TIME celebrities

Joan Rivers Gets a Heartfelt Farewell From Whoopi Goldberg, Sarah Jessica Parker, Diane Sawyer and Other Stars

The 81-year-old's funeral services were held in New York City on Sunday

Joan Rivers’ Sunday funeral was a star-studded memorial, featuring performances and heartfelt speeches from some of the 81-year-old comedian’s closest friends.

Rivers’ services were held at Temple Emanu-El on the Upper East Side of Manhattan. Celebrities including Sarah Jessica Parker, Hoda Kotb, Diane Sawyer and Whoopi Goldberg were in attendance. According to PEOPLE, Howard Stern delivered a truly touching speech about his “best friend” Rivers, whom he called a “big sister.”

The New York City Gay Men’s Chorus, Audra McDonald and Hugh Jackman were among the performers.

Read more about Rivers’ funeral at PEOPLE.

TIME celebrities

Joan Rivers Autopsy Leaves Cause of Death Unclear

Rivers died after complications during a throat procedure

Comedian Joan Rivers’ autopsy has been completed but the cause of her death remains unclear, the New York City chief medical examiner’s office said Friday.

“Following an examination, the cause and manner of death are pending further studies,” spokesperson Julie Bolcer said.

Rivers, who was 81, was hospitalized at Mount Sinai Hospital in Manhattan last week after she stopped breathing during a procedure on her vocal chords. She died in New York City on Thursday. The clinic that had originally been treating Rivers, Yorkville Endoscopy clinic, is now under investigation by New York State Department of Health.

The comedy icon was mourned by her fellow comedians for her humor as well as her role as a trailblazer.

TIME celebrities

Joan Rivers’ Book Sales Up 60,000 Percent

Joan Rivers Signs And Discusses Her New Book "Diary Of A Mad Diva"
Comedian Joan Rivers poses before signing copies of her new book "Diary Of A Mad Diva" at Barnes & Noble bookstore at The Grove on July 10, 2014 in Los Angeles, California. Amanda Edwards—WireImage

The celebrity released her last book in July

Sales of Joan River’s last book, Diary of a Mad Diva, are up nearly 60,000% on Amazon. It’s now in the number two position on the online retailer’s site.

Rivers, who died Thursday, wrote twelve books over the course of several decades. Diary of a Mad Diva was released in July.

The book also ranked first on the site’s list of “Movers & Shakers,” which tracks the products with the greatest sales gains in the past 24 hours. Rivers’ I Hate Everyone…Starting with Me is ranked third on the list. That book’s sales have grown more than 20,000% in the past 24 hours.

TIME celebrities

Read Chris Brown’s First Interview Since Being in Jail

Chris Brown
Singer Chris Brown leaves District of Columbia Superior Court after pleading guilty on a misdemeanor assault in Washington, Sept. 2, 2014. Manuel Balce Ceneta—AP

Singer says he matured while in jail

In his first interview since being released from a Los Angeles county jail in June, singer Chris Brown said he has matured thanks to his experience in jail and suggested that he might have been “out of control” in recent years.

“At the end of the day, it’s just a humbling experience,” he told Billboard. “You’re more appreciative of everything else that’s on the outside.”

Brown’s incarceration for an October 2013 parole violation is the latest in a string of incidents that have attracted public attention. Brown notoriously assaulted then-girlfriend Rihanna in an incident that sparked outrage. About his relationship with Rihanna, Brown said people will likely stop talking about it when they have both faded from the limelight.

“As long as you’re doing something good, people will always bring up old stuff or negative stuff because they don’t want you to surpass a certain level or elevate,” he said.

Despite his positivity, Brown has already found himself in trouble since the incident. Two people were shot at a party on Aug. 24 thrown by the singer, and rumors circulated that Brown was the intended target.

“I can say that I am only human and I have made mistakes,” Brown told Billboard in response to the incident. “I can say that I try to live my life in the most true, honest way that I can.”


TIME Basketball

Shaquille O’Neal Applies to Join Reserve Police Force in Florida

Shaquille O'Neal
Television personality and former professional basketball player Shaquille O'Neal leaves the Sirius XM Studios in New York City on Aug. 11, 2014. Ray Tamarra—GC Images/Getty Images

Would-be criminals, prepare for the Shaq Attack

Retired NBA star and very tall man-about-town Shaquille O’Neal has applied to be a reserve police officer in Doral, Fla.

O’Neal, who is 7 ft. 1 in., will now have to clear a background check, as well as pass Florida’s officer-certification exam, before joining the department in Doral, about 13 miles west of Miami. The test will assess the three-time All-Star Game MVP’s physical and psychological fitness, city spokeswoman Christina Baguer told the Miami Herald.

The doorframe-filling O’Neal will “have to do everything else to be certified by the Florida Department of Law Enforcement, just like any of our other officers, reserve or not reserve,” said Baguer.

The tests are unlikely to pose a problem, even though “Manny Shaq-iaou” once told the New York Times that “I don’t need to work out.”

In fact, the 42-year-old — who has played for the Miami Heat, Boston Celtics and L.A. Lakers, among others — has passed the exam before, doing a stint as a reserve police officer in Miami Beach.

O’Neal wrote on his previous August 2004 application that his special skills included “laptop computer, binnochulars, master of surveillance.” He also denied having any “savings or checking accounts, any investments, or an automobile,” according to a 2011 feature in the Miami New Times.

In 2011, O’Neal also told the New York Times that he was considering a formal police career and “running for undersheriff in Lake County, Fla.” That is until local journalists pointed out that the job is appointed, not elected.

TIME celebrities

Forget About the Groundhog, Sept. 5 Is ‘Bill Murray Day’

29th Annual Rock And Roll Hall Of Fame Induction Ceremony - Inside
Actor Bill Murray attends the 29th Annual Rock And Roll Hall Of Fame Induction Ceremony at Barclays Center of Brooklyn on April 10, 2014 in New York City. Theo Wargo — WireImage/Getty Images

Toronto Film Festival dedicates a day to the veteran actor’s career

Bill Murray will take part in a celebration of himself on Friday, as the Toronto Film Festival announced that Sept. 5 would be commemorated as “Bill Murray Day.”

Events planned for the day include screenings of his iconic movies such as Ghostbusters and Groundhog Day followed by the world premiere of his latest film, St. Vincent, according to the Hollywood Reporter. The tribute to the iconic comedian and actor will also feature a Bill Murray costume contest in the evening.

Murray, who rarely gives interviews, will participate in a Q&A after the St. Vincent premiere. The movie will be released by New York City film studio the Weinstein Co. (TWC) and also stars Melissa McCarthy, Chris O’Dowd and Naomi Watts.

“Bill Murray has undeniably earned his status as an acting and comedic icon,” TWC co-chairman Harvey Weinstein told the Reporter. “He’s a true one-of-a-kind. Toronto’s celebration dedicated to the man is well-deserved, and we are immensely excited that he’ll be there in the flesh to celebrate with us and his huge legion of fans.”

Murray will be joined by his Ghostbusters director Ivan Reitman and Scrooged writer Mitch Glazer, among others friends and former co-stars.

[The Hollywood Reporter]

TIME celebrities

Watch the World Wish Beyoncé Happy B’Day on Twitter: Exclusive

She woke up to this


Ever since Beyoncé released her album B’Day on her birthday in 2006, the fourth of September has become something of an unofficial Internet holiday — like Miss Congeniality Day and Mean Girls Day (only a lot more flawless). Because the now-33-year-old TIME cover star is no stranger to social media, the celebration unfolded on Twitter, where more than 633,000 mentions of Beyoncé and “Happy Birthday Beyoncé” accumulated by end-of-day East Coast time.

Above, check out an exclusive timeline of the conversation from Twitter’s Reverb visualization tool, featuring the most viral congratulations from Michelle Obama, Perez Hilton and others. Then imagine what the chatter would be like were this an actual milestone birthday — B’Day at 40, anybody?

TIME Comedy

Joan Rivers: Stand-up Comedy’s Neglected Pioneer

ABC's "Good Morning America" - 2010
Joan Rivers talks about her documentary, "A Piece of Work," on "Good Morning America." Steve Fenn—ABC / Getty Images

Joan Rivers wasn't just a pioneer in stand-up comedy — she was a survivor

“If you have reached the top in comedy, you are, in your own way, a killer,” Joan Rivers said in her 1986 autobiography, Enter Talking. “The anger is never out of you.”

The anger was on display nearly to the end — when she stormed out of a recent CNN interview after the dippy host threw too many contentious questions her way. She was promoting a book called Diary of a Mad Diva, but Rivers was one entertainer who took the stigma out of divadom. Yes, she was brassy, aggressive, often politically incorrect, and terribly thin-skinned — but they were the war wounds of a woman who battled to make it in a man’s world, at a time when few women were even trying. As a comedian she was sui generis, a true pioneer who never quite got the recognition she deserved. Until, naturally, she left us.

She was born Joan Molinsky, the daughter of a doctor in Larchmont, N.Y., and graduated from Barnard in 1954. Her family was appalled when she began moonlighting as a stand-up comic in between secretarial jobs. Not too many others were cheering, either. She worked strip joints (under the stage name Pepper January), did a stint at Chicago’s Second City, and was part of a sketch-comedy trio called Jim, Jake and Joan, before she began to develop her own style.

She had no women to use as role models. The few successful female stand-up comics at the time were people like Phyllis Diller, who did jokebook gags poking fun at her fright-haired looks and ineptness as a housewife. Rivers put herself down too, but her comedy was much more grounded in her own reality and insecurities as a Jewish American princess from the suburbs. “I’m the last single gal in Larchmont,” she joked. “My mother’s desperate. She has a sign up: ‘Last Girl Before Thruway.'”

Her chief inspiration was Lenny Bruce, who showed her that stand-up comedians could tell the truth. “He was so beyond anything else at the time,” she said. “I thought, he’s saying what I’m thinking.” “Can we talk?” became her catchphrase, a signal that she was out to break taboos, tell uncomfortable truths — talking about her gay hairdresser, or her affair with a married professor in college, or Queen Elizabeth’s dowdy wardrobe.

She worked the Greenwich Village clubs but couldn’t get noticed. Jack Lemmon came to see her at the Duplex and walked out. She watched in dismay as fellow Village comics like Bill Cosby and George Carlin broke through on national TV while she still struggled. Her agent told her she was too old to make it — past 30. It was Lenny Bruce himself who gave her the courage to continue. After catching her act at a Village club, he left her a note: “You’re right and they’re wrong.”

Johnny Carson came to her rescue. After auditioning seven times unsuccessfully for his Tonight Show, she made her first guest appearance in February 1965. Carson loved her, and asked her back eight more times in the next eight months. Suddenly she was getting booked into top clubs like the Bitter End and the hungry i; more TV appearances and Las Vegas gigs followed. The New York Times compared her to Woody Allen and called her “a prime example of what’s new in comedy.”

But she wasn’t new for long. Rivers had the bad timing to break through just before the women’s movement really took hold. By the late 1960s, when she was the hottest female comic in America, her desperate-for-a-man jokes were already sounding dated. The women who began to emerge in the comedy clubs of the 1970s — Elayne Boosler, Paula Poundstone, Sandra Bernhard, Roseanne Barr — rejected Rivers’ self-deprecating, pre-feminist comedy. They were loud, proud — and most definitely not Joan Rivers.

Rivers never quite got over the snub. It fueled her defensiveness, the increasingly hard edge of her put-down comedy, her penchant for getting into high-profile scrapes — like her famous falling out with Carson, after she left him to start her own late-night show in 1986. The show turned out to be a disaster for her, both professionally and personally: Carson never spoke to her again, the show was cancelled within a year, and her husband and manager, Edgar Rosenberg, was so broken by the experience that he committed suicide.

But she was resilient, and indefatigable. She reemerged as a popular daytime TV host, became the nation’s most famous red-carpet fashion queen, hawked jewelry on QVC, even allowed herself to be abused by Donald Trump on Celebrity Apprentice. Through it all, she continued to do stand-up, taking potshots at the high and mighty, occasionally apologizing for going too far — and, always, working, working, working. By the end she wasn’t just a pioneer; she was a survivor.

Richard Zoglin is author of Comedy at the Edge: How Stand-up in the 1970s Changed America (Bloomsbury, 2008).

TIME celebrities

New York Health Department Investigates Joan Rivers Clinic

Joan Rivers attends An Evening With Joan And Melissa Rivers at the 92nd Street Y on Jan. 22, 2014 in New York City.
Joan Rivers attends An Evening With Joan And Melissa Rivers at the 92nd Street Y on Jan. 22, 2014 in New York City. D Dipasupil—FilmMagic/Getty images

Rivers died Thursday afternoon

The New York State health department is investigating the clinic where Joan Rivers stopped breathing during a minor procedure prior to her hospitalization and eventual death, a DOH spokesperson said on Thursday.

Joan Rivers was rushed to Mount Sinai Hospital on Aug. 28 after she went into cardiac arrest during a minor surgical procedure on her vocal chords at Yorkville Endoscopy Center in New York City. The 81-year-old comedian died Thursday after several days on life support.

Neither the Department of Health nor the clinic have commented on what might has caused the cardiac event. “The Department of Health is investigating the matter,” the spokesperson said.

TIME celebrities

See 33 Iconic Beyoncé Instagram Photos in 30 Seconds

Beyoncé turned 33 Thursday

Beyoncé Knowles-Carter’s Instagram is a treasure trove for those who can’t get enough of the #flawless megastar, featuring countless selfies and portraiture.

Her Instagram account dates back to 2012 and currently has more than 16 million followers. Among its highlights are such photos as her widely-shared page-boy haircut picture and her recreation of the well-known Rosie the Riveter poster.

For her 33rd birthday, TIME compiled 33 of Beyoncé’s most iconic Instagram pictures in 30 seconds. Watch to see if your favorites made the cut.

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