Joan Rivers' passion for plastic surgery lives on
Joan Rivers had two great joys in life aside from her family: making people laugh and plastic surgery.
So much so that, in a tribute to the star who died on Thursday, writer Lena Dunham mentioned it.
"Joan is gone but a piece of her lives on: her nose, because it's made of polyurethane," she tweeted cheekily.
Rivers would be having a uproarious chuckle at the joke.
Her acid wit spared none, herself included.
"I've had so much plastic surgery, when I die, they will donate my body to Tupperware," she once joked.
Rivers' first surgery is believed to have been an eyelift at the tender age of 32, the same age she rose to fame on The Tonight Show Starring Johnny Carson.
In the nearly 50 years since then, she had, among other things, two facelifts, at least one nose job and so much Botox her plastic surgeon would send her away.
"He will say 'You don't need anything. Go home'," she said in 2007.
But that was of little concern to Rivers, who continued to have procedures up until her death.
"I want to look nice," she's said. "No one wants to look ugly!"
When asked by television presenter Anderson Cooper if it was true she's had 734 procedures, Rivers cried: "No," in mock outrage, "739!"
"She has a punch card," daughter Melissa chimed in.
"Every weekend I just go in and I do something," Rivers added. "You get a tenth one free. It's like coffee so you just keep going."
While she was (hopefully) joking, Rivers admitted she gets Botox every "five or six months".
How she would have aged naturally is anyone's guess, including Rivers'.
"I wish I had a twin so I could know what I'd look like without plastic surgery," she once quipped.
Despite the witticisms at her own expense, there was deep sadness underlying the procedures that made her, as once described by the New York Times, a "plastic-surgery cautionary tale".
"My husband killed himself. And it was my fault," she once joked. "We were making love and I took the bag off my head."
Rivers' husband and father of her daughter, Edgar Rosenberg, committed suicide in 1987. The night he died, Rivers was having liposuction.
As always for Rivers tragedy was not off limits. Nor was her own belief that she needed so much surgery because she was "ugly".
"I was so ugly that they sent my picture to Ripley's Believe It or Not and he sent it back and said 'I don't believe it'," she has quipped.
"I believe in plastic surgery. Eventually," she said pointing to the journalist in one 2007 interview,"you will look in the mirror and you will know. You will hit 40 and say 'That isn't quite right' ...
"My motto is 'Better a new face coming out of an old car than an old face coming out of a new car'. Spend your money on you."
Rivers certainly invested in her surgery. To the extent that daughter Melissa once staged a surgery intervention.
"At one point I start to think the risk outweighs the reward, so I wanted my mom to know how I felt about it and I made myself fairly clear," Melissa told Anderson Cooper.
In the end, it was not a risky cosmetic procedure, but complications from a routine throat procedure that ended the 81-year-old's life. That said, with all the surgery, a part of Rivers will never die, and for that she will be pleased.
"I have a fantasy funeral where my daughter Melissa turns away all the sons of bitches that I don't like," she said several years ago. "It will be invitation only. But,I really don't know who I will still be talking to in 3007."
Sydney Morning Herald