Edgar Rosenberg- Joan Rivers’ Husband


Earlier today we learned “Fashion Police” Joan Rivers was rushed to a hospital in New York! Reports say the comedic star stopped breathing during throat surgery when her heart “stopped beating at one point” TMZ said.


Apparently Joan –who’s had an exhausting week, covering back to back events: red-carpet looks at Sunday night’s VMA ceremony and Monday’s Primetime Emmys –was undergoing the throat procedure in a clinic (specifically on her vocal chords) when she had to be taken to Mount Sinai Hospital.

At first it was reported to be in critical condition but as updates become available the funnywoman is said to be in stable condition.

It’s ironic Joan having this health scare precisely this month as it’s been 27-years just a few days ago since the death of her husband and father of her only child. Read more about Edgar Rosenberg below.


She was first married to James Sager in 1955 but after only six-month into the marriage it was annulled. According to Rivers she said she had not been informed that Sager did not want any children.

Ten years later after her first nuptials, she tied the knot to former executive producer of The Late Show Starring Joan Rivers, Edgar Rosenberg in 1965. He committed suicide at age 62. The couple produced one daughter, Melissa Rivers.


When Edgar was a small boy, his family fled Nazi Germany, taking virtually nothing with them. For two years, the Rosenbergs lived in Denmark where he was an outsider, barely able to speak the language. Then they fled the Nazis again, this time to South Africa.

Coming to New York as a young man, a super private person, Edgar worked his way up to an assistant to NBC’s entertainment vice president, Emanuel (Manie) Sacks. Then, shortly after, sitting in a parked car, Edgar was hit by a runaway truck. During a year of hospitalization, NBC dropped him. Virtually penniless, he had to begin over again—as a night clerk at a Doubleday bookstore.


Joan, working as a writer and a comic, met Edgar in 1965 in New York. Billed as a funny writer, she had just scored on The Tonight Show with Johnny Carson, and Edgar brought her to Jamaica to work on a script for his friend Peter Sellers. Edgar’s sophistication—the education at England’s Rugby School and Cambridge, the superb English tailoring, the omnivorous addiction to books, the impressive breadth of knowledge, the flair for elegance, the obsessive commitment to show business—hit Joan between the eyes.

He had mastered the machinery of the show business world that was her consuming ambition. He was the No. 1 assistant and virtual son to the legendary public relations consultant Anna Rosenberg (no relation). He had worked as an assistant producer for NBC, and had produced five feature films, including The Poppy Is Also a Flower. Four days after they met they were married by a judge in New York. Doubtless, Edgar had recognized Joan’s raw talent and sensed how far she could go. But when Edgar was in the hospital following his 1984 heart attack, he was asked why he married Joan so quickly. He became embarrassed, almost sheepish, and smiled with unaccustomed softness. “I fell in love,” he said.


“The career” became an independent entity, a palpable child to be nourished, shaped, cherished and intensely shared. “Our work,” Joan says, “was our play.” Edgar was the architect, the idea man, Joan’s sounding board, the business manager, “the rock,” as she puts it, the one who drove the hard bargains and said the no’s.

Talking about her husband’s downfall, Joan dated the beginning of Edgar’s serious trouble back three years before his suicide, when he suffered his near-fatal heart attack.



On the morning of Aug. 14 the call came first to Edgar Rosenberg’s daughter, Melissa, 19, whose awful duty it became to carry the news to her mother, comedienne Joan Rivers, 54. During the night, Edgar, 62, had taken his own life by a combination of Valium and alcohol. He had been found by security guards in his hotel room in Philadelphia, where he had gone to see his closest friend, Tom Pileggi, his partner in extensive real estate ventures and, as Edgar once wistfully said, “the brother I never had.”

Health ailments plagued Edgar along with his emotional problems. He had painful gout. A nervous habit of chewing on the inside of his cheek caused a growth which, removed, immediately returned. He was utterly lethargic. In July they went to England and Ireland; Edgar was rushed to a hospital outside Dublin with a bleeding ulcer. Unable to concentrate, he could no longer read, his one means of distraction. This man for whom control was everything used up all his strength getting through the day.

At the time of his death, Melissa was a student at the University of Pennsylvania. At Edgar’s memorial service 1,000 people, including Los Angeles Mayor Tom Bradley, Milton Berle, Bea Arthur, Jon Voight and Cher, attended.

We sure hope to see Joan back on our TV screens soon!