While Rivers got a big showbiz boost from her famous mother (and cohost) Joan Rivers, she started out on her own with appearances on Beverly Hills, 90210
and Hangin' With MTV
. In 1994, after a period of estrangement, she costarred with her mother in the TV-movie Tears and Laughter: The Joan and Melissa Rivers Story,
which was about how they coped with the 1987 suicide of her father, Edgar Rosenberg. The next year, the duo signed a contract with E! Entertainment Television to cohost fashion and red-carpet programs. In 2005 the mother-daughter team moved to the TV GUIDE Network, but left two years later. They moved back to E! in 2010, with Melissa producing Fashion Police
and her mother hosting. (Melissa had worked as a producer on the show during her first stint with E! as well.) Aside from being associated with celebrity fashion, Rivers has done her fair share of reality TV, including appearances on I'm a Celebrity---Get Me Out of Here!
, Celebrity Family Feud
and The Celebrity Apprentice
. Some of those experiences proved to be more positive for her than others: She came in second place on I'm a Celebrity---Get Me Out of Here!
and donated her winnings to charity; when she was fired by Donald Trump on The Celebrity Apprentice
, she launched into an explicative-filled tirade and stormed off. (Her mother was that season's eventual winner.) She's been vocal defending herself against claims of nepotism, telling entertainment reporter Jeff Rivera in a 2010 interview, "You might get a job because of your parents, but you ain't gonna keep it, unless you produce the work." Furthermore, she added that being a child of a celebrity is difficult because "so much more is expected of you...no slip-up is tolerate or allowed." Throughout the years, Rivers has expanded beyond just working in television, and some of her other projects have included cowriting an advice column with her mom for McCall's magazine, designing her own jewelry line for QVC and penning the self-help book Red Carpet Ready: Secrets for Making the Most of Any Moment You're in the Spotlight
.Melissa Rivers Fast Facts:
- Made her feature-film debut in 1978 in Rabbit Test, directed and cowritten by her mother, Joan Rivers.
- Has been a competitive equestrian since she was a youngster.
- Studied acting with legendary teacher Sanford Meisner.
- Worked as a correspondent for CBS This Morning, Hangin' With MTV, E! Entertainment and TV GUIDE Network.
- Starred with her mother in the TV-movie Tears and Laughter: The Joan and Melissa Rivers Story (1994), about how they coped with the 1987 suicide of her father, Edgar Rosenberg.
- Cowrote an advice column with her mother for McCall's magazine from 1999 to 2001.
- Appeared in the 2003 reality series I'm a Celebrity---Get Me Out of Here! and finished in second place, winning $100,000, which she donated to the Make-A-Wish Foundation.
- Served as a PETA spokesperson and appeared in an antifur campaign for the organization in 2003.
- Designed sterling-silver pieces for her own jewelry line, which was featured on QVC.
- Competed on The Celebrity Apprentice in 2009; upon being fired, she launched into an explicative-filled tirade before storming off.
- In 2010, she wrote the self-help book Red Carpet Ready: Secrets for Making the Most of Any Moment You're in the Spotlight.
- Has been candid about having Botox regularly and noting the specific plastic surgeries she's had.
- Melissa Rivers Relationships:
- John Endicott - Ex-husband
- Joan Rivers - Mother
- Edgar Cooper Endicott - Son
- Edgar Rosenberg - Father
- University of Pennsylvania, Philadelphia, PA (BA in European History, 1989)