Joan Rivers credited gays for her success

Fri. September 5, 2014 10:44 AM by

Joan Rivers' connection to the gay community was enduring.

"My gay fans have been wonderful from day one," she told gay glossy The Advocate in May.

"I remember when I was working at the Duplex in Greenwich Village in New York at the beginning of my career and the only ones who would laugh at my jokes were the gay guys. I think if I had started out in straight clubs and bars I never would've gotten anywhere."

"Even today, when I'm on tour I always know if I get eight gay men in the front row, it's going to be a great show. Maybe it's just me and I know they're going to laugh at what I'd laugh at, but when my gays are in the audience it's always a good time," she added.

Rivers, 81, died Thursday, a week after something went wrong with a minor procedure involving her vocal cords. Emergency medical workers called to the clinic where she was undergoing the procedure said they found her unconscious and in cardiac arrest. She was moved to nearby Mount Sinai Hospital.

Rivers was also an AIDS activist who helped raise awareness and money for research since the early years of the epidemic.

She served on the board of the New York-based God's Love We Deliver, which delivers hot meals to AIDS patients.

Over the summer, Rivers presided over the wedding of a gay couple, her second this year.

Editor's Note: Joan Rivers was set to return to The Chicago Theatre stage for the first time since 1986 on Friday, November 14, 2014.

Article provided in partnership with On Top Magazine