Joan Rivers, a witty, sometimes-controversial comic, actor, TV host, author and producer, has died at age 81. As a stand-up comic she fought for her rightful place in a sexist industry, and her career went into higher gear as co-host of E! TV's Fashion Police.
Her first of many appearances TV's The Tonight Show was in 1965, and that helped her reach a national audience.
Rivers had a big following in the LGBT community, and she was among the first celebrities to help raise money to fight the AIDS crisis, in the mid-1980sincluding in 1984 for AIDS Project Los Angeles, Aid for AIDS and the Shanti Project.
On May 14, Windy City Times ran an interview with Rivers about her newest project, an animated series titled Fashionista and Glamour Girl.
"We took a superhero, made her a woman and a sidekick who is woman, and that is who Fashionista turned into," Rivers said in May. "Nobody has ever done this before." Melissa Rivers, her daughter, took on the role as super villain Bangs.
Joan Rivers said she enjoyed working on Fashionista and Glamour Girl because it's so different from what she is already involved in. "This is much more collaborative," she said. "There are many more people and there is a lot of acting involved in this, which is so much fun."
In a 2012 interview with Windy City Times, Rivers discussed collaborating with her daughter: "We have always worked together. Everyone forgets we started the red carpet. We go back 15 years together. It is funny when I am not working with Melissa in a sense. She is a great producer and I let her be the producer."
Asked about her high-energy performances on stage, Rivers said: "I love being onstage because I get to perform, and work out. I like multitasking."
Joan Rivers's May 14 interview with Windy City Times' writer Charlsie Dewey: www.windycitymediagroup.com/lgbt/Joan-Rivers-gets-animated-in-new-show/47393.html .
The Feb. 8, 2012 interview with Joan and Melissa Rivers, by Windy City Times' writer Jerry Nunn: www.windycitymediagroup.com/lgbt/Joan-and-Melissa-Rivers-Who-knows-best/36035.html .