Joan Rivers dies at 81

Comedienne suffered complications after throat surgery and died after spending days in an induced coma

Joan Rivers - queen of comedy, acerbic fashion critic and author - died last night, aged 81, after spending days in a medically induced coma.

Her daughter Melissa annouced the news in a statement, which also read, "My mother's greatest joy in life was to make people laugh. Although that is difficult to do right now, I know her final wish would be that we return to laughing soon."

Rivers, who became almost as famous for her unapologetic love of plastic surgery as her barbed humor, never recovered after going into cardiac and respiratory arrest on 28 August, complications that followed a surgical procedure on her throat, at Mount Sinai Hospital in New York.

The day before her death, Rivers was moved out of intensive care and her daughter said she was "being kept comfortable", but her condition deteriorated.