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Updated Sep 4, 2014 - 12:47 pm

Comedian Joan Rivers dead at 81

FILE - In this April 30, 2012 file photo, Joan Rivers attends an E! Network event in New York. Joan Rivers' family is confirmed Tuesday, Sept. 2, 2014 that the comic is on life support after going into cardiac arrest last week during a procedure at a doctor's office. Her daughter, Melissa Rivers, said in a statement Tuesday that her mother is on life support "at this time." Melissa said the family is extremely grateful for the public support. (AP Photo/Evan Agostini, File)

NEW YORK -- Comedian Joan Rivers passed away Thursday, about one week after being admitted to a New York Hospital.

"My mother's greatest joy in life was to make people laugh," a statement from Rivers' daughter, Melissa, said. "Although that is difficult to do right now, I know her final wish would be that we return to laughing soon."

Rivers was placed on life support a few days ago after going into cardiac arrest last week during a procedure at a doctor's office.

The New York state health department is investigating the circumstances surrounding Rivers' cardiac arrest. Spokesman James O'Hare said Thursday the department is looking into "the whole matter," declining to discuss specifics.

Melissa said the family is extremely grateful for the public support and she knows that her mother would be overwhelmed by the continuing outpouring of kindness.

As news of Rivers' death hit the Internet, a lot of celebrities posted their sentiments on Twitter.

Rivers, a New York native, gained national fame after "Tonight Show" host Johnny Carson decided to bring her on. She was an instant hit and soon was a regular on late-night television, including "The Ed Sullivan Show."

By the 1980s, Rivers was a regular guest host on the "Tonight Show."

The 81-year-old comic and red carpet commentator maintained a busy career as host of "Fashion Police" on the E! network and co-star of the WEtv reality show, "Joan & Melissa: Joan Knows Best?"

Check out some photos and videos from Rivers' long career below.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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