Celebrities reflect on Joan Rivers' life and contributions to comedy on her death at age 81

  • Article by: THE ASSOCIATED PRESS , Associated Press
  • Updated: September 5, 2014 - 11:40 AM

Celebrity colleagues and admirers of Joan Rivers share their reactions Thursday to her death at age 81:

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"Joan Rivers was an extraordinary woman with an original and indefatigable spirit, an unstoppable sense of humor and an enormous zest for life. She will be hugely missed and utterly irreplaceable." — Prince Charles in a statement.

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"I first met Joan Molinsky, that was her real name, when I was 17 years old and we were both in a off, off Broadway show called 'Driftwood.' She was a real character then and now. I am so upset by her passing. She was too young and had too much to do still." — Barbra Streisand in a statement.

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"Joan Rivers brought laughter to millions around the world and was proud of her Jewish heritage and a vocal supporter of the State of Israel. We will miss her deeply and we send our heartfelt condolences to her family." — Israel Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu in a statement.

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"I'm completely heartbroken by the loss of my beloved Joan. Not only was she my boss, she was and will always be my teacher, therapist, closest friend, inspiration and the only grandmother I ever knew. She was family and I will never forget her. Laughter will be difficult for a while but when I'm sad, lonely or upset all I will have to do is think of Joan and a smile will cross my face. ... I will miss you deeply and will always hear your voice in my head saying, 'My darling get out there and be you!'" — Rivers' fellow "Fashion Police" panelist Kelly Osbourne in a statement.

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"Here's a woman, a real pioneer for other women looking for careers in stand-up comedy. And talk about guts - she would come out here and sit in this chair and say some things that were unbelievable, just where you would have to swallow pretty hard . but it was hilarious .. The force of her comedy was overpowering." — Host David Letterman from the taping of Thursday's "Late Show."

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"Our dear Joan is gone. Knowing her, working with her and enjoying the fun times of life with her was special. She will always be in our hearts. ... Joan we will miss you." — Comedian Don Rickles in a statement.

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"A legend, a friend, a mentor, an icon, and wildly funny. One of a kind. RIP ..." — Comedian Kathy Griffin in a tweet.

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"I never saw someone attack a stage with so much energy. She was a controlled lightning bolt. She was a prolific and unpredictable, joyful joke writer. She loved comedy. She loved the audience. She was a great actress and should have done that more. She loved living and working. She was kind. She was real. She was brave. She was funny and you just wanted to be around her. I looked up to her. I learned from her. I loved her. I liked her. And I already miss her very much." — Comedian-actor-writer Louis C.K. in a statement.

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