Legendary comedienne Joan Rivers passed away Thursday afternoon at age 81, according to a statement from her daughter, Melissa. “She passed peacefully at 1:17 p.m. surrounded by family and close friends,” Melissa Rivers wrote. She added, "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 suffered cardiac arrest during a minor throat surgery and spent several days on life support.