MEDICAL EXAMINER: Rivers' Cause Of Death Unknown

NEW YORK (AP) - Further tests are needed to pinpoint comedian Joan Rivers' cause of death, the New York City medical examiner says.

Rivers, who was 81, died Thursday at Mount Sinai Hospital in New York. She had been hospitalized since Aug. 28 when she went into cardiac arrest during a routine procedure at a doctor's office. The New York state health department is investigating the circumstances.

Spokeswoman Julie Bolcer said Friday that the "cause and manner of death" will require further studies.

Rivers' funeral is set for Sunday at Temple Emanu-El. Services will be private and no other details were released.

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Joan Rivers, the raucous, acid-tongued comedian who crashed the male-dominated realm of late-night talk shows and turned Hollywood red carpets into danger zones for badly dressed celebrities, died Thursday. She was 81.

Rivers was hospitalized last week after she went into cardiac arrest at a Manhattan doctor's office following a routine procedure. Daughter Melissa Rivers said she died surrounded by family and close friends.

Rivers - who opened her routine with the trademark "Can we talk?" - never mellowed during a decades-long career. She moved from longtime targets such as Elizabeth Taylor, whom she famously ridiculed as fat, to new faces, and continued to appear in clubs and on TV into her 80s.

Her daughter released this statement:

It is with great sadness that I announce the death of my mother, Joan Rivers.

She passed peacefully at 1:17pm 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.

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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NEW YORK (AP) - The New York state health department is investigating the circumstances surrounding Joan Rivers' cardiac arrest during an outpatient procedure.

Spokesman James O'Hare said Thursday that the department is looking into "the whole matter." He declined to discuss specifics.

The 81-year-old comic and red carpet commentator was hospitalized last week after going into cardiac arrest at a doctor's office.

Her family said Wednesday that Rivers has been moved from intensive care at Mount Sinai Hospital into a private room, where she was "being kept comfortable."

No further details were released on her condition.

E! network says Joan Rivers' weekly "Fashion Police" series is on hiatus


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