Melissa Rivers thinks her son is her mom Joan's "greatest legacy".

Melissa Rivers

Melissa Rivers

The 50-year-old actress believes her and her son Cooper, 17, have their own legacy "to live a life that you can be proud of on many levels".

She said: "The best legacy that I can give my mother - that everyone can give their parent - is to raise a good and decent child. One who gives back, and has a clear understanding of the understanding of not just being good, but doing good, as well.

"Cooper is my mom's greatest legacy. Cooper and I often talk about what is our family legacy. And I feel like our legacy is to live a life that you can be proud of on many levels. Giving your best professionally and personally. Giving back to others. Cooper and I always try to remember how fortunate we are, just by rite of birth. We can never lose sight of that. We're not entitled to anything. We work for what we have. That's how my mother lived."

And Melissa "really notices" her mother's values in her parenting.

She told People magazine: "I really notice my mom in my parenting. I'll say something, and as soon as the words come out of my mouth, I'm like, 'Wow. I sound just like my mom!' I think I'm a fair mom. I'm very clear on what the rules are. I'm very clear that these are the parameters in which you may operate on. If you stay there, you're good. If you don't, your life will crash down around you. I always remind Cooper, 'I can make your life miserable. Please don't tempt me.'"