Rivers’ death has been made public and New York State Health Department said it was investigating the circumstances that surrounded her reported cardiac arrest at Yorkville Endoscopy Center.

The daughter of a well-off Jewish family, Rivers enjoyed a stunningly successful career that lasted decades and worked right up until falling ill last week.

Born Joan Alexandra Molinsky in Brooklyn, she graduated from New York’s Barnard College and worked in the fashion industry before starting out in stand-up under the stage name Joan Rivers.

She spared no one her razor-sharp wit and was considered one of the best at delivering a cutting one-liner.

She took aim at celebrities and public figures, joking about modern America’s obsession with image and neuroses.

Her first husband, producer Edgar Rosenberg, died in 1987.

In later years, Rivers became as well-known for her love of plastic surgery and reinvented herself as the host of “Fashion Police,” a show that offered running critiques of the red-carpet attire worn by the glitterati at A-list events.

Read more: http://www.businessinsider.com/afp-joan-rivers-gets-star-studded-new-york-funeral-2014-9#ixzz3CkzcTBVN

Photo: Getty/AFP Taylor Hill

CDFuneralNews

CDFuneralNews

ConnectingDirectors.com is the leading online daily publication for funeral professionals with a reader base of over 45,000 of the most elite and forward-thinking professionals in the profession. With ConnectingDirectors.com we have created a global community through an online platform allowing funeral professionals to Stay Current. Stay Informed and Stay Elite.
CDFuneralNews
Advertisement

You may be interested

Download Our FREE Memorial Day Video
Funeral Industry News
173 views
Funeral Industry News
173 views

Download Our FREE Memorial Day Video

CDFuneralNews - May 24, 2018

Finding the right Memorial Day content to express your gratitude and honoring those who have fallen for our country can…

FrontRunner Unveils its New ‘Final Resting Place’, GPS Enabled App
Frontrunner Professional
80 views
Frontrunner Professional
80 views

FrontRunner Unveils its New ‘Final Resting Place’, GPS Enabled App

CDFuneralNews - May 24, 2018

FrontRunner today announced the unveiling of the new GPS enabled App, Final Resting Place, which allows funeral homes, cemeteries and…

Learn How Your Funeral Home Can Offer Natural Burials in The Green Burial Guidebook
Funeral Industry News
151 views
Funeral Industry News
151 views

Learn How Your Funeral Home Can Offer Natural Burials in The Green Burial Guidebook

Justin Crowe - May 23, 2018

The Green Burial Guidebook is a new book by Elizabeth Fournier explaining the methods and ideas behind having an affordable, environmentally…

Comments