There wasn’t the reported red carpet outside New York’s Temple Emanu-El Sunday for the arrival of mourners Sunday, but Joan Rivers’ funeral was very much the star-studded event the legendary comedienne envisioned.
Howard Stern delivered the eulogy, while Broadway singer-actress Audra McDonald offered her rendition of the gut-wrenching song, Smile.
— CBS News (@CBSNews) September 7, 2014
— E! Online (@eonline) September 7, 2014
— Yahoo (@Yahoo) September 7, 2014
They were among the many A-list celebrities who came to mourn the 81-year-old trailblazer who died Thursday, a week after she stopped breathing during a routine throat procedure at a Manhattan medical clinic.
— Action News on 6abc (@6abc) September 7, 2014
— CP24 (@CP24) September 7, 2014
Theater legends, including Bernadette Peters, Alan Cumming and Tommy Tune, were also in attendance.
From the music industry, record producer Clive Davis was in attendance; and from the fashion industry, designers Carolina Herrera and Michael Kors paid their respects.
Television stars Barbara Walters, Geraldo Rivera, Diane Sawyer, Giuliana Rancic, Kathie Lee Gifford, Hoda Kotb, Andy Cohel, and Late Night band leader Paul Shaffer, as well as moguls Barry Diller, Donald Trump and Steve Forbes, were among the many who came to mourn Rivers.
— NBC News Pictures (@NBCNewsPictures) September 7, 2014
And as per her wish, a large contingency of paparazzi lined the street across from the temple amongst hundreds of fans from around the world.
Huge crowd of media/spectators outside Temple Emanu-el in New York City for Joan Rivers memorial service. pic.twitter.com/OBTcsYf38j
— Ron Mott (@RonMott) September 7, 2014
The comedian shared her last wishes in her 2012 book I Hate Everyone … Starting With Me:
“When I die — and, yes, Melissa, that day will come; and, yes, Melissa, everything’s in your name — I want my funeral to be a huge showbiz affair with lights, cameras, action….I want Craft services, I want paparazzi and I want publicists making a scene! 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.”
— E! Online (@eonline) September 4, 2014
Those words were reportedly printed in the funeral program.