Joan Rivers was a beloved star known for her charmingly abrasive wit. Rivers was never afraid to poke fun at Hollywood’s elite, but she was never genuinely unkind or malicious in her jabs, either. She walked a fine line that few can master.
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It makes sense that many of the very same figures who served as the targets of her jokes attended her funeral after her unexpected passing. While you likely didn’t get a chance to attend the service yourself, you might want to honor Joan Rivers’ memory in some way.
For instance, maybe you’d like to visit her grave. As this blog post will explain, that’s not necessarily an option, but you can consider a few other options. Keep reading to learn more.
Joan Rivers’ Burial and Grave
Joan Rivers’ family cremated her body. This decision likely influenced their choices about her burial (or lack thereof).
We’ll likely never know the specific location of Joan Rivers’ final resting place. This is because her daughter Melissa ultimately chose to scatter Rivers’ ashes during a family vacation in Wyoming.
Melissa Rivers stated that the vacation was an annual tradition with her mother. She chose to scatter the ashes in an undisclosed spot so that every year, she could feel as though her mother was still with the rest of the family when they returned.
Gravestone and inscription
You might expect Joan Rivers’ gravesite to be one of the most famous graves in the country. However, because Melissa Rivers scattered some of her ashes, she doesn’t have an official gravestone or inscription. Prior to her funeral, reports indicated her burial would occur in Los Angeles’ Forest Lawn Cemetery, but apparently, these reports were incorrect or the family decided to make other plans.
Other Notable Memorials for Joan Rivers
You can’t find a grave for Joan Rivers in any particular cemetery. That said, if you’d still like an opportunity to pay your respects to the popular star, visiting Joan Rivers’ gravesite isn’t the only option. You can instead honor her through the following memorials:
Hollywood Walk of Fame
As one of Hollywood’s most talented personalities, Joan Rivers earned a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame. Although this may not technically qualify as a memorial, since Rivers earned the star while she was still alive, it can serve the same purpose as a memorial if you’re in Hollywood and want a chance to reflect on Rivers’ life. You can find the star on the south side of the 7000 block of Hollywood Boulevard.
Joan Rivers’ apartment
Shortly after Joan Rivers’ death, fans created an impromptu memorial by leaving flowers on the stoop outside her New York City apartment. You can still walk by the apartment at 1 East 62nd Street. Because Rivers’ lavish penthouse was in many ways an extension of her vibrant personality, the area outside it can still serve as an unofficial memorial space for some.
Keep in mind that the penthouse has new owners. Other people also live and work nearby. Just as it’s considerate to follow proper cemetery etiquette when visiting an actual grave, it’s also a good idea to be respectful of others if you plan to visit Joan Rivers’ former apartment.
Temple Emanu-El served as the location for Joan Rivers’ memorial service. It boasts gorgeous architecture and guests have the option to tour the temple. The temple isn’t specifically a memorial to Joan Rivers but it’s very close to her former apartment. You could visit both in one day if you wanted to spend an afternoon remembering the late star.
Early career highlights
If you’re a diehard Joan Rivers fan and you’re in the New York City area, you may want to set aside an entire day for an unofficial tour celebrating her life and career.
After visiting Rivers’ apartment and Temple Emanu-El uptown, head downtown to stop by spots like The Bitter End, one of the iconic clubs where Rivers first got her start in comedy.
Although some of the clubs she performed in (such as the Gaslight Cafe) no longer exist, touring this area of the city can give you a better sense of how Rivers’ career may have started small, but she built it up to become one of the entertainment industry’s elite.
The Joan Rivers Memorial Fund
You don’t need to visit a physical memorial to pay tribute to Joan Rivers. Instead, you may choose to support a cause that was important to her.
During her life, Joan Rivers actively supported God’s Love We Deliver, a nonprofit organization that provides meals to the less fortunate. After her death, the team at God’s Love We Deliver started the Joan Rivers Memorial Fund. Consider making a donation to ensure that Rivers’ legacy continues to have a positive impact on many lives.
The Lucy Pet Foundation
God’s Love We Deliver isn’t the only nonprofit organization Joan Rivers supported during her life. She also graciously gave to the Lucy Pet Foundation
The Lucy Pet Foundation’s team strives to help homeless animals in various ways. One of their goals is to establish mobile spay/neuter and adoption clinics in every major city in the U.S.
By spaying and neutering animals, the foundation estimates that within three years, a single mobile clinic could prevent 500,000 animals from joining an area’s homeless population. Through these clinics, the team can more easily reach people who may wish to adopt homeless animals as pets.
Think about making a donation if you’re both an animal lover and a Joan Rivers fan. It’s another way to keep her generous spirit alive.
The Joan Rivers Line
Okay, this also isn’t exactly a memorial, but you may want to keep in mind if you want to find a gift for someone who remains a dedicated fan of Joan Rivers.
Rivers had a deep appreciation for fashion and jewelry. She went so far as to launch a small side career selling her own branded line of jewelry and clothing through QVC. The brand serves as a reflection of her personal style. If you know someone who would like to honor Rivers’ memory by celebrating her impeccable fashion sense, consider buying a gift from her brand.
It’s worth noting that selling branded garments and jewelry wasn’t just a way for Rivers to earn some extra money. Although she passed away a very wealthy woman, Rivers struggled at times. Specifically, after her husband and manager committed suicide and she lost her job as host of “The Late Show Starring Joan Rivers,” she found herself $37 million in debt.
Rivers didn’t succumb to despair during this episode. Instead, the driven star worked hard to build her brand partially as a means to help her pay off what she owed. The success of her brand is a testament to her strength and work ethic.
Consider searching the internet for information about Joan Rivers tributes, memorials, and exhibits on an ongoing basis. Many of the best memorials and tributes to Joan Rivers stay temporary in nature.
For example, in 2015, the Grammy Museum was home to a Joan Rivers exhibit for several weeks. Guests had the chance to explore both Rivers’ career and personal life through a range of items, including her own clothing.
In 2016, The Kennedy Center served as a venue for a 90-minute comedy special in which Rivers’ peers and admirers celebrated her unique brand of humor. Lesser-known performers also routinely organize their own comedy tributes to the beloved star.
Joan Rivers’ influence lives on, and many individuals and organizations often organize events that can in some ways function as memorials. However, because these events are temporary, you’ll want to consistently search for them online to learn of any upcoming Joan Rivers tributes in your area.
An Icon Who Doesn’t Have a Gravesite
You may feel disappointed to learn that Joan Rivers doesn’t have an official gravesite if you wanted to visit it. That said, Joan Rivers doesn’t need a gravesite for us to remember her. As this blog post has illustrated, you can honor the comedy icon in many other ways.
- “About Us.” The Lucy Pet Foundation, www.lucypetfoundation.org/about-us/
- Berke, Ned. “Joan Rivers, Who Shocked Audiences and Blazed Trails, Died at 81.” LifePosts, LifePosts, www.lifeposts.com/p/milestone/129/joan-rivers-memorial/lifestory/
- “Joan Rivers: Can We Talk?” The Grammy Museum, grammymuseum.org/event/joan-rivers-can-we-talk/
- Lewis, Hilary. “Joan Rivers Mourned at Manhattan Funeral.” The Hollywood Reporter, The Hollywood Reporter, LLC, 7 September 2014, www.hollywoodreporter.com/news/joan-rivers-funeral-takes-place-730815
- Marino, Vivian. “Penthouse Owned by Joan Rivers Sold for $28 Million.” The New York Times, The New York Times Company, 17 July 2015, www.nytimes.com/2015/07/19/realestate/penthouse-owned-by-joan-rivers-sold-for-28-million.html
- Ramisetti, Kirthana. “Melissa Rivers reveals she scattered mom Joan Rivers’ ashes in Wyoming.” Daily News, Tribune Publishing Company, 2 September 2015, www.nydailynews.com/entertainment/gossip/melissa-rivers-scattered-mom-joan-rivers-ashes-wyoming-article-1.2345698
- “Review: “Celebrating Joan: A Tribute to Joan Rivers” at The Kennedy Center.” DC Metro Theater Arts, DC Metro Theater Arts, 23 June 2016, dcmetrotheaterarts.com/2016/06/23/celebrating-joan-tribute-joan-rivers/
- Robehmed, Natalie. “The Curious Case Of Joan Rivers' QVC Line.” Forbes, Forbes, Inc., 27 October 2015, www.forbes.com/sites/natalierobehmed/2015/10/27/the-curious-case-of-joan-rivers-qvc-line/?sh=7d63979b7cf8
- Silverman, Stephen M. “Melissa Rivers Bids Farewell to Her Mother's Casket.” People, Meredith Corporation, 5 September 2014, people.com/celebrity/melissa-rivers-bids-farewell-to-her-mothers-casket/
- “Tribute to Joan Rivers.” The Lucy Pet Foundation, www.lucypetfoundation.org/tribute-to-joan-rivers/