Funeral services for Joan Rivers took place at Temple Emanu-El in New York City on Sept. 7, as celebrities including Giuliana Rancic, Kelly Osbourne, Howard Stern, and more honored their late friend.
Joan Rivers, 81, was memorialized in her hometown of New York City on Sept. 7. Melissa Rivers, Giuliana Rancic, Kelly Osbourne, Howard Stern, and more celebrities gathered at Temple Emanu-El to mourn the loss of their beloved Joan.
Joan Rivers’ Funeral: Melissa Rivers, Giuliana Rancic & More Celebrities Attend Ceremony
Celebrities flocked the the Manhattan temple to honor their late friend. Kathie Lee Gifford, Hoda Kotb, Donald Trump, Melania Trump, Donald Trump Jr., Judge Judy Sheindlin, Michael Kors, Carolina Herrera, Whoopi Goldberg, Sarah Jessica Parker, Matthew Broderick, Andy Cohen, Geraldo Rivera, Barbara Walters, Alan Cumming, Dr. Memhet Oz, Kathy Griffin, Robin Quivers, Diane Sawyer, Billy Bush, Rosie O’Donnell, Mario Cantone, Jeff Ross, Kristin Chenoweth, Sally Jesse Raphael, Chuck Scarborough, Alicia Quarles, Rachael Ray, and Bernadette Peters all attended the service, according to TMZ.
“It [was] a terribly sad day for all of us,” Rabbi Joshua M. Davidson told ABC News in a statement. “We [mourned] with her family, friends and all those millions to whom she brought laughter and joy.”
Guests arrived by 11 a.m. and the ceremony let out around 12:15 p.m., Us Weekly reports. As guests exited Temple Emanu-Elthe, a bagpipe player reportedly played tunes, including Frank Sinatra‘s “New York, New York.”
Joan’s good friend Cindy Adams previously revealed funeral arrangements to Page Six. She said, “it starts with the Gay Men’s choir show tunes, the rabbi’s opening prayer, Audra McDonald singing, Debra Norville reminiscing. Then me, Melissa, Hugh Jackman. A closing prayer then an NYPD cadre and four horseback riders who, I was told, did not come cheap.”
Howard Stern also gave an emotional speech. He called Joan “the best friend in the world … a big sister … a crazy aunt at a bar mitzvah,” People reports.
“She fought the stereotype that women couldn’t be funny,” he said. “She was responsible for putting the red carpet into prime time.”
Melissa reportedly opened her speech by thanking everyone for their outpouring of love and support. “We are humbled,” she said.
Joan’s only child then read a funny letter she’d written to her mother while she was still alive. She then closed her speech with: “I am grateful for everyday Cooper and I had with you,” and “You are an inspiration.”
Less than 24 hours before the emotional memorial service, Joan’s coffin was filmed being taken away from Frank E. Campbell funeral home in New York City, where a private service for family, including daughter Melissa and grandson Cooper Endicott, 13, was held.
Joan’s body was reportedly taken to a crematorium in New Jersey on Sept. 6, reports the New York Post.
Joan 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,” ABC News claims.
The comic had previously detailed in her 2012 book I Hate Everyone… Starting With Me exactly what she wanted for her funeral.
Joan wanted all the lights, cameras, action of Hollywood, and Melissa did everything she could to make her mother’s final wish come true. Based on details that have come to light, following the service, we don’t think Joan would have been disappointed with the end result.
Joan tragically passed away on Sept. 4 after going into cardiac arrest on Aug. 28 during a routine procedure on her vocal cords. An interview from 1985 recently revealed that Joan suffered from heart arrhythmia, but it’s unclear if the condition led to her death. The comedienne’s autopsy results were inconclusive.
Our thoughts continue to go out to Joan’s family, friends and colleagues during this difficult time.
— Chris Rogers