A men's choir singing Broadway hits kicked off the 10 a.m. ceremony before six-time
They were among the legion of notables who turned out at New York's Temple Emanu-El to remember Rivers, who died Thursday at 81. They included
Theater stars Bernadette Peters, Alan Cumming and
Mourners lined up outside the Fifth Avenue synagogue and waited for their names to be checked against a list before entering. A crowd of media stood watch across the street, and fans from as far away as Australia and Britain lined the streets.
The comedian detailed in her 2012 book “I Hate Everyone ... Starting With Me” that she hoped for funeral that was “a huge showbiz affair with lights, cameras, action” and “Hollywood all the way.” Instead of a rabbi talking, Rivers asked for “
Rivers was a trailblazer for all comics, but especially for women. The raspy-voiced blond with the brash New York accent was a TV talk show host, actress and fashion critic, and she sold a line of jewelry.
The cause of her death is being investigated. Rivers was hospitalized Aug. 28 after she went into cardiac arrest during a routine procedure at a doctor's office. The New York state health department is investigating the case, and the New York City medical examiner said tests to determine the cause of death were inconclusive.