For more than four decades, Joan Rivers remained a staple of American pop culture, culminating in her trademark catch phrase "Can We Talk?" First making her name as a comedienne, she followed up as talk show host, author, playwright, actress, director and red carpet interviewer until only one form of all-encompassing nomenclature was finally needed - simply, Joan Rivers. One of stand-up comedy's first female practitioners Rivers landed her big break on "The Tonight Show Starring Johnny Carson" (NBC, 1962-1992) in 1965. That appearance began a lengthy working friendship with Carson that ended acrimoniously years later to disastrous effect for Rivers. Soon after the cancellation of her short-lived "The Late Show Starring Joan Rivers" (Fox, 1986-87), the host was devastated by the suicide of her husband-producer Edgar Rosenberg. While many predicted the end of Rivers' career, the indomitable yenta soon began an arduous journey of reinvention. An attempt at a daytime talk show later gave way to a second career alongside daughter Melissa Rivers as an interviewer-fashion commentator at red carpet events. By then, Rivers had perfected her self-deprecating persona to a point where she somehow managed to be both abrasive and endearing. Even as a septuagenarian, Rivers was a tireless self-promoter, winning the 2009 season of "Celebrity Apprentice" (NBC, 2004- ) and co-starring on her own reality series, "Joan & Melissa: Joan Knows Best?" (WE tv, 2011-14). Beloved for her biting satire, or scorned for her personal foibles, one thing was undeniable - Rivers was the ultimate Hollywood survivor. That sense of seeming indestructibility made her death at the age of 81 on September 4, 2014 seem all the more surprising; she had been working only days before the cardiac arrest that claimed her life.