Liza Minnelli, a friend of Rivers, said in a statement, "Joan was my dear friend and I will miss her but I will always remember the laughter and friendship she brought into my life."
Comedian Lisa Lampanelli told Playbill.com by phone, "I've said this before, and I mean it now more than ever. If Joan hadn't done what she did years ago, neither me or any other women comics of our day would be doing anything or have a career. We needed someone to break down the wall, and she was that chick. She was a groundbreaker and an icon, and thank God she did what she did."
Lonny Price, who directed Rivers in her Tony-nominated turn as Sally Marr, said in a statement to Playbill.com, "In 1994 I directed Joan Rivers in Sally Marr...and Her Escorts, a play about Lenny Bruce's mother that we co-wrote with Erin Sanders. It was my first Broadway effort as a director. We worked for two years doing readings and workshops in between her television show, concerts and QVC dates. She would arrive at 72nd Street Studios, throw her mink on the floor whereupon her five-pound yorkie, "Spike, The Wonder Dog," would leap upon it and go to sleep. Though she was not a trained actress, she knew about pain (like most great comics) and could access it easily and fully. She was incredibly moving. The play didn't do well, but Joan got a Tony nomination, which she deserved. Ever since then, she's been there for every play or musical I ever directed, always posing for pictures when asked, all the way up to Lady Day, which she reminded me last week she saw twice and PAID FOR BOTH TIMES! She wanted to resurrect Sally Marr this coming November for a reading at the National Theater in Washington, and I was helping her put together a new team. Every time we would speak, she would tell me how proud she was of me. 'I take great pride in you,' she told me as recently as ten days ago on the phone. I know she meant it. People have asked me if she was funny in life. And, the answer is — Joan was always funny. When my mother died, she told me to tell my sister to take my mom's silver and replace it with silver-plated. 'Give your father the fake stuff, he'll never know the difference.' Maybe not about the silver, but as for you, Joan — you were undeniably the real thing. I sure will miss you."
Barbra Streisand, who appeared with Rivers in an Off-Off Broadway show Driftwood in 1959, issued the following statement. "I first met Joan Molinsky (that was her real name) when I was 17 years old. We were both in an Off-Off Broadway show called 'Driftwood.' She was a real character, and I am so upset by her passing. She was too young and still had much to do."
Playbill.com will continue to update.
Joan Rivers never played it safe. She was the bravest of them all. Still at the top at the end. She will be sorely missed.
— Mel Brooks (@MelBrooks) September 4, 2014
She'll always be Dot Matrix to us. #RIPJoanRivers | SPACEBALLS (1987) DoP: Nick McLean | Dir: @MelBrooks pic.twitter.com/kOo8ihBj0E
— Perfect Shots (@OnePerfectShot) September 4, 2014