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Joan Rivers funeral attended by family, friends and stars

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Family, friends and stars, including radio host Howard Stern, actress Sarah Jessica Parker, mogul Donald Trump, comic Kathy Griffin and Whoopi Goldberg, have attended Joan Rivers’ funeral service in New York.

Crowds of fans and media also gathered outside Manhattan’s Temple Emanu-El.

Joan Rivers, who died on September 4, wrote in 2012 about how she wanted her funeral to be “a huge showbiz affair”.

The comedienne died a week after suffering a cardiac arrest while having a routine medical procedure. She was 81.

Howard Stern delivered the eulogy, describing Joan Rivers as “the best friend in the world… a big sister… a crazy aunt at a bar mitzvah”, according to People magazine.

Other speakers included Joan Rivers’ daughter, Melissa, Deborah Norville, friend Margie Stern and New York Post columnist Cindy Adams.

Hugh Jackman delivered a rendition of the song Quiet Please, There’s a Lady on Stage, from his musical The Boy From Oz, and Broadway actress Audra McDonald sang Smile.

The New York City Gay Men’s Chorus opened the ceremony with a series of Broadway hits, while bagpipers from the New York City Police Department performed New York, New York.


Joan Rivers wrote in 2012 about how she wanted her funeral to be a huge showbiz affair

Joan Rivers wrote in 2012 about how she wanted her funeral to be a huge showbiz affair (photo Getty Images)

Other mourners included Joan Rivers’ former Fashion Police co-star Kelly Osbourne, actors Alan Cumming and Tommy Tune, music producer Clive Davis and fashion designers Carolina Herrera and Michael Kors.

TV personalities including Barbara Walters, Geraldo Rivera, Diane Sawyer, Kathie Lee, Hoda Kotb and Andy Cohen also paid their respects.

Joan Rivers wrote in 2012 about her funeral plans: “I want paparazzi and I want publicists making a scene!”

“I want it to be Hollywood all the way. I don’t want some rabbi rambling on; I want Meryl Streep crying, in five different accents.”

Hundreds of fans gathered to observe proceedings outside the temple.

In what The Sunday Times billed as her final interview, Joan Rivers said she had given her daughter Melissa strict instructions on who should not be allowed to attend her funeral – but did not say who was on the list.

Joan Rivers also said she had been preparing Melissa for her death.

“It’s like, God, I’m in my 80s,” she said.

“Nobody, when I die, is going to say, <<How young?>> They’re going to say, <<She had a great ride>>. “

After her passing, tributes for Joan Rivers flooded in from figures including David Letterman, Ellen DeGeneres and Prince Charles, who praised her “unstoppable sense of humour and… enormous zest for life”.

Senior Rabbi Joshua M. Davidson, who conducted the service, said beforehand in a statement: “We mourn with her family, friends and all those millions to whom she brought laughter and joy.”

Joan Rivers stopped breathing during a procedure on her vocal cords at an outpatient clinic on August 28. The New York City Medical Examiner’s Office said that after an initial examination, further tests would be carried out to determine the cause of death.

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