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Why Joan Rivers is the Ultimate Survivor

Joan Rivers has survived getting kicked off late night, a feud with Johnny Carson, and the death of her husband. In light of her recent hospitalization, ET is looking back at the moments that made Joan the ultimate survivor.

PICS: Joan Rivers' 16 Best Quotes

Joan's comedic contemporaries were mostly men (Johnny Carson, Robin Williams, Richard Pryor, Don Rickles, etc.), but she managed to carve out a path for herself in an industry dominated by men.

"If I had been a man it would have been a much easier time," said Joan. "They just weren't ready to hear things come out of a women's mouth."

But Joan never backed down and fought her way to become one of the most celebrated comics of her time.

Along the way Joan even encountered adversity from her peers. She allegedly was shut out of late night by her mentor Johnny Carson, for whom she filled in for on The Tonight Show when he was on vacation.

Joan was offered her own late night show in 1986, but was soon canceled. The following year, Joan's husband Edgar Rosenberg committed suicide by taking an overdose of prescription pills.

NEWS: Joan Rivers Placed in Medically Induced Coma

After the tragedy, Joan re-dedicated herself to her daughter Melissa and standup comedy.

"There was no place for me to work for a while," said Joan. "Every morning I would wake up and just say, 'I've just got to break through. I've got to get it again.'"

On Thursday, Joan, 81, was placed under a medically induced coma following a routine endoscopy. Not long after the procedure started, she stopped breathing and was then rushed to Mount Sinai Hospital.

Melissa Rivers, 46, gave fans an update on her mom's condition on Friday, saying, "My mother would be so touched by the tributes and prayers that we have received from around the world. Her condition remains serious but she is receiving the best treatment and care possible. We ask that you continue to keep her in your thoughts as we pray for her recovery."

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