Joan Alexandra Molinsky Sanger Rosenberg, widely known as Joan Rivers (born June 8, 1933), is an American comedian, television personality and actress. She is known for her brash manner; her loud, raspy voice with a heavy New York accent; and her numerous cosmetic surgeries. Rivers's comic style relies heavily on poking fun at herself and other celebrities, mostly about their fashion sense, or according to her, the lack thereof.
Joan Rivers was born Joan Alexandra Molinsky in Brooklyn, New York, the daughter of Russian Jewish immigrants Beatrice (née Grushman) (January 6, 1906 - October 1975) and Meyer C. Molinsky (December 7, 1900 - January 1985). She was raised in Brooklyn, New York, and her family later moved to Larchmont, in Westchester County, New York. She attended Connecticut College between 1950 and 1952 and graduated from Barnard College in 1954 with a bachelor-of-arts degree in English literature and anthropology. Before entering show business, Rivers worked at various jobs such as a tour guide at Rockefeller Center, a writer/proofreader at an advertising agency and as a fashion consultant at Bond Clothing Stores. During this period, an agent named Tony Rivers told her to change her name, so she suggested Joan Rivers as her new name.
During the late 1950s, Rivers appeared in a short-run play, Driftwood, playing a lesbian with a crush on a character played by a then-unknown Barbra Streisand. The play ran for six weeks. In 1961 Rivers briefly performed on stage in Chicago at The Second City comedy club. Rivers performed in numerous comedy clubs in the Greenwich Village area of New York City in the early 1960s, including The Bitter End and The Gaslight Cafe, before making her first appearances as a guest on the TV program The Tonight Show originating from New York, and hosted at the time by Jack Paar.)