Joan Rivers, Actress, Author, and Philanthropist
Rivers was born in New York City to Russian Jewish parents and pursued her ambition of performing and acting while at Barnard College. She participated in several campus productions as well as being heavily involved with the theater department there.
After graduating, she returned to New York in pursuit of a career in performing arts. Although she took small roles in plays and appeared on stage, her career took off once she started doing stand-up comedy at Greenwich Village clubs.
Her stand-up comedy was inspired by her own life experiences and observations, providing humorous commentary on how people in the entertainment industry dealt with each other and their problems. As a pioneering woman in this field of comedy, she has inspired numerous women to pursue this profession. Additionally, she has been an outspoken supporter of gender equality in the workplace as well as serving as an inspirational role model for women.
She was a staple on late night television, becoming the first female host of a network talk show. Additionally, she is an acclaimed author with 11 published books under her belt, most recently “Diary of a Mad Diva” (Berkley Hardcover) in 2014.
The comedian has long been an outspoken AIDS activist, with her latest book “Sexual Health: It’s What You Know” providing information on the risks of HIV/AIDS. Additionally, she’s a passionate supporter of gay rights.
Joan Rivers’ career has been one of ups and downs, from her initial success on the stand-up comedy circuit to her eventual rise to fame as a TV comedian and talk show host. Throughout it all, Joan has battled for success and had to reinvent herself numerous times.
Due to this experience, she became deeply passionate about the causes she believed in. She dedicated herself to fighting AIDS and championing gay rights, using her celebrity status to spread awareness of these pressing matters nationwide. Through the Alliance Center at Cal Poly San Luis Obispo, she has also been able to make a significant impact on these causes.
She has long been a supporter of the UCSD Performing Arts Center, serving on its Board for years. Most recently, Joan Rivers launched The Joan Rivers Fund -a foundation dedicated to LGBT causes in San Luis Obispo County.
Rivers has amassed millions of dollars and become a beloved figure in the entertainment world. She was nominated for a Tony Award, won an Emmy award and earned herself the title of “First Lady of Television.”
Her life is a testament to perseverance. Despite all odds, she never gave up on her dream of becoming an entertainer. Through persistence and the willingness to take on challenging roles, she rose to become one of the most renowned comedians in history.
In 1965, Rivers began performing in New York’s comedy clubs. Her breakthrough came on Johnny Carson’s The Tonight Show, where she quickly made a name for herself as an entertaining yet self-deprecating comic. As word spread about Rivers’ talents, other shows began inviting her to appear alongside them.