WARREN (WWJ/AP) – Joan Rivers was no stranger to Andiamo restaurants in Michigan. CEO Joseph Vicari told WWJ the late comedienne performed at both public and private events at least a dozen times since 2000.

“She sold out every time she came here – it used to be one performance – and then we added two performances … in November she was scheduled to perform and had already sold out one of the shows,” said Vicari.

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He said Rivers had two personas — on stage she was edgy and “in your face,” but in person she was very kind, and even meek at times.

Rivers’ comedy took no prisoners, targeting stars for their fashion choices and mocking her own love affair with plastic surgery.

Rivers’ death at 81 on Thursday ended a life and a career spent making other people laugh. She rose to fame in an era in which the big time was dominated by male comics, but she found a niche for herself and eventually got her big break on “The Tonight Show” in 1965.

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She performed almost constantly, though she found her career derailed for a two-year-period in the 1980s after the suicide of her husband, Edgar Rosenberg.

Recent years found her as a host of E! Network’s “Fashion Police,” and a familiar face on shopping channel QVC as she promoted her line of jewelry.

“You never relax and say, `Well, here I am!”‘ she once declared. “You always think, `Is this gonna be OK?’ I have never taken anything for granted.”


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