Joan Rivers: Her Life in Photos

Comedienne, talk-show host, fashion critic, trailblazer: The riveting Rivers kept audiences laughing for more than 50 years

HOST WITH THE MOST

Her popularity on The Tonight Show made her a natural choice to helm her own late-night program, which FOX – then a fledgling network – hired her to do in 1986 (here, she's shown with the show's first guests, Elton John, Cher and Pee-wee Herman). The decision didn't sit well with Carson, who was livid that Rivers hadn't consulted him and would be competing against him. Despite Rivers's reported overtures to make peace, Carson banned her from his show, and the two never spoke again.