Joan Rivers once had a talk-show of her own, and often times she was a welcome guest on the NBC’s ‘Tonight Show’ and David Letterman’s ‘Late Show’. Sadly, it was confirmed today that Joan Rivers passed away at the age of 81, and on the tapping of the “Late Show With David Letterman,” the talk show host remembered his time with the late actor and performer.

“Here’s a woman, a real pioneer for other women looking for careers in stand-up comedy,” said Letterman. “And talk about guts – she would come out here and sit in this chair and say some things that were unbelievable, just where you would have to swallow pretty hard …but it was hilarious… the force of her comedy was overpowering.”

In a statement released earlier today Joan’s daughter, Melissa wrote, “It is with great sadness that I announce the death of my mother, Joan Rivers.” She then added, “She passed peacefully at 1:17pm surrounded by family and close friends. My son and I would like to thank the doctors, nurses, and staff of Mount Sinai Hospital for the amazing care they provided for my mother. Cooper and I have found ourselves humbled by the outpouring of love, support, and prayers we have received from around the world. They have been heard and appreciated.”

“My mother’s greatest joy in life was to make people laugh. Although that is difficult to do right now, I know her final wish would be that we return to laughing soon.”