Joan 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. 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."

Here's a gallery of images from Joan Rivers' life.

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