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Family of seriously ill Joan Rivers 'keeping fingers crossed': daughter

Comedian Joan Rivers arrives for the premiere of the documentary "Joan Rivers - A Piece Of Work" during the 2010 Sundance Film Festival in P
Comedian Joan Rivers arrives for the premiere of the documentary "Joan Rivers - A Piece Of Work" during the 2010 Sundance Film Festival in P

By Ellen Wulfhorst

NEW YORK (Reuters) - The daughter of comedian Joan Rivers, hospitalized in serious condition after suffering cardiac arrest, said on Sunday the comedian's family members are "keeping our fingers crossed," according to a hospital statement.

Rivers, 81, has been hospitalized since Thursday, when she suffered cardiac arrest after her breathing stopped during a vocal cord procedure at a Manhattan clinic, her family and hospital officials said.

Daughter Melissa Rivers, in a statement released by Mt. Sinai Hospital, said: "Thank you for your continued love and support.

"We are keeping our fingers crossed," she said.

There was no update released as to Rivers' condition.

Rivers is considered a pioneer for women in stand-up comedy. The Brooklyn native, who graduated Phi Beta Kappa from Barnard College, played the comedy club scene in New York in the 1960s.

In 1983, she earned one of the biggest gigs in the business when then-"Tonight Show" host Johnny Carson crowned her as his regular guest host.

But her subsequent, short-lived stint hosting a competing late night talk show on Fox network in 1986 led to a rift with Carson that lasted until his death in 2005.

She went on to host an Emmy Award-winning daytime show, "The Joan Rivers Show," and more recently has found a niche on the awards show circuit, turning her biting wit on the fashion faux pas of Hollywood celebrities.

Rivers, known for her penchant for plastic surgery and with a reputation for being a ceaseless worker, also has starred alongside her daughter in the WE TV reality show "Joan & Melissa: Joan Knows Best?"

(Editing by Sandra Maler)

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