The Kennedy Center

Joan Rivers


Joan Rivers is an internationally renowned comedienne, Emmy-award-winning television talk-show host, Tony-award-nominated actress, bestselling author, playwright, screenwriter, film director, columnist, lecturer, syndicated radio host, jewelry designer, cosmetic-company entrepreneur, and red-carpet fashion laureate. Her continued relevance is made clear by her growing group of more than two million followers on Twitter and a successful web series. Above all, Joan is a proud mother and grandmother.

An entertainment legend, Joan was the first woman to break the glass ceiling of Late Night Television. After she was chosen to be the only permanent guest host on The Tonight Show for three years, she then went on to become the first woman ever to host her own late night talk show, The Late Show Starring Joan Rivers on the Fox Network.

After creating and hosting Live from the Red Carpet for the E! Network (1996-2004), Joan returned to anchor their hugely successful franchise Fashion Police, hosting both its hour-long weekly broadcasts and its awards-season specials, and reaching more than 10 million people worldwide. From hot new trends to red-carpet risks, Joan hilariously takes viewers through a recap of the week's celebrity fashion and ultimately decides who sizzled and who fizzled.

Joan also dominates the world of reality television with her daughter, Melissa Rivers, in their weekly hit series on WEtv, Joan and Melissa: Joan Knows Best? – now in its fourth season. This inimitable duo addresses the question that has plagued daughters since the beginning of time: Does mother truly know best?

Joan has broken new ground with her cutting-edge weekly web series, In Bed with Joan, which features intimate interviews with actors, singers and rising comics. Launched in 2013, in its first year alone, In Bed with Joan has already garnered critical acclaim.

Joan is also a vastly accomplished author. Her 11th book, I Hate Everyone… Starting With Me, was published by the Penguin Group in June 2012 and instantly became a New York Times Bestseller. Her latest book, Diary of a Mad Diva, was published in July 2014 and also made the New York Times Bestseller list. Joan's other works include her bestselling autobiographies Enter Talking and Still Talking, and Murder at the Academy Awards: A Red Carpet Murder Mystery, a work of fiction.

In 2012, Joan recorded her live concert performance at the Arcada Theatre in St. Charles, Illinois for a comedy special entitled Don't Start with Me, which premiered on Showtime that November, and was released both on DVD and iTunes in January 2013.

Joan continues to dazzle live audiences in Atlantic City, Las Vegas and across the country. In October 2012 she took the United Kingdom and Ireland by storm during a sold-out concert tour and will return again to the U.K. in October 2014. She also performs extensively throughout Canada, the Caribbean, and Australia.

In 2011, Joan became the first "GoDaddy.Co Girl," hilariously representing the successful web-hosting company, The commercial premiered during Super Bowl XLV to millions of viewers nationwide.

The 2010 critically acclaimed, no-holds-barred documentary Joan Rivers: A Piece of Work premiered at the Sundance Film Festival and was released in theaters nationwide that summer. The film is currently available on DVD and Netflix.

In 2009, Joan starred in the second season of NBC's hit reality-TV competition series The Celebrity Apprentice, along with Melissa Rivers. Joan emerged as the season's winner and has returned as a Boardroom Advisor on subsequent seasons of the show, including the 2013 All-Star Edition.

Also in 2009, the iconic funny woman was honored during The Comedy Central Roast of Joan Rivers. That year as well marked the debut of her TV Land reality show, How'd You Get So Rich?, which, for two seasons, took a candid look at the extravagant lifestyles of fabulously rich North American entrepreneurs and innovators.

No stranger to the world of animation, in addition to lending her unique voice to Shrek 2 and Spaceballs: The Animated Series, Joan received a Daytime Emmy Award nomination in 2009 for her portrayal of "Bubbe" on PBS' award-winning animated children's series Arthur. In 2011, she voiced "Annie Dubinsky," the hard-talking agent of "Krusty the Klown" on The Simpsons.

Joan Rivers is a true pioneer: She created her own brand of irreverent, unconventional comedy and forged her own remarkable rise to stardom in the entertainment world. Enduring tawdry clubs, Borscht Belt showrooms, and grimy Greenwich Village cabarets, her career skyrocketed in 1968 when she appeared on The Tonight Show Starring Johnny Carson. Within three years she was hosting That Show with Joan Rivers, one of the first syndicated daytime talk shows on the air. She soon made television history as the permanent guest host of The Tonight Show and helped launch the nascent Fox Network in 1986 with The Late Show Starring Joan Rivers. In 1989, Joan triumphantly returned to daytime TV with The Joan Rivers Show, winning an Emmy Award for Outstanding Talk Show Host.

Since she was a child, Joan has loved the theatre and appeared on Broadway three times. Her first Broadway venture was in 1975 when she co-wrote and starred in Fun City. In 1986, she returned to Broadway, starring in Neil Simon's Broadway Bound, and in 1994, co-wrote and starred in Sally Marr and her Escorts, for which she was nominated for a Tony Award for Best Actress in a Play. Joan continues to explore personal theatrical endeavors, most recently with The Joan Rivers Theatre Project, which she co-wrote and starred in. The show ran for a limited workshop engagement at the Magic Theatre in San Francisco before opening to rave reviews as Joan Rivers: A Work in Progress by a Life in Progress at the Geffen Playhouse in Los Angeles. She enjoyed six sold-out weeks in L.A., followed by another sold-out run in 2008 at Scotland's Edinburgh Fringe Festival, as well as a highly successful limited run at London's Leicester Square Theatre.

Joan's unique brand of humor, along with her compassion and tenacity, has enabled her to triumph over personal tragedy and to reach extraordinary professional success. Always looking forward, she has constantly kept her finger on the pulse of the latest trends, and she is widely considered America's most visible, accessible, and authoritative fashion spokesperson. In 1990, Joan launched the Joan Rivers Classics Collection of fashion jewelry, apparel and accessories on QVC, and was honored with an ACE Award for her work by the American Accessories Council. Joan's collection was an instant, enormous success and remains so today not only in the U.S. but also on The Shopping Channel in Canada.
Despite being constantly in motion, Joan continues to work tirelessly on behalf of charities that are close to her heart: God's Love We Deliver, The American Foundation for Suicide Prevention and Guide Dogs for the Blind. She also dedicates her time to the National Osteoporosis Foundation and Wounded Warriors, among other remarkable organizations.

From her trademark question, "Can we talk?," to her red-carpet creation, "Who are you wearing?," the woman who asks all the right questions gets the answers America – and the world – want to hear.
Joan Rivers