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Joan Rivers hospitalized, critical but stable

Reuters

August 28, 2014 | 9:48 am

<em>Comedian Joan Rivers on Nov. 10, 2008. Photo by Molly Riley/Reuters</em>

Comedian Joan Rivers on Nov. 10, 2008. Photo by Molly Riley/Reuters

Acerbic comedian and fashion critic Joan Rivers was rushed to Mount Sinai Hospital in New York on Thursday after she reportedly stopped breathing during surgery on her vocal chords at a nearby clinic, the hospital said.

Mount Sinai gave no details on the condition of the 81-year-old Brooklyn-born celebrity but said it would provide an update as it becomes available.

Ken Baker, an entertainment journalist at E! News, which features Rivers as host of its show "Fashion Police," said on his Twitter account that Rivers was in stable condition.

"Her family wants to thank everybody for their outpouring of love and support," said hospital spokesman Sid Dinsay in a statement.

One of America's best-known comedians, Rivers is considered a pioneer for women in stand-up comedy.

New York City Fire Department spokesman Jim Long said a patient reported to be in cardiac arrest had been taken from Yorkville Endoscopy to Mount Sinai by emergency workers responding to the call at 9:40 a.m.

Long declined to name the patient due to privacy concerns, but the NBC television affiliate in New York said it was Rivers and that she had stopped breathing during a procedure on her vocal chords.

Representatives for Rivers did not immediately return calls or emails, and a representative for her daughter, Melissa Rivers, declined to comment.

A representative for E! could not immediately be reached for comment.

Rivers' peers in the 1960s comedy club scene of New York's Greenwich Village included Bill Cosby, Richard Pryor, Woody Allen and George Carlin, but she said she never felt like she was part of their clique.

In 1983, she earned one of the biggest gigs in the business when "The Tonight Show" host, the late Johnny Carson, crowned her as his regular guest host.

Her brash and self-deprecating routine found new life on the awards show circuit and in recent years she trained her biting wit and profanity-laced comment on the fashion faux pas of Hollywood's celebrities.

In an age of political correctness, Rivers' no-holds-barred style has stood out in the crowded world of celebrity TV, as has her ability to make fun of herself, including her penchant for plastic surgery.

Aside from her role on "Fashion Police," she has in recent years starred alongside her daughter in the WE TV reality show "Joan & Melissa: Joan Knows Best?"

Rivers, a stand up comic and a reality star with a career launched in the 1950s, in recent weeks drew attention for her vigorous defenses of Israel during its war with Hamas in the Gaza Strip.

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