Joan Rivers

Joan Rivers

Joan Rivers' sister has died.

The 'Fashion Police' star has been left grief-stricken by the passing of her sibling, lawyer Barbara Waxler, and has cancelled her 80th birthday celebrations following the bereavement.

Rivers had planned a party for 300 people at the Metropolitan Club in New York tonight (05.06.13) to celebrate her reaching the milestone age, but has postponed the bash, the New York Post newspaper reports.

Joan - who turns 80 on Saturday (08.06.13) - has previously praised her family for encouraging her sense of humour, particularly noting how comical her sister was despite her high-pressure job.

She said: "My father [Meyer C. Molinsky] was a doctor and he was so funny people would laugh until they died. And my sister is a lawyer but she has great humour. And my grandson [Edgar] is funny and Melissa. You learn to see things crooked. When the whole family laughs at funny things it makes a big difference."

The feisty comedian - real name Joan Alexandra Molinsky - has also revealed she "can't afford" to stop working and admits she will do anything to be in the limelight.

Joan - who has daughter Melissa with her late husband Edgar, who committed suicide in 1987 - added: "I can't afford to stop. If I'm not working, money doesn't come in. Barbra Streisand said 'I sit in the bathtub and I'm making money in Hong Kong.' Well, I figured out that I get $7 a joke, but I love it.

"There is nothing I won't do for publicity. Humiliation does not exist in my vocabulary. I never had the cushion to say, 'I won't do that.' "