Joan Rivers was laid to rest on Sept. 7, and her funeral service was nothing short of a showbiz affair. Just like she wanted, there were lights, cameras and music, according to a report. Rest in peace, Joan.
Joan Rivers was mourned by family and friends on Sept. 7 at a funeral service at Temple Emanu-El in New York City. The 81-year-old comedy legend was memorialized with a funeral fit for Hollywood, including touching performances and emotional eulogies. Joan would have been so pleased with the star-studded service.
Joan Rivers Memorial: All The Details About Her ‘Red Carpet’ Funeral
“It really was reminiscent of a red carpet affair — plenty of lights and cameras,” an eyewitness told Us Weekly. “There were fans everywhere and people in taxis passing by shouting ‘We love Joan!'”
Guests began arriving to the service at around 11 a.m., wearing black with eye-catching color accents, the outlet reports.
The New York City Gay Men’s Chorus sang “irreverent, fun songs” as guests walked inside the temple, according to MailOnline.
Rabbi Joshua Davidson delivered opening prayers, and then Broadway star Audra McDonald left guests in tears with a moving performance.
Other speakers included friends Margie Stern and Cindy Adams. Joan’s beloved daughter Melissa Rivers was the last to speak. She thanked everyone for the love and support throughout her difficult time. “We are humbled,” she said, according to People.
Melissa read a letter she’d written to her mother before she died, and left the audience laughing. “I am grateful for everyday Cooper and I have with you,” she concluded. “You are an inspiration.”
Hugh Jackman ended the service with a touching tribute to the late comedienne, the outlet reports. He sang Peter Allen’s “Quiet Please, There’s a Lady on Stage.” The crowd stood up and cheered as he sang the line, “Put your hands together.”
The service ended around 12:15 p.m. and the NYPD’s Emerald Society Pipe & Drum Band played music as the guests left the service. Frank Sinatra‘s “New York, New York” was one of the songs.
Other celebrity guests included Giuliana and Bill Rancic, Kelly Osbourne, Kathy Griffin, Sarah Jessica Parker, Matthew Broderick, Donald and Melania Trump, Whoopi Goldberg, Diane Sawyer, Alicia Quarles, Ozzy Osbourne, Geraldo Rivera, Joy Behar, Dr. Oz, Michael Kors, Carolina Herrera, Barbara Walters, Billy Bush, Kristin Chenoweth, Kathie Lee Gifford and many more.
The pioneering comedienne passed away on Sept. 4 surrounded by her family and friends. Joan went into cardiac arrest on Aug. 28 during a routine throat surgery. Her exact cause of death has not been released, but an interview from 1985 revealed that Joan suffered from heart arrhythmias.
Our thoughts go out to Joan’s family and friends during this most difficult time.
— Avery Thompson