Joan Rivers' Memorial Service to Be Held at Temple Emanu-El In New York City

PHOTO: Joan Rivers on November 19, 2013 in New York City. PlayDaniel Zuchnik/Getty Images
WATCH Joan Rivers to Be Remembered by Loved Ones at Funeral

Joan Rivers will be memorialized in her hometown of New York City today.

A private memorial service for Rivers, 81, will take place at Temple Emanu-El in Manhattan.

"It is a terribly sad day for all of us," Rabbi Joshua M. Davidson told ABC News in a statement. "We mourn with her family, friends and all those millions to whom she brought laughter and joy."

Rivers died "peacefully" surrounded by friends and family, her daughter Melissa Rivers said Thursday.

ABC News learned earlier this weekend that Oscar nominee and huge Rivers fan, Hugh Jackman, would be singing the late comedian's favorite song from "A Boy From Oz" - “Quiet Please, There’s a Lady On the Stage” - at the service.

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The comedic legend had been at Mount Sinai Hospital sedated for a week after she went into cardiac arrest following a procedure at a local New York clinic. Rivers was undergoing what close friend Deborah Norville described as "a diagnostic procedure ... [to] see why her voice had gotten raspy."

Rivers, who changed her name from "Joan Molinsky" when she entered show business, began her acting career in a play opposite Barbra Streisand before appearing on "Candid Camera." In 1965, the future talk show host made her first appearance on "The Ed Sullivan Show" and Johnny Carson's "Tonight Show."

"When I started out, a pretty girl did not go into comedy. If you saw a pretty girl walk into a nightclub, she was automatically a singer. Comedy was all white, older men," Rivers wrote in 2012. "I didn’t even want to be a comedian. Nobody wanted to be a comedian!"

Carson became a mentor to Rivers, and eventually, in 1983, she became his permanent guest host. However, in 1986, she left to host her own competing show on Fox, "The Late Show Starring Joan Rivers," though it only lasted a year. It also cost her friendship with Carson: After she accepted the job, the two never spoke again.

The show was also mired in personal tragedy. Rivers' second husband, Edgar Rosenberg, the father of her only child, her daughter, Melissa, committed suicide the same year she was fired from the show. At the time, she, too, considered suicide.

"Melissa wasn’t talking to me, my career was in the toilet, I’d lost my Vegas contracts, I’d been fired from Fox," she told the Daily Beast last month. "Carson and NBC had put out such bad publicity about me. I was a pariah. I wasn’t invited anywhere. I was a non-person. At one point, I thought, 'What's the point? This is stupid.'

"What saved me," she continued, "was my dog jumped into my lap. I thought, 'No one will take care of him.' ... I had the gun in my lap, and the dog sat on the gun. I lecture on suicide because things turn around. I tell people this is a horrible, awful dark moment, but it will change and you must know it’s going to change and you push forward. I look back and think, 'Life is great, life goes on. It changes.'"

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It did. In 1989, she launched a daytime talk show, "The Joan Rivers Show," for which she won an Outstanding Talk Show Host Emmy. A few years later, she and Melissa began doing awards show coverage for E!, the same network that launched "Fashion Police" in 2010. In 2011, Rivers and her daughter landed their own reality TV show for WE tv, "Joan & Melissa: Joan Knows Best?" which documented the most intimate moments of their lives, including Rivers going in for plastic surgery. That same year, the comedian appeared on the series "Louie" alongside Louis C.K.

A no-holds-barred comic who found humor in the most unlikely subjects, retirement was never an option for Rivers, who claimed to think about death "constantly." She told The Daily Beast that she wanted to be cremated and told Melissa, "Sell anything and everything you don't want. Don't feel beholden to my possessions."

Rivers, the author of 12 books, also thought about what legacy she wanted to leave her only grandson, Cooper, which she told Grandparents.com was that "success comes through work." Hers really mattered to her.

"What pleasure you feel when you’ve kept people happy for an hour and a half. They’ve forgotten their troubles. It’s great. There’s nothing like it in the world," she wrote. "When everybody’s laughing, it’s a party."