Remembering Joan Rivers

Legendary comedian dead at 81.
9:38 | 09/04/14

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Transcript for Remembering Joan Rivers
Some sad. Breaking news this afternoon comedic legend Joan Rivers who spent decades making people laugh with that sharp tongue and hysterical humor. -- that her own expense. Has died. -- Cutler and New York legendary comic Joan Rivers died at the age of 81 in New York City. One week after she lost -- -- in this. During a procedure at a clinic Joe's daughter Melissa releasing this statement today that rivers passed away surrounded by family and close friends. Saying quote my mother's greatest joy in life was to make people laugh although that is difficult to do right now know her final which would mean that we return. -- -- -- Rivers of course -- for that brash style some harsh fashion judgments but she first got her start as one of the few strong female comedians. BC's Chris Connelly takes a look back -- Joan Rivers life. And successes. -- award show red carpets. Host gaming them and e.'s fashion police. You look at this -- you know like children are afraid of clowns. Joan Rivers -- her microphone like a pirate with a sword. Slicing -- liberties. Conduct unbecoming as a dress -- hate it has something to wash the bird. -- But that was just one -- -- comic incarnations. Over -- more than fifty year career. Born -- -- -- ski in Brooklyn. Phi beta kappa at garnered her bold voice blazing a trail one of just a few solo female comics ever on the Ed Sullivan Show. It is not married you know McCain. And he's -- he's not -- he's accounts and. In those days she found comic gold mocking herself not others later her signature -- -- The opening up the comic confessional. I put the book the joy if that's okay I got -- we got sacked eleven we racking them up totally and demand -- -- I'm -- great. I -- -- the dining room table my husband came home and then left over the again. Chairs. -- no longer the 1980s has -- any persons designated guest host of the Tonight Show supposedly funny -- TV pushed the edge of a pre cable universe. I think I really pregnant right and I'm like shark and the conditions you -- ugly. -- -- 1986. He signed to become the first female late night talk show host. Carson was said to be furious. I -- Johnny and said Johnny and got in and out. Hung up on the never let there spoke to me again. Her show was an immediate sensation. Amid disputes with the net. It was was fired eight months later just weeks after that her husband and producer Edgar Rosenberg. Took his own life. In later years on the red carpet end off. Controversies became as much a part of her persona as her cosmetic surgeries she tried picking public fights with such innocent bystanders is -- -- or Lena Dunham. Walked off the set when an interviewer -- mean. I'm -- -- game going and refused to be viewed as a relic and still looking into the new frontier. I was still -- my astronauts. Are grizzlies behind her daughter Melissa and streaked with red carpet -- -- get up close tonight and they stress. Yeah yeah. And a grandchild. And the legacy of undaunted un filtered comedy. The Tucker from Brooklyn. To the brightest comedy spotlight -- time Joan Rivers was 81 years old. ABC's Chris Connolly with a look at that legend. I want to bring in ABC's entertainment editor -- -- with more on the life of John rivers Leisle is almost. Incalculable to be able to see the legacy. That Joan Rivers leaves behind. This woman lived so large she had a life that she filled -- so many experiences -- From -- early years is that as a comedienne. Which she did until. Very recently she had so many TV shows she touched the lives of so many and she will be missed. Beyond. Anything we've really seen him. For that kind of a legacy and at the age of 81 -- was almost considered. A badge of honor in fact if you didn't get called out whether you -- a celebrity or otherwise. That -- might have been the subject of one -- for jokes. Joan Rivers pulled no punches she said she wasn't being mean she was being honest and she poked fun. Not just -- people but at herself as well she was so self deprecating she was so honest about everything from. You know about the death of her husband's -- her plastic surgery to any topic you could imagine. That she felt that it -- nothing went off nothing without the table nothing was off limits and that meant making fun of people -- And a reminder -- that she in fact was doing exactly what she loved as her daughter Melissa had said. Just before she hit -- she was performing a comedy show that last week. She had appearance is scheduled well through the end of the year she said she would never retire she would never stop performing her career was of utmost importance to her. And it's what made her really happy she loved making people laugh she said it was like giving them a little vacation. A couple of years ago a documentary had come out called Joan Rivers a piece of work -- sort of pulled back the curtain somewhat to her life and one of the things I think that a lot of people were struck by I was. Just how hands on she was. In writing her jokes in booking her appearances this was not a woman despite all of the fame despite all of the notoriety that she had. Had turned over the control of of her success in her path to a -- she very much was in control -- -- Joan Rivers was a woman who loved to work she worked so hard to get where she was doing stand up being on Johnny Carson doing her own show. Does that she didn't want to trust anybody else to do it for harsh this was something that she was so talented -- -- she was so -- so Smart. And who battered Q work on those jokes and write those scripts than -- What of the things that she has been known for is that relationship that has become very public and sometimes. At the at that the cost of some of her jokes but her relationship with her daughter Melissa. Tell me a little bit about that relationship. -- and -- were incredibly close they went through their ups and downs as Melissa was growing up. That they they managed to work out and Melissa has -- That there was nobody who supported her through her ups and downs like her mother did Joan was a fiercely devoted mother who loved her daughter. And loved Melissa's son -- are that she was. Someone -- very much valued her family didn't necessarily. Open up to a lot of people but trusted molested just as much as Melissa trusted her. And as you can see it today Melissa was the one who was by her side and sell the very -- The very end and unfortunately a sad passing today ABC's less -- messer. With a look back at the legendary Joan Rivers -- thank you for that. For more on the legacy and life Joan Rivers stay right here on abcnews.com. -- we leave you with. Some of our favorite jokes and one liners by Joan Rivers and making us laugh. One last time. -- -- -- -- I never -- ramping -- the fact that that I -- a little Wonder Woman to cook give aluminum hands. I called him up as it gets what. They put me on hold. -- -- -- -- -- He beat the is different all the skiing and has been -- I just like going. Out yeah. I had my husband what's your favorite sexual position he then next door yeah. Where I was before you. Still wouldn't know with people on me -- He knows this please it was my mind that my jokes and his cabinet and it. I'm not more statement -- day when they so my. What did Elvis Presley do exactly 33 times in his career. -- and Smith. I can't wait to get the first facelift she's going to need to doctor. Hot -- headaches I was yeah they are not the first pay they look -- -- the -- Watch that I do not show my -- February boat the captain -- -- hands and -- Yeah. Kind of slap I like his I don't like she looked a little like it's -- go to court can't. Looks like oh did you baby is crowning on the -- and when there has to stop me and say what you say that they you know. We wouldn't be things.

This transcript has been automatically generated and may not be 100% accurate.

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