Jun 16, 2022 • 4M

You are an inspiration

A letter to Joan Rivers from her daughter/landlord

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Shaun Usher
History's most interesting letters.
Episode details

This letter can be found in the book, Letters of Note: Mothers, by kind permission of Melissa Rivers. The reading, by Miriam Margolyes, is taken from the accompanying audiobook.

Joan & Melissa Rivers. (Photo by Acey Harper/Getty Images).

On Sunday 7th September, 2014, crowds gathered outside Temple Emanu-El in New York’s 5th Avenue in order to pay their respects to the recently departed Joan Rivers, an outspoken comedian who had been a household name since the 1960s thanks to her numerous television projects, and who was born in Brooklyn to Russian immigrant parents. Many speeches were made in memory of Rivers that day, including one by her daughter, Melissa, whose spare room Rivers had stayed in sporadically over the years whilst filming in LA. After saying a few words—to the delight of all gathered—Melissa pulled out and read aloud this letter, written to her late mother the year before.


I received the note that you slipped under my bedroom door last night. I was very excited to read it, thinking that it would contain amazing, loving advice that you wanted to share with me. Imagine my surprise when I opened it and saw that it began with the salutation, “Dear Landlord.” I have reviewed your complaints and address them below:

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