The late great  Joan Rivers on the Graham Norton show in 2012.

The late great Joan Rivers on the Graham Norton show in 2012.

Joan Rivers, the raucous, acid-tongued American comedian, died today. She was 81.

She was taken to hospital last week after suffering a cardiac arrest at a Manhattan doctor’s office following a routine procedure.

Her daughter Melissa Rivers said she died surrounded by family and close friends.

Miss Rivers – who opened her routine with the trademark “Can we talk?” – never mellowed during a decades-long career. She moved from long-time targets such as Elizabeth Taylor, whom she famously ridiculed as fat, to new faces, and continued to appear in clubs and on TV into her 80s.

The comedian with 50 years of showbusiness under her belt spawned a reputation for often-critical red carpet fashion commentary.

Rivers spoke at an employee event at Time in New York last month and appeared healthy, practically jogging when she walked in to take her seat, Shira Blum, an online project manager, said.

An early and outspoken proponent of cosmetic surgery, Rivers drastically altered her appearance over the years – and found plenty of material for jokes. (“I’ve had so much plastic surgery, when I die they will donate my body to Tupperware.”)

The host of Fashion Police on E! network, Rivers also presided over an online talk show In Bed With Joan and co-stars with her daughter on the WEtv reality show, Joan & Melissa: Joan Knows Best?

Her latest book, “Diary of a Mad Diva,” was released this summer.

Joan offering a typically outspoken appraisal of the Gaza conflict just a few weeks ago…