Rivers never accepted being called a “pioneer” in her industry. Instead she was saying that she is “still in the trenches”. She was taking a humble and down-to-earth approach to her success saying “I’m still breaking ground. I have never spent two minutes saying, ’Well, I just did that.’ I’m still looking for the new frontier. I’m still in my astronaut suit.”
In the glamorous and highly demanding world of showbiz, not all successful working women manage to handle their professional life, balance their social circles and take care of their family simultaneously.
Rivers was a really hard-working woman, often called a ‘misfit’. Until lately, she was managing a number of different ventures. She launched her own line of clothes along with other products on QVC, the world’s leading video and ecommerce retailer. In 2010, she was the subject of a much-admired documentary called “Joan Rivers: A Piece of Work”. Besides this, she also maintained a career as a successful writer, publishing ‘I Hate Everyone...Starting With Me’, in 2012, and’ Diary of a Mad Diva’, in 2014.
Joan was notable for having a big social circle and was well-loved by all of her colleagues and friends. Celebrities from the US entertainment community are mourning her loss. Kathy Griffin, River’s best friend talks about her key traits in a tweet: “A legend, a friend, a mentor, an icon, and wildly funny. One of a kind”.
Rivers’ big break was to a great extent owed to her fellow comedian Bill Cosby who recommended Rivers as the guest host of Johnny Carson’s “Tonight Show”. This happened after a comedian terribly failed one night on Carson’s night show. Cosby said to Carson’s Tonight Show people: “You might as well use Joan. She can’t be any worse than the guy you had on last night!”. This show took Rivers’ success to another level and Carson publicly admitted that that she was “going to be a big star”.
Undoubtedly, after she left Carson’s Tonight Show, her career suffered a series of setbacks. First, she fall out with Johnny Carson and then she had to cope with her new show’s failure which led her husband and producer to commit suicide. Determined to bounce back and succeed, she returned to New York to restart her life and career, earning an Emmy Award and a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame in 1990.
After the row Rivers had with Carson who felt betrayed because the legendary comedian left his show without consulting him, Rivers claimed that she left the show because she had issues with NBC. She didn’t have any personal problems with Carson who she dubbed “a father figure” as well as “the man who handed her career”.
River was rarely reluctant to talk about sensitive aspects of her life, be it her husband’s suicide, her own contemplation of suicide, her cosmetic surgeries not to mention her various failures. She believed that "there is nothing wrong with letting the audience know that you’ve been through some things too”.
While the 81-year old comedian was famous for taking jabs at celebrities, she was not afraid of making fun of herself, especially when it comes to aging and plastic surgery. Her self-sarcasm and sharp-witted humour were defining personality traits for her success as a stand-up comedian. Four years ago, she tweeted a joke about her death: “With all the plastic surgery I’ve had I’m worried that when I die, God won’t recognize me!”.
The famous comedian was pervasively famous for her social awareness and sensibility and was a pioneer in her support of HIV, AIDS and animal protection causes. She was the first celebrity who started actively supporting US fundraisers for those with AIDS and HIV, followed by the likes of Elizabeth Taylor.
Joan Rivers, the comedic legend has passed away, leaving a remarkable legacy in the worldwide entertainment industry. Her career saw numerous personal and professional challenges, but eventually Rivers managed to overcome all the obstacles and stay on top of her game to become one of America’s most successful and cherished comedians. Here are some facts that determined her career success and hopefully you can apply them to your own professional lives.