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September 29, 1989 - Image 128

Resource type:
Text
Publication:
The Detroit Jewish News, 1989-09-29

Disclaimer: Computer generated plain text may have errors. Read more about this.

ENTERTAINMENT

NORM

AND

BONNIE LEPAGE

AND THEIR ENTIRE STAFFS

HEARTILY WISH ALL THEIR CUSTOMERS & FRIENDS
HEALTH, HAPPINESS & PROSPERITY
ON THE NEW YEAR

Nen m c

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....w
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128

FRIDAY, SEPTEMBER 29, 1989

Joan Rivers Bounces
Back From Bad Years

Now —
breast cancer
has no place to hide
in Michigan.
Call us.

11,

ANIERICAN
CANCER
SOCIETY'

Special to The Jewish News

L

augh a little, cry a
little .. .
"Nothing has ever
come easily for me," says com-
edian Joan Rivers. "Never.
But then if it did, I wouldn't
trust it. Life is better if you
work for things?'
And things are working
well once again for Rivers,
who had to wade through a
stream of tsuris these past
two years before she landed
some happiness. "I'm plod-
ding through," she says,
"fighting every minute!'
For two tough years, the
woman who asked, "Can we
talk-" was the talk of the
town, and what peple were
saying was at times hurtful
and hateful.
A failed talk show on the
Fox Broadcasting Company
and the suicide of her hus-
band, Edgar Rosenberg, both
coming in 1987, left Rivers
with little room for laughter
in her life.
There certainly was no
more room for pain. But pain
is what Rivers felt when a
pseudonymously bylined arti-
cle in the Decenber 1987
issue of Gentlemen's Quarter-
ly questioned Rivers' relation-
ship with her late husband.
"That was so ridiculous, not
one bit of truth about that!"
Rivers says, her outrage evi-
dent. "I'm all for freedom of
the press, but there has to be
some way to stop irresponsi-
ble journalism!'
Rivers says she knows one
sure-fire way. "What you do is
sue," and that is exactly what
she has done in a
multimillion dollar suit
against the magazine.
Rivers seems well-suited for
the stage — even if the pain
of the past pushed to keep her
from it. "I am stronger. than
I thought I could be!'
Indeed, she has shifted the
weight of her worry from past
to current concerns. Rivers
continues to be active in the
fight against AIDS and has
worked hard on behalf of bat-
tling Tay-Sachs disease. "You
can't put your head in the
sand,' she says.
Even when you're up to
your neck in tragedy. "I am
also working on behalf of
suicide-prevention organiza-
tions," says Rivers.
This funny lady still fumes
at what she considers a mer-
ciless media rap against
Israel, and she works to cor-
rect impressions left by that
war in Israel's image.

"The press is very unfair,"
she says. "They'll show pic- -.-
tures of Arab children killed.
But what about the Israeli
children killed by Arabs?
How come you never see
that?"
What Rivers sees frightens
her — it is a picture of a globe
rolling off its axis and
squashing Israel. "It seems
the whole world has turned
against Israel," she says.
Rivers turns tiger at the
mere thought. "Israel
deserves and needs our sup-
port," she emphasizes.
Support during hardship —
Rivers well knows its impor-
tance. And she has received
support from friends and
family these past two years.
Indeed, returning to televi-
sion's "Hollywood Squares"
last year squared with her
need to appear again in the
public eye after taking time
off following her husband's
death.
And certainly nothing eas
ed the painful problem she
faced more than having
daughter Melissa by her side.
Rivers brightens at the mere
mention of Melissa's name.
"I was the guest speaker for
Ivy Day. I gave the address;!
says Rivers of the talk she
gave this summer to the
senior class of the University
of Pennsylvania, of which
, Melissa, a graduate of Penn's
School of Arts and Sciences,
was a member.
Both have graduated in a
way, says Rivers, moving on to
face new challenges.
If there is a science to child-
rearing, it is clear Rivers has
earned her degree. When
friends ask what her greatest
accomplishment in life has
been, Rivers readily repsonds,
"Melissa?'
Yet there is room in Rivers'
bio for a few more
achievements: numerous
television appearances;
Broadway bravos for her star-
ring role as a Jewish mama,
in Neil Simon's Broadway
Bound ("It was wonderful,
just wonderful to be on that
stage"); screen writer (Rabbit
Test); night-club headliner;
comedy-album star; author;
and talk-show host.
Rivers is willing to talk
about the Fox talk show that
initially showed promise on-
ly to dissolve in acrimony. "I
was fired by Fox when I was
50," she says without rancor.
Being fired, Rivers realized,
didn't have to mean her
career would go up in flames.
"What I found out is that I
can start over again!" ❑

-*

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