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Joan Rivers

Big Star-Studded Memorial Sendoff

9/7/2014 8:00 AM PDT BY TMZ STAFF
breaking news
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Joan Rivers
is being remembered right now in a celeb-studded memorial ... with the likes of Howard Stern, Donald Trump, Whoopi and Sarah Jessica Parker front and center. 

The service is being held Temple Emanu-el in NYC. The Temple is big and it will be SRO inside. Other celebs on hand, Kelly Osbourne, Hoda Kotb, Kathie Lee Gifford, Andy Cohen, Giuliana Rancic and Bernadette Peters

Of course Melissa is there.

The service is expected to have lots of laughs.

Stay tuned.

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'X Factor' Star Simone Battle

Father Confused by Apparent Suicide

9/6/2014 4:33 PM PDT BY TMZ STAFF
EXCLUSIVE
0905-simone-battle-instagram-02Former "X Factor" contestant Simone Battle's suicide has stunned her father ... who says the "G.R.L." singer never once let on that she was suffering as she got a taste of success in Hollywood.

Anthony Battle tells us he and his daughter hadn't spoke on the phone in a few weeks ... but they texted every day and she seemed to be doing just fine.  

In fact, he says Simone was excited about where her career was heading. G.R.L. had recorded and released a song with Pitbull earlier this year.

We're told close friends of the 25-year old singer spoke with her via text the night before her death -- they also didn't sense anything was wrong.

When we asked Anthony if Simone was battling depression ... he said he was unaware of anything like that, but acknowledged ... "It's possible she may have had an invisible disability."

Anthony tells us Simone's boyfriend discovered her body in her bedroom ... but he doesn't suspect foul play.

An autopsy is scheduled for Sunday.

Joan Rivers

Melissa's Tearful Farewell

As Body Transported

9/6/2014 11:20 AM PDT BY TMZ STAFF
breaking news


It was an incredibly emotional scene this morning as Joan Rivers' body was transported to a crematorium -- and her daughter and grandson said goodbye.

Melissa Rivers watched as 6 pallbearers carried the coffin out of an upper East Side funeral home to a waiting hearse. A NY Post camera shot Melissa and her son Cooper walking to the back of the vehicle ... where Melissa kissed the coffin.

Joan's body was reportedly being moved to a crematorium in NJ. Her memorial service will be held at a Manhattan temple tomorrow.

'X Factor' Star

Simone Battle Dies at 25 ... From Apparent Suicide

9/6/2014 6:45 AM PDT BY TMZ STAFF
EXCLUSIVE
0906-simone-battle-getty-01update_graphic_red_bar7:35 AM PT -- Law enforcement sources tell TMZ Simone was found hanging on a rod in the closet of her bedroom around 8:30 AM on Friday.
update_grey_gray_barSinger Simone Battle, who rose to fame on the US version of "X Factor" ... was found dead in her Los Angeles home ... and TMZ has learned it appears to be a suicide.

25-year-old Battle was a singer in the girl group "G.R.L." ... which was the reboot of the Pussycat Dolls. She signed on with the group after her run on "X Factor" ... where she was a finalist, making it into the top 17.

The L.A. County Cororner's Office tells us Battle's autopsy has not been completed yet ... so, nothing has been ruled out as cause of death.

Simone's father told us she was found in the bedroom of her apartment in a West Hollywood neighborhood. He described her home as a guest house of a larger residence. 

Story developing ... 



In June, TMZ shot video of Simone and her 'GRL' bandmate Natasha Slayton. They were excited about their song "Wild Wild Love" with Pitbull

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Joan Rivers

Clinic Room Was

Stocked For Worst Case Scenario

9/6/2014 1:00 AM PDT BY TMZ STAFF
EXCLUSIVE
0905-joan-rivers-tmz-01The room at Yorkville Endoscopy where Joan Rivers went into respiratory and cardiac arrest ... was well equipped to handle life or death emergencies, just like any first rate hospital ... TMZ has learned.

Sources connected to the clinic tell us Joan's room contained state of the art resuscitation devices ... including a cardiac defibrillator and instruments to clear a patient's blocked airway. As you'd expect ... all the nurses and physicians are certified in Advanced Cardiac Life Support, we're told.

Further, we've learned the NY Health Dept has already visited the clinic to review documentation related to Joan's case, and to interview staff members who treated Joan. 

The review will, no doubt, include determining whether anesthesia was administered to Joan, and by whom. We're told Yorkville employs in-house anesthesiologists who are board certified.

Of course, even with the best equipment ... human error is always possible -- which is largely what the health department will try to determine.

Joan Rivers

Panicked About Heart Condition (VIDEO)

9/6/2014 8:00 AM PDT BY TMZ STAFF
090614_joan_rivers_launchJoan Rivers suffered from heart arrhythmia and worried that her heart might stop beating on stage or during surgery.

Joan spoke about the condition -- which causes sudden irregularities in the heart beat -- during an interview with Joan Lunden on Good Morning America back in 1985.

Joan said, "It scares the hell out of you. And when you go under, say for plastic surgeries and things like that ... that's when your heart can go out of kilter."

It's still unknown if Rivers was under general anesthesia when she went into cardiac and respiratory arrest during a vocal cord procedure 9 days ago.

Joan Rivers

Autopsy Complete ...

No Clear Cause of Death Found

9/5/2014 8:35 AM PDT BY TMZ STAFF
EXCLUSIVE
0904-joan-rivers-tmz-01Joan Rivers' autopsy has been done, but the Medical Examiner will need more information to determine exactly how she died ... TMZ has learned.

The Medical Examiner's Office tells us they've completed the physical examination of Joan's body, but could not find a clear "cause and manner of death" ... pending further studies.

We're told those further studies will include conducting toxicology testing, and interviewing medical professionals who were present during the throat procedure Joan was getting last week when she stopped breathing.
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11:30 AM PT
-- Melissa Rivers was just seen leaving a funeral home in NYC.

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Joan Rivers

Dream Funeral Singer

Too Sick to Sing

9/5/2014 10:10 AM PDT BY TMZ STAFF
EXCLUSIVE
Bobby Vinton Joan Rivers Funeral
Joan Rivers
won't be getting the perfect funeral she wrote about ... because the famous singer she wanted to perform is too sick to make her wish come true. 

In her 2012 book, Joan described her perfect funeral as "a huge showbiz affair with lights, cameras, action." She wrote, "I don’t want some rabbi rambling on; I want Meryl Streep crying, in five different accents. I don’t want a eulogy; I want Bobby Vinton to pick up my head and sing 'Mr. Lonely.'"

But TMZ has learned 79-year-old Vinton -- who's been friends with Joan for years -- is just getting over a bout with pneumonia. Bobby's rep tells us Vinton is bummed he won't be able to perform his 1964 hit, but will try to make it up in some way ... perhaps with a recorded video message. 

Meryl, it's all on you now ...

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Joan Rivers

Endoscopy Clinic

Targeted With Death Threats

9/5/2014 1:00 AM PDT BY TMZ STAFF
EXCLUSIVE
0904-joan-rivers-yorkville-endoscopy-tmz-01The clinic where Joan Rivers was undergoing a throat procedure last week is under fire, because fans are blaming the staff for her death ... and are making it clear they're out for blood.

Sources connected to the Yorkville Endoscopy clinic in NYC tell us death threats have been coming in droves since Joan was rushed to the hospital last week. Some of the threats have included -- "If Joan dies, so will you," ... and ... "I hope you people die, you killed an icon."

We're told the clinic has been shutting down early on some days to send employees home -- and additional security's been hired.

As we previously reported ... the NY Health Dept is already reviewing the clinic to see if a full scale investigation is warranted.
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10:00 AM PT -- A rep for Yorkville Endoscopy tells us extra security has been hired due to media and cameras outside the facility, claiming, "Security is only to ensure patient safety and privacy."
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Sarah Silverman

Joan Rivers 'Wasn't Done' Being Funny

9/5/2014 6:15 AM PDT BY TMZ STAFF
090414_sarah_silverman_kimmel_launchSarah Silverman took the passing of Joan Rivers very hard ... commiserating with Jimmy Kimmel Thursday night and cracking a few fashion jokes at Jimmy's expense ... like Joan would have. 

Silverman told Kimmel she just heard from Joan last week -- she reached out to congratulate Sarah on her Emmy. Silverman added that Joan told the most "hardcore jokes on TV" on her show, "Fashion Police." 

Sarah and Jimmy proceeded to rip each other, Rivers-style. Joan would have been proud.

Joan Rivers

Legendary Comedienne

Dies at 81

9/4/2014 8:55 AM PDT BY TMZ STAFF
Exclusive Details
Joan Rivers Dead
Joan Rivers -- who made the world laugh for over 50 years with her jokes, put-downs and one-liners -- has died in NYC ... a week after her heart suddenly stopped beating during vocal cord surgery.

She was 81.

Joan's daughter Melissa Rivers took her mom off life support so she could pass comfortably in a private room. 

The death has been reported to the NYC Medical Examiner's Office -- and officials tell TMZ the office will open an investigation to determine cause of death. 

Melissa just issued a statement saying, "It is with great sadness that I announce the death of my mother, Joan Rivers."

"She passed peacefully at 1:17 PM surrounded by family and close friends. My son and I would like to thank the doctors, nurses and staff of Mount Sinai hospital for the amazing care they provided for my mother." 

0904-melissa-rivers-INF-02"Cooper and I have found ourselves humbled by the outpouring of love, support and prayers we have received from around the world. They have been heard and appreciated."

"My mother's greatest joy in life was to make people laugh. Although that is difficult to do right now, I know her final wish would be that we return to laughing soon." 

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Rivers is widely credited for opening doors for countless female comediennes. She broke through in a big way during her appearances on "The Tonight Show" with Johnny Carson.

She also famously enraged Carson by accepting a gig to host a competing late night show on FOX. Carson never spoke to her again.

Joan Rivers Dead
Rivers was born in 1933 -- she worked as a writer and fashion consultant before entering show biz as a stand-up comic in the early '60s. She was famously self-deprecating ... often self-critical of her looks and her marriage to Edgar Rosenberg ... who committed suicide in 1987.  

Joan's late '80s FOX show tanked, which somewhat derailed her career. It was resurrected in a big way in 2010 in the wake of the documentary "Joan Rivers: A Piece of Work."

She was universally adored by fellow comedians, including fellow legend Don Rickles, who once said about her ... "Joan is not only a very intelligent lady, but extremely masterful at comedy timing. Sharing the stage with her has always been a joy for me."

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Barbara Walters was asked about Joan last year, saying ... "I wouldn't dare to try to be funny about Joan Rivers because she is the smartest, best-informed and funniest woman I know."

Joan and her daughter Melissa began working as a team hosting various red carpet and fashion shows on E! and other networks, including "Fashion Police."

090414_joan_rivers_cnn_launchJoan's credits could fill a book ... including appearances in "The Muppets Take Manhattan," "The Carol Burnett Show," "Hollywood Squares," "Pee Wee's Playhouse," "Celebrity Apprentice," "Saturday Night Live" ... and on and on.

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Joan Rivers

Write This on My Tombstone ...

9/4/2014 3:30 PM PDT BY TMZ STAFF


Joan Rivers spoke prophetically about what she wanted on her tombstone one month ago -- and the words she chose were classic Joan.

She was at LAX back in August when a photographer -- with whom she clearly had a good relationship -- jokingly asked about her health ... and what she would want her epitaph to say.

Check it out ... it's simple, honest -- and no one could possibly argue against it.

R.I.P. to one of the greats.

Herschel Walker

I've Got a GREAT Joan Rivers Story

9/4/2014 1:21 PM PDT BY TMZ STAFF
EXCLUSIVE
0904_herschel-walker_joan_rivers_gettyJoan Rivers made one hell of an impression on her former "Celebrity Apprentice" co-star Herschel Walker ... who just told us a story about Joan that's pretty awesome.

First off, Walker says Rivers was one of the nicest people he'd ever met -- and says he's "very depressed" after learning about her passing. 

"I didn’t know much about Joan before 'Apprentice' besides the fact she's a comedian -- but she’s much more than that. She taught me a lot. She's an amazing person."

Now for the story ... Walker says," After 'Celebrity Apprentice,' she asked for my mom’s address. Then, she sent my mom a letter saying how I was such a nice man and sent her a charm necklace by the Joan Rivers collection."

How cool is that?! 

"So, unexpected and kind of her," Walker tells us. 

R.I.P.

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