Joan Rivers’ Jewish Funeral Held in NYC, Star Requested No Rabbi, ‘Meryl Streep Crying, in Five Different Accents’
A star-studded private funeral was held for late comedian and TV host Joan Rivers on Sunday at Temple Emanu-El on New York City’s 5th Avenue.
The event included a eulogy from fellow Jewish media personality Howard Stern and elements from plans she had outlined over the years.
In her 2012 book I Hate Everyone… Starting with Me, Rivers wrote that she wanted her funeral to be “a huge showbiz affair with lights, cameras, action” and “Hollywood all the way.”
“I want Craft services, I want paparazzi and I want publicists making a scene!” she wrote. “I want it to be Hollywood all the way. I don’t want some rabbi rambling on; I want Meryl Streep crying, in five different accents. I don’t want a eulogy; I want Bobby Vinton to pick up my head and sing ‘Mr. Lonely.’ I want to look gorgeous, better dead than I do alive. I want to be buried in a Valentino gown and I want Harry Winston to make me a toe tag. And I want a wind machine so that even in the casket my hair is blowing just like Beyonce’s.”
Us Weekly reported on Friday that “a lot of celebrities [are] confirmed” for the funeral service, and added that a red carpet will be rolled out outside the synagogue and then buried alongside Rivers.
Rivers, 81, died in New York’s Mount Sinai hospital on Thursday after suffering a cardiac arrest a week earlier during a medical procedure at a doctor’s office. The New York Police Department is reportedly investigating her death since it was revealed that the star suffered from a heart condition, according to the UK’s Daily Mail.
Rivers’ only child, Melissa, said her mother died peacefully surrounded by family and friends, Britain’s Sky News reported.
In her book Rivers also joked that dying of natural causes was boring.
“It’s the grand finale, act three, the eleven o’clock number – make it count. If you’re going to die, die interesting! Is there anything worse than a boring death? I think not.”
In an interview published in the Sunday Times Style magazine this week, the TV host was quoted telling Melissa to prepare for her death, saying, “It’s comi-i-i-ing! It’s inevitable.”
“It’s like, God, I’m in my 80s. Nobody, when I die, is going to say, ‘how young?’ They’re going to say she had a great ride,” she said.
Rivers’ publicist said that instead of flowers, donations in Rivers’ memory can be made to God’s Love, We Deliver; Guide Dogs for the Blind; or Our House.