Joan Rivers’ funeral included a performance from Hugh Jackman and emotional eulogies from her daughter Melissa and close friend Deborah Norville.
The 81-year-old comedienne’s memorial service kicked off with an opening pray from Rabbi Joshua Davidson, before Broadway’s Audra McDonald stood up and gave a stunning performance, which left guests in tears.
Howard Stern then lightened the mood by giving a funny but touching speech, in which he referred to Joan as “the best friend in the world … a big sister … a crazy aunt at a bar mitzvah.”
He added: “She fought the stereotype that women couldn’t be funny… and she was responsible for putting the red carpet into prime time.”
Deborah then paid tribute to her close pal, before Melissa – her only child – rounded up the eulogies by reading out a letter she had sent to her mother.
She ended the comical speech with: “I am grateful for everyday Cooper (Joan’s grandson) and I have with you. You are an inspiration.”
The 60-minute ceremony was drawn to a close by Hollywood hunk Hugh Jackman singing Peter Allen’s ‘Quiet Please, There’s a Lady on Stage’.
Mourners – including Kelly Osbourne, Sarah Jessica Parker and Whoopi Goldberg – began arriving at the Temple Emanu-El in Manhattan just before 10am today (07.09.14) and lined up outside the synagogue ready for the emotional service.
Joan sadly passed away last Thursday (04.09.14), a week after she was placed in a medically-induced coma at Mount Sinai hospital, following a cardiac and respiratory arrest while undergoing a routine operation on her vocal cords at a private clinic.