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Joan Rivers funeral: celebrities arrive for 'huge showbiz affair' late comedian wanted

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One by one celebrities were seen arriving at the Manhattan synagogue where Joan Rivers was laid to rest on Sunday.The comedian and television star, who passed away on Thursday at the age of 81, had previously said she wanted scores of paparazzi and celebrities to pay their respects in a ceremony akin to "a huge showbiz affair".

Whoopi Goldberg and Sarah Jessica Parker were some of the first to arrive, followed by Joan's Fashion Police co-hosts Kelly Osbourne and Giuliana Rancic who walked into the Temple Emanu-El hand-in-hand. 


Joan Rivers funeral© Photo: Getty Images

Kelly Osbourne and Sarah Jessica Parker were some of the first to arrive at Joan Rivers' funeral

Donald Trump, who wrote on Twitter that he was "getting ready to pay final respect to GREAT LADY Joan Rivers," attended with his daughter Ivanka and her husband Jared Kushner. Radio host Howard Stern and his wife Beth Ostrosky Stern walked up together while journalist Barbara Walters gave a wave to crowds as she entered.

Michael Kors, Carolina Herrera, presenters Kathie Lee Gifford and Hoda Kotb, actor Alan Cumming, columnist Cindy Adams and Judge Judy all added to the celebrity guest list.

Few details have been made public but reports claimed that Hugh Jackman would be closing the private service and Audra McDonald would perform a song, according to The New York Daily News. The Today show host Deborah Norville would talk about Joan's life, while the late star's daughter Melissa Rivers would also saw a few words.  

Joan Rivers© Photo: Getty Images

Donald Trump and Whoopi Goldberg attended Joan Rivers' funeral

Early on Sunday morning barricades were put in place along 5th Avenue – close to the Temple Emanu-El – and media and fans were seen waiting in the streets ahead of the service that started at 11am local time and 4pm UK time. Joan, who was known for her sharp tongue and acerbic wit, had previously 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."

Joan Rivers funeral© Photo: PA

Melissa Rivers sean leaving her mum Joan Rivers' New York appartment the day after the death

On Saturday, Melissa and her 13-year-old son Cooper said an emotional goodbye as Joan's mahogany casket was carried out of the Frank E. Campbell Funeral Home in Manhattan and loaded into a hearse. A large bouquet of white flowers sat atop the coffin, which was supported by six pallbearers. Wearing dark sunglasses and a black dress, Melissa shook hands with each of the men, before bending over and placing a kiss with her hand on the casket, as Cooper gently touched his mother's back. The late comedian was taken to a crematorium in New Jersey prior to her funeral. Joan will then be moved to Los Angeles's Forest Lawn Cemetery at a later date, according to The Insider with Yahoo.

joan rivers3 © Photo: Getty Images

Joan Rivers had always said she wanted her funeral to be a 'huge showbiz affair'

The Fashion Police host wrote in her 2012 book, I Hate Everyone ... Starting With Me, that she wanted her memorial to be a large affair. "I want my funeral to be a huge showbiz affair with lights, cameras, action," she shared. "I want Craft services, I want paparazzi and I want publicists making a scene! I want it to be Hollywood all the way. I want Meryl Streep crying, in five different accents… I want a wind machine so that even in the casket my hair is blowing just like Beyoncé's." Her publicist said that in lieu of flowers, donations could be made to God's Love, We Deliver; Guide Dogs for the Blind; or Our House.