The Prince of Wales has praised American comedian Joan Rivers for her “enormous zest for life” after she died aged 81.
The Jewish comedy legend was admitted to hospital last week after suffering a heart attack in a doctor’s surgery on Thursday.
Her daughter Melissa announced her death “with great sadness”.
She said: “She passed peacefully at 1.17pm surrounded by family and close friends. My son and I would like to thank the doctors, nurses, and staff of Mount Sinai Hospital for the amazing care they provided for my mother.”
The Prince of Wales and Duchess of Cornwall were said to be “deeply saddened” by the death of Rivers, who attended their wedding in 2005.
She also performed for Charles, the Duke of Cambridge and Prince Harry at the We Are Most Amused comedy gala, in aid of the Prince’s Trust, for Charles’s 60th birthday.
Charles said: “Joan Rivers was an extraordinary woman with an original and indefatigable spirit, an unstoppable sense of humour and an enormous zest for life. She will be hugely missed and utterly irreplaceable.”
Rivers had one grandson, Cooper. Her husband, Edgar Rosenberg, died in 1987.
Melissa Rivers added: “Cooper and I have found ourselves humbled by the outpouring of love, support, and prayers we have received from around the world. They have been heard and appreciated.
“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 was a showbusiness veteran who in later years was as well known for her regular visits to the plastic surgeon as for her acid-tongued routines.
In 2010 she joked: “With all the plastic surgery I’ve had, I’m worried that when I die, God won’t recognise me!”
Among those paying tribute was The Office star Ricky Gervais who tweeted: “RIP the mighty Joan Rivers. Funny & fearless. Truly one of a kind.”
Kelly Osbourne, who co-starred with Rivers on the show Fashion Police, said she was heartbroken by the loss of someone she considered a grandmother.
“She was family and I will never forget her. Laughter will be difficult for a while but when I’m sad, lonely or upset, all I will have to do is think of Joan and a smile will cross my face. … I will miss you deeply and will always hear your voice in my head saying ‘My darling, get out there and be you!’.”
Best-selling novelist Barbara Taylor Bradford said: “It is with great sorrow that (husband) Bob and I have just heard of Joan‘s passing.
“What a terrible loss to her daughter, Melissa, and her grandson, Cooper, and to all of her friends and fans. Joan was a great friend to have.
“Aside from her humour and comedic talents, she also made her friends laugh in private. Hospitable and generous to a fault, she was loyal and always there for all of us. She will be terribly missed.
“Bob and I send many condolences and much love to Melissa, Cooper and their family. Just imagine: we won’t hear those witty, sometimes caustic, but always funny one-liners ever again.
“Goodbye Joan Rivers. You’ll always be in our hearts.”
Singer Boy George said Rivers had been a big part of his working life.
“Goodbye, my friend Joan Rivers. You were a huge part of my professional life and you brightened up the horizon with your chutzpah! Sad!”
Actor Hugh Jackman said: “We lost one of the true originals today. Joan Rivers. A force. You will be missed.”
US television host Larry King said: “Joan Rivers was a dear and wonderful friend who I’ve known for 45 years. Great guest, pal, comedian and mother. We will never see her likes again.”
Television host and comedian Ellen DeGeneres said Rivers had led the way for others.
“Joan Rivers will always be a pioneer. She paved the way for a lot of comedians. I’m very sad she’s gone,” she said.